FilmGenresMidterm - Samie Hartley COMM 296 Midterm Paper...

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Samie Hartley COMM 296 Midterm Paper 2/3/16 Frontierswomen and Floozies: The Evolution of Women in the Western When most people picture a western, spaghetti or otherwise, they often picture an arid landscape of frontier commanded by a lone hero in buckskins or a poncho. They are either morally pure or entertainingly vague, but either way, for a long time they dominated the screen. If there were women in Westerns, they were put into one or the other of two very old roles: the whore or the housewife. If there was a woman around, she was either a smooth- talking saloon girl or a nurturing prairie wife and mother, who more than likely made the best apple pie in those there parts. That’s how it was for a while anyway. After a while, the roles of women in the Western started to evolve, becoming more independent and less interchangeable. It’s been a fascinating evolution to watch, especially if you’re a Barbara Stanwyck fan. Looking back, the American west was an area commanded by men, with just a little smattering of ladies as the frontier evolved. That implies it's conceivable to recount a decent western story without ladies, similar to men appearing to be on the fringe of the female melodramas of the 1930’s and 40’s. In any case, since love and romance has dependably been a solid component of the motion pictures, there have dependably been parts for ladies in western stories, as well. Once in a while, contingent upon acting, writing and execution, female characters can make overwhelming contributions to the plot. Complex ladies in
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westerns are sufficiently uncommon, yet the few that appeared were often obscured by claims that their film was overly contemporary, overly sexual or just plain insane. As though every
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  • Spring '14
  • CharlesM.Chilcoat
  • Cowboy, motion pictures, Sergio Leone, Western excludes Greed

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