ô€‚ƒ12 - appearance their uncleanliness and their evil expressions • The hero has to fight them alone – what allows him to

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° McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) o What happens to American movies in the 1970s involves a systematic commitment to reverse or undermine all of the commitments to which any given genre belongs o To borrow from Harold Bloom, “ruin the sacred truths” – this is what happens to film in this era o McCabe and Mrs. Miller is in conversation with the whole history of the Western, going all the way back to the silent era. o The arrival of the fire engine – it’s a symbol of the fact that the town has become respectable enough to have institutions like a fire company o Of course, the use of the fire engine is a comically inept scene – it evokes the era of slapstick comedy o McCabe and Mrs. Miller asks its viewers to think especially about two older Westerns: ° High Noon • Clip: the opening sequence of High Noon • Note that it begins with a ballad, like many Westerns • Note that the bad guys are marked by their dark
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Unformatted text preview: appearance, their uncleanliness, and their evil expressions • The hero has to fight them alone – what allows him to survive is in part his greater knowledge of the physical geography of the town o This same pattern is clearly present at the end of McCabe and Mrs. Miller • Note that our introduction to the town comes via church bells and the appearance of the church ° My Darling Clementine • The central energies of this film are very close to those of McCabe and Mrs. Miller – except that they’re the obverse of each other • The classic Western is always about the creation of a civilized community out of a savage and chaotic wilderness • The looming rock formations of John Ford’s setting suggests the smallness of human endeavors • The hero kills with impunity, but he’s nervous around women • Notice the flags – there’s always an implicit patriotism in classic Westerns...
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course ENG ENG2101 taught by Professor Daveshaaw during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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