Modern Westerns: "Cat Ballou" and "The Wild Bunch" Film Review by The Hanged Man

Modern Westerns: "Cat Ballou" and "The Wild Bunch"
A study of the western genre in the modern period of Hollywood cinema.
# 67975 | 2,747 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Jul 26, 2006 in Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)

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This paper examines the Hollywood western in Hollywood's modern period. To illustrate the changing nature of cinema and how the western reflected this, two films are shown to be exemplary of the times: "Cat Ballou" and "The Wild Bunch." The two movies are analyzed based on the trends that they set and by how far they broke away from the mold set by classical Hollywood cinema.

From the Paper:

"In Hollywood's modernist period, filmmakers were finding that the western was becoming something of an anachronsim. The dichotomous view of good and evil, savage minority characters, insistence upon high moral standards, and strict codes of conduct are just a few elements that typified the genre but didn't help its cause in the face of a society in flux. In the face of the Vietnam war and revolutions in both sexuality and civil rights, could people really identify with the genre anymore? Hollywood's solution to the western problem was one that typified the modernist period: they experimented, taking the genre in directions that it had never gone before. What we see in two exemplary modernist westerns, Cat Ballou and The Wild Bunch, is intense experimentation within the myth, conventions, and iconography of its predecessors. By doing so, the two films allow their viewers to gain uncanny insights into both how grounded the classical and post classical westerns were in terms of genre, and to what degree the modern period was able to successfully able to break away."

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Modern Westerns: "Cat Ballou" and "The Wild Bunch" (2006, July 26) Retrieved October 14, 2019, from

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"Modern Westerns: "Cat Ballou" and "The Wild Bunch"" 26 July 2006. Web. 14 October. 2019. <>