Good sites for American and other non-Italian westerns

(The Great Duck) #1

I’m a big fan of westerns in general, so I was curious are there any sites similar to SWDB that cover non-Italian westerns?
As SWDB’s already got a lot of info on other Eurowesterns beside spags too, I’m mostly interested in the sites about the American ones.

(kit saginaw) #2

This site’s the best one… Take some time and scan-thru the threads.

America basically dropped the cake around 1970, and international Westerns rescued the genre from the graveyard that Hollywood was dragging it toward.

(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #3

I’d be interested in this too but I don’t think there are any other “wiki” type sites that cover westerns.

(scherpschutter) #4

I started a western site a while ago, but I’m not sure if I’ll continue (for this reason I only made some publicity on facebook)
There’s no forum, only a shoutbox.

On the other hand, a few guys here had (or still have) a forum about westerns, I don’t remember the name.

Here’s my site, it’s still in an experimental stage:

(John Welles) #5

Nice site Sherp, and I love the title: SherpshutterLand!

(The Great Duck) #6

Eh? Wasn’t that also the time when the spaghettis also started going downhill? Not to mention that most notable westerns of the past 35 years came from the USA (The Long Riders, Silverado, Pale Rider, Young Guns I & II, Dances With Wolves, Unforgiven, Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, The Quick and the Dead…just to name a few) …Can’t really think of many international ones from this time period.

(Stanton) #7

The dropping took place after 1976. At that time the SW was more or less dead for 3 years, even if Keoma was some last hurrah.

Since then westerns only sporadically appear.

(scherpschutter) #8

[i]The dropping took place after 1976. At that time the SW was more or less dead for 3 years, even if Keoma was some last hurrah.

Since then westerns only sporadically appear.[/i]

Yes, 1976 is usually called the crucial year: John Wayne (the all-American hero and the actor most identified with the genre) died, Clint Eastwood (in many ways his heir) made the classic Josey Wales, and in Italy Castellari gave the spaghetti western its last hurrah with Keoma.

(Stanton) #9

Wayne did not die then (that happened 3 years later), but made his last western in 76, which was a real twilight western, which became the fitting end to what once was started by Ride the High Country and then took over the US western in the late 60s and 70s.
Other westerns which were highly expected then were The Missouri Breaks (A. Penn) and Buffalo Bill and the Indians (R. Altman), but both got only mixed reviews and did not make much money. Altman’s even became a total flop.

Between these and the gravediggering Heaven’s Gate (1980) noticeably few westerns were produced, and none of them left an impact. Even Walter Hill’s The Longriders (1979) made only clear that the genre was filmed to death and was thematically dried out.

(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #10

The western was already sick by the 70s but Heaven’s gate was like a bullet to the brain for the genre. Even in the 70s, less films were being made but the ones being made were still at least profiting. That all changed with Heavens gate, one of the biggest money losers of the 80s. From that point on, westerns basically ceased being a genre that you can actually make money on, with the exception of Dances with Wolves, Unforgiven, the true grit remake, and a few others (young guns, pale rider), the number of western films since Heavens Gate which were actually considered hits for the studio can be be counted on one hand. More often than not, westerns lose money, The Alamo, Jonah Hex etc… and the upcoming Lone Ranger movie is going to lose money for sure. Even an excellent western like 3:10 to Yuma barely made back its production and print and advertising costs, and thats only because it had strong home video sales. Nowadays Hollywood relies on films that are not westerns but have western elements to turn in a profit. An example of this would be No Country for Old Men, as well as the Book of Eli.

(scherpschutter) #11

Wayne did not die then (that happened 3 years later), but made his last western in 76

That’s of course true, I mixed up two things: The Shooting, his symbolic death in '76, and his real death in '79.

Doesn’t make much difference for the reasoning though: 1976 was the crucial year, the symbolic end of the genre.

(ENNIOO) #12

The 70’s was an interesting decade though for me for U.S westerns even though the decline was there. The violent and cynical approach of alot of 70’s westerns has always been something I enjoy.

(John Welles) #13

1976: the death of the Western? I’m not so sure. Of course, from a retrospective perspective (try saying that with your mouth full!) it ties up everything very neatly and all, but no one in that year would’ve felt that this was “the end” (except for Spaghetti Westerns, but the rot had set in in 1970 and it was inevitable that the genre would go quickly; it had made it’s point, done wonderous things, gone beyond it’s mandate beautifully as a politician would say, but for the director’s there was nowhere else seemingly to go but parody). In fact, people back then would have felt that it was a pretty good year for everyone’s favourite genre. 1980, with the catastophe of Heaven’s Gate shot down the Western, which is why the 1980’s, in particular the early years, were subsequently so barren. Even worse, it destroyed American auterism, the New Hollywood movement of the 1970’s and was a real turning point for Hollywood. In fact, I would say the Hollywood of today was born in that year.

(Stanton) #14

No, 1976 was the seminal year. When in 1979 3 westerns were shown at the Cannes film festival critics already asked if this would be the comeback of the genre, but all 3 made no money, all 3 had nothing new to offer, all 3 hadn’t any impact. and there were no major westerns between The Shootist and Heaven’s Gate. An ambitious film like Comes a Horsemen (star packed and directed by a prominent director) was not even released in Germany.

Actually in the 2 years before 76 the decline was clearly visible (likewise in the SW), and The Shootist was as fitting for a “last western” as a western could be.

1976 was the last great year of the genre.
Heaven’s Gate made only absolutely clear what was obvious since then.

(John Welles) #15

In 1976, the Western was dying. It had been for years; that year though, was then seen as a sort of comeback; they made money. The Westerns of 1979 would’ve been in production and look suddenly a lot more attractive to the studios - “hey, we could turn a major dime here with this”. However, in '79 they all lost money. Heaven’s Gate was the last major Western in the sense that the genre had continued however inconsistently from the silent era to then. After it, there was nothing and only the occasional one made. So that the genre, in so-ill health previously, that had neared death a few years before finally gave out it’s death rattle.

(Stanton) #16

I still opt for 1976

(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #17

Argument can be made either way, I tend to veer towards 1980. 1976 was the cancer, 1980 was the tombstone.

(ENNIOO) #18

Can see the argument for 1976, but there is a fair few westerns I like which were made in 1977 to 1981. May not have made loads of cash, but stars like Steve McQueen and Bud Spencer still starred in a western between 1977 and 1981. With Charles Bronson even making two in this period, if you count Deathunt as a western which I do. So I lean more towards 1980 myself.