4 January 2013 12:22 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Curiously, with all the bold, ambitious, fresh talent storming into Hollywood in the 1960s/1970s – directors who’d cut their teeth in TV like Sidney Lumet and John Frankenheimer; imports like Roman Polanski and Peter Yates; the first wave of film school “film brats” like Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese — one of the most popular genres during the period was one of Old Hollywood’s most traditional:  the Western.  But the Western often wrought at the hands of that new generation of moviemakers was rarely traditional.

During the Old Hollywood era, Westerns typically had been B-caliber productions, most of them favoring gunfights and barroom brawls over dramatic substance, and nearly all adhering to Western tropes which ran back to the pre-cinema days of dime novelist Ned Buntline.  With the 1960s, however, the genre began to change; or, more accurately, expand, twist, and even invert.

To be sure, there would »

- Bill Mesce

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