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Why Spaghetti Westerns Should Be Simply Westerns It is argued that true Westerns all conform to the same mold of the prewar Westerns A lonely hero who wanders the West looking to settle down but is never able to give up the violent life he has led John Cawelti says the Western takes place on the border between two lands between two eras and with a hero who remains divided between two value systems Altman 220 Schatz describes the Western world as one of a precarious balance in which forces of civilization and savagery are locked in a struggle for supremacy p 47 I do not believe this description allows for the inclusion of many Westerns created before the First World War beginning with The Great Train Robbery 1903 and after the Second World War In fact despite The Great Train Robberys widespread acceptance as the first Western it is considered to be a mix of the travel genre and the railway subgenre Altman 34 His definition only truly suits the movies made during the height of the Western genre between the 1930s and the 1950s p 46 I will be focusing on two films that are known to be quite illustrative of their respective Western niches The Searchers 1956 and For a Few Dollars More 1965 I intend to show that an American Western by an American director may be differently styled but in no sense more of a Western than one from an Italian director with a very different adaptation of the genre The Western hero exists on the periphery of both the community and the wilderness and never loses touch with either The hero is motivated to uphold civilization by his own code of honor This often leads him to acts of vengeance Schatz 51 The Searchers stars John Wayne who plays the role of Ethan who has recently returned home from the Civil War and is looking to
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