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Those Old Westerns

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Generally speaking, I probably have a few years on you . . .


Just the same, you might remember some of these . . .

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I lived all of that. The big screen acting, filming, editing, and plots were primitive by 2008 standards but that is what we had.

Saturday matinee serial episodes and "Pathe News" (with dramatic two week old film of WWII scenes) was the big deal.


Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.


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It seems that the Western as a genre has pretty much run its course. Kids grow up with Transformers and talking books, not cap guns and Tonka trucks, or even Hot Wheels. And, baby dolls that went "waaa" when turned over have given way to Barbie dolls that trot out the dating game to the delight of our five-year-old little girls. Bicycles and doll houses have given way to texting and cell phones. This generation doesn't find romance in the frontiers of our grandfathers. We ARE their grandfathers. They are the digital natives.

Consider the most active moviegoers, the age group 14 through 30. They were born between 1978 and 1994. The Viet Nam war was over before they were born. They were between 7 and 22 years old when 9/11 happened. They don't know what a typewriter is, and a clutch pedal has about the same meaning to them as a spark advance lever on the steering wheel has to us.

What's a Western Movie to these people? Perhaps about the same as a Renaissance move to us, and they happen about as often -- one every few years. A really good Western, with 21st Century movie-making capabilities, and a script, actors, and execution to match -- a move forward with the best Hollywood has to offer now, not a retro-movie? Perhaps a blockbuster.

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