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Mary Kenny

If you want to understand America, watch a Western

Mary Kenny


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Favourite: Lee Marvin and James Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Favourite: Lee Marvin and James Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Favourite: Lee Marvin and James Stewart in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Since we've been so engaged by American politics - between the November election and the January inauguration - I recently decided to explore US history and culture through a well-established medium: the cowboy Western. So I watched 15 classic Western films, one after another.

I'd never been a follower of the Western - regarding it as boys' entertainment - but it is recognised as an original genre which illuminates the American story.

Some compare it to Greek drama, Japanese epics, or even opera, with its own set pieces, scenes and arias.


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