MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 33,836 this week

How the West Was Lost (2008)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  14 June 2008 (UK)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 75 users  
Reviews: 4 user

Rich Hall looks at how the most quintessentially American film genre, the Western, came to be killed off.

Director:

Writer:

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1184 titles
created 23 Nov 2012
 
a list of 72 titles
created 04 Jan 2013
 
a list of 41 titles
created 01 Mar 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: How the West Was Lost (TV Movie 2008)

How the West Was Lost (TV Movie 2008) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of How the West Was Lost.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century--including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and 2 more credits »
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Two bounty hunters with the same intentions, team up to track down a Western outlaw.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Gian Maria Volonté
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.

Director: Sergio Leone
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Director: Chris Cottam
Stars: Rich Hall, Richard Dillof, Allen Ginsberg
Documentary | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Chris Cottam
Stars: Rich Hall, Dallas Goldtooth, Chief Dave Bald Eagle
How the West Was Lost (TV Series 1993)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Peter Thomas, Robert Utley
Rich Hall's the Dirty South (TV Movie 2010)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Comedian and writer Rich Hall looks at how the American South has been represented by Hollywood over the years.

Director: Chris Cottam
Stars: Rich Hall
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rich Hall ...
Himself - Presenter
Karen Jones ...
Herself (as Dr Karen Jones)
Edward Buscombe ...
Himself
Ben Traywick ...
Himself (as Ben T. Traywick)
Juti Winchester ...
Herself
Kenn Barrett ...
Himself
William Kittredge ...
Himself
Edit

Storyline

Rich Hall looks at how the most quintessentially American film genre, the Western, came to be killed off.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 June 2008 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Rich Hall's How the West Was Lost  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features My Darling Clementine (1946) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
How the West Was Lost: Comprehensive, Entertaining, and Highly Informative
23 January 2011 | by (Ireland) – See all my reviews

Shown rather amusingly on BBC Four at the end of the very same week in which I had been given a comprehensive education in the history of the western, How the West Was Lost seemed the perfect thing to cement what I'd learned about the genre, the wryly laconic Rich Hall surely icing on such a cake.

Sitting outside an old west saloon, a dark figure is affronted when a movie-reviewing kid simultaneously online and on a call dismisses the western film genre. Taking him out to the desert and dumping him there, the cowboy begins to explain to us the real splendour of this often forgotten American genre.

The opening scene, a silly little introduction utilising certain genre conventions, had me thinking for a moment that the entire documentary might be communicated through a sort of faux-narrative. Luckily this is not the case, the scene more of an opportunity for Hall to introduce his fondness for the classic genre. A key thing we notice early is that this film is very much a subjective one, the prejudices and opinions—both political and cinematic—of the narrator/presenter not at all reserved. Hall looks the part for the presentation, his dark cowboy hat and coarse goatee recalling the many western heroes he makes mention of. The film is quite well shot, the iconic landscapes which pervade the genre fully exploited herein. It is immediately evident that the subject matter is quite close to Hall's heart, his praise of it as the great American genre and a staple of the country's cinema spoken with a great degree of pride and affection. He explores the genre in a generally chronological fashion, taking us from the early days of fledgling Hollywood through to the golden era of Ford, Hawks, and their contemporaries, onto the revisionism of New Hollywood and finally to the gradual dying off of the genre as a mainstream one in and around the release of Heaven's Gate. Interviewees include film historians and gunsmiths who attempt to explain the fixation of the American public with the genre from its earliest days. Hall presents us with a wide range of clips from westerns throughout the ages: Stagecoach; My Darling Clementine; The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; The Searchers; The Magnificent Seven; Blazing Saddles; Little Big Man; Cheyenne Autumn; and McCabe and Mrs Miller to name but a few. The insight Hall gives into the evolution of the genre through these is interesting, exploring themes of East versus West as well as individual versus community and many more beside. A less appealing factor, and one which raises more than a few eyebrows, is his apparent distaste for the Spaghetti Westerns, particularly those of Leone. More than any other film mentioned, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly is labeled as a shame to its genre, the extent of Hall's hatred of it rather alarming and—for such a classic film—quite unusual. Aside from this minor detour into express agendas (several scathing political criticisms also crop up, but they're both funny and agreed with), the film is a comprehensive, entertaining, and highly informative look at a genre it makes you sad to see on the decline.

Pretty much exactly as informative as appropriate for its televisual documentary medium, How the West Was Lost is an interesting approach to western history that will prove worthwhile for those with a particular interest in film. Hall's brand of presentation, as well as his distinctive voice, are welcome additions to a well written and shot tribute to a great American genre.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Rich Hall on Sergio Leone improfane-1
Discuss How the West Was Lost (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page