Reframing Cult Westerns: From The Magnificent Seven to The Hateful Eight

Lee Broughton’s new edited collection ‘Reframing Cult Westerns: From The Magnificent Seven to The Hateful Eight’ (Bloomsbury, 2020) is out now.

Key films covered include John Sturges’s The Magnificent Seven (1960), Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Robert Altman’s McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971) and Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull’s History Lesson (1976), Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate (1980), Walter Hill’s The Long Riders (1980), William Wiard’s Tom Horn (1980), Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo (1970), Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Whity (1971), Werner Wallroth’s Blood Brothers (Blutsbrüder, 1975), Dean Reed’s Sing, Cowboy, Sing (1981), John Hillcoat’s The Proposition (2005), Herschel Gordon Lewis’s Two Thousand Maniacs! (1964), Sergio Garrone’s Django the Bastard (Django il bastardo, 1969), George Hickenlooper’s Grey Knight (1993), Alex Turner’s Dead Birds (2004), Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja (2014), Kristian Levring’s The Salvation (2014), John Maclean’s Slow West (2015), Martin Koolhoven’s Brimstone (2016), Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant (2015), Sergio Corbucci’s The Great Silence (Il grande silenzio, 1968), Joaquín Romero Marchent’s Cut-Throats Nine (Condenados a vivir, 1972), Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained (2012) and The Hateful Eight (2015).

“Once the backbone of Hollywood production, the Western film has - since the 1960s - moved to the margins, often into the world of midnight movies and cults. Most studies of the Western tend to lose interest in the genre when it ceased to be mainstream - which is precisely where Reframing Cult Westerns begins. The various essays in the book, curated by Lee Broughton, examine films which set out to be cults, and films which didn’t but which have turned into cults over time. They revisit classic Westerns through the prism of more recent generic developments. They treat the Western as a global text, including examples from Australia and Argentina, Mexico and Italy, Denmark and Scotland, East and West Germany. The result is not only a reframing of some cult Westerns, but a reframing of our understanding of the Western film. Maybe it hasn’t headed for the last roundup after all…”
Christopher Frayling, Professor Emeritus of Cultural History, Royal College of Art, UK and author of Once Upon a Time in Italy (2002) and Sergio Leone (2000)

“Lee Broughton has compiled an exciting collection of essays that draws together a range of contemporary approaches to studying the cult Western. For anyone wanting to find out why the genre remains crucial for our understanding of the United States and its role in the world, and for anyone interested in making sense of the genre’s place within a global cultural context, this is a must-have book.”
John White, Senior Lecturer in Film and Media, Anglia Ruskin University, UK

“An adventurous and illuminating collection, throwing light on many marginal, even eccentric films, and demonstrating that the Western still has many ways of exciting and intriguing us.”
Edward Buscombe, editor of The BFI Companion to the Western (1988)

“Seen through the lens of cult cinema, the Western, that most familiar of movie genres, takes on exciting and often unexpected new meanings. Whether providing fresh perspectives on familiar works or drawing our attention to understudied films and trends, these essays serve as a valuable reminder of the Western’s vibrancy over the past half-century, and of the expressive possibilities it still offers filmmakers today.”
Dr. Andrew Patrick Nelson, Associate Professor of Film Studies, University of Utah, USA

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