*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
May 22, 2019, 07:18:59 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 158 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Dust Devils] Sub-genres  (Read 2320 times)
Martin Higham
Member

Posts: 26


« on: April 24, 2006, 12:21:39 PM »

In preparation for running my first Dust Devils I read Ron's review here on the Forge. One of the things that Ron mentions is that everyone should agree on which version of the The Wild West they are playing in. This got me thinking about what these are. During breakfast over the weekend I came up with the following list. My approach to the categorisation was less to do with film theory and more to do with setting. If you want film theory categorisation then check out Wikipedia

Cavalry, Indians & Wagon trains
The staple of 50's and earliy 60's movies. Until the 70's the Indians (as was) were generally the antagonists. The stories are full of battles, ambushes, rescues and last stands on rocky outcrops.

Range Wars
The town or good ranchers are at the mercy of the bad ranchers. Typical stories involve cowboys, cattle and last stands on rocky outcrops.

The Settled West
This is a town centric setting where the townsfolk are generally good but mild (unless lynching someone). This is the classic law vs the outlaw setting. It can be High Noon, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid or Rio Bravo. The final showdown is usually in the twon rather than at the rocky outcrop.

The Gun is the law
Spagetti westerns introduced the west where there is no law but the gun.  Life is tough and you have to fight for everything you want. Think Fistfull of Dollars, Once upon a time in the West and Deadwood.

Any thoughts or comments?

Martin
Logged
Matt Snyder
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1380


WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2006, 05:43:16 AM »

This is a pretty good categorization. I think there are a few finer distinctions, and many movies mix it up.  Pale Rider, for exmaple, is probably a mix of your The Settled West an The Gun is the Law.

Also, you mention that the Indians are the bad guys until about the 70s. So, where do Dances With Wolves, A Man Called Horse, Geronimo, etc. fit in? Seems like there's another category there that doesn't quite fit the Cavalry, Indians and Wagon Trains bit.

This gives me some great ammo for a quick synopsis of the West, one of the bits I haven't yet tackled in the text. Thanks, Martin!
Logged

Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Martin Higham
Member

Posts: 26


« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2006, 12:09:57 AM »

Of the three you mention Geronimo is the only one before the 70's. The question is, if the players take predominantly native american roles is the setting changed? Probably bettert to rename the sub-genre - Indian Wars. I can think of very few Westerns that are entirely Native American centric with no reference to the cavalry, army or invasion.

Somehow I've managed to miss Pale Rider so can't comment - off to the dvd library I go

Martin

Logged
Matt Snyder
Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 1380


WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2006, 05:52:05 AM »

Of the three you mention Geronimo is the only one before the 70's. The question is, if the players take predominantly native american roles is the setting changed? Probably bettert to rename the sub-genre - Indian Wars. I can think of very few Westerns that are entirely Native American centric with no reference to the cavalry, army or invasion.

Somehow I've managed to miss Pale Rider so can't comment - off to the dvd library I go

Martin


Actually, I was thinking of the 90s film Geronimo with Wes Studi in the title role. It's been long enough now that I don't recall the film very well, and can't really say whether it's a good film. My hazy memory of it is that it does a passable, if tragic, job of sympathizing with Geronimo and the Apaches. (My hazy memory also recalls that it's told largely through the eyes of the 'good guy' white-guy cavalryman amid all the corrupt other white guys.) Indian Wars works, either way, though!
Logged

Matt Snyder
www.chimera.info

"The future ain't what it used to be."
--Yogi Berra
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!