One of my biggest misconceptions going into this feature was that Westerns never tackled the topic of racism. (You may call me a brainwashed and judgmental liberal if you like. I don’t mind.) I lumped them all in with The Searchers – which, incidentally, wasn’t as racist as I remembered but isn’t exactly condemning its characters’ biases either.
But a lot of Westerns tackle it. They just tend to examine it through the dewy and sad eyes of the white man such as Jimmy Stewart’s Broken Arrow. Hombre ups the ante by showing discrimination through the painfully blue eyes of Paul Newman. How can anyone look down on those pool colored irises? You’d have to be really evil. And boy, are the white people of Hombre evil.
- Elisabeth Rappe
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