Movie Book of the Western - Ian Cameron & Douglas PyeLondon: Studio Vista, 1996, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Top edge of the text block tanned near the gutter.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Frontispiece;
From the cover: “The Western is back in fashion with the film industry, the critics and the public. The enormous success of Glint Eastwood’s Unforgiven and Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves has prompted a rediscovery of the genre and has been followed by a flood of new Westerns.
Although the history of the Western film can be traced back to Edwin S. Porter’s The Great Train Robbery (1903) and its prehistory to the pioneering tales of James Fenimore Cooper, the genre spent its first three and a half decades mainly lurking in the low-budget confines of two-reelers, serials and B-features, emerging to show its spectacular potential only in the occasional epic such as James Cruze’s The Covered Wagon (1923) and John Ford’s The Iron Horse (1924). Then, in 1939, the Western arrived dramatically in the mainstream of the cinema with an astonishing succession of major films including Ford’s Stagecoach (which made John Wayne into a big star) and Drums along the Mohawk, Michael Curtiz’s Dodge City, Henry King’s Jesse James and George Marshall’s Destry Rides Again (with Marlene Dietrich, an unlikely Western star who returned to the genre, with great effect, in Fritz Lang’s Rancho Notorious).
The Movie Book of the Western concentrates on the period between 1939 and the present day, looking at the Western from a wide variety of perspectives and providing in-depth critical analyses of many notable movies up to Tombstone (1993) and Wyatt Earp (1994). The coverage includes such celebrated works as George Stevens’s Shane with Alan Ladd as the archetypal solitary Western hero, Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar where the combatants in the final gunfight are Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge, and King Vidor’s Duel in the Sun with its orgasmic climax when Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones shoot each other down and then claw their way towards a dying embrace.
The text, mainly written by film critics and academics associated with Movie magazine, is aimed at the informed filmgoer as well as the film student and is illustrated throughout with stills that capture the flavour of the Western.”