Western Films

On the topic of genre, I guess I’ve discovered western is not my favorite. However, there are some extremely easy to spot commonalities between western films that can probably be generalized to fit the general description of most western films. This was made even clearer to me by watching both Django and Sukiyaki Western Django, two western films that when compared prove that no matter how different they may appear, they are probably more similar than expected. Even in a Japanese western film versus an American western film- two things you probably wouldn’t think would have that much in common- most things were the same with the exception of some props and a few cultural symbols and decorations.

Mainly, the overall storyline of westerns seems to be the same: two sides fight to until one side wins and in between those two events, there’s a coffin and usually a few quick cut fight scenes with a female spectator who doesn’t really serve much purpose as an actual human being. The setting, no matter the country, is apparently also always an old abandoned, rundown town with lots of dust and one long deserted street down the middle. There’s also pretty much always a bar or another place that both sides can gather and duke out some battle for power. Something else I noticed about western films is the music…it’s always very similar. There’s typically a tune that is played multiple times throughout and comes in at times of the movie when there is a similar action going on.

Maybe it’s the all the dust or maybe it’s the repetitive storyline and characters, but the western films I’ve seen are all somewhat boring and pretty predictable. I’d definitely say the form of western movies is: ABABABABABABABAB all the way until 90 minutes later, there’s a C.

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One thought on “Western Films

  1. I also think that western films are too boring and predictable. The plots are nearly the same, as we see in both Yojimbo and A Fistful of Dollars and both Djangos. There is always a deserted town, a damsel in distress, a lone hero, and a lot of gunfight scenes. In western movies, there is more focus on the action and setting than the actual acting. The acting was terrible, mainly because of their exaggerated facial expressions and lack of emotion, especially Django in the first film. I also find it strange how similar two movies from two different cultures can be. Even though one film was Japanese and the other American, there are so many similarities in the style, plot, music, and acting in the film. The extra-diegetic music always plays a large role in western films, as it heightens the suspense of the action in the film.

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