SAC 331 - Film Genres and Types
Section: 003 Westerns
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Screen Arts and Cultures (SAC)
Department: LSA Film, Television, and Media
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
With permission of instructor.
Lab Fee:
Advisory Prerequisites:
SAC 236.
May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

For decades Westerns were Hollywood’s most popular genre, appealing to people worldwide. This extraordinary popularity fell off in the United States in the 1970s largely due to the effect of the Vietnam war on our notions of heroism and of good and evil. The 1990s, however, showed a renewed interest in Westerns—two won Academy Awards for best picture during that decade: Dances with Wolves (1990) and The Unforgiven (1992). The Cohens’ recent No Country for Old Men and 2016’s Oscar-nominated Hell and High Water draw heavily on the Western genre and testify to the continuing vitality and usefulness of the genre.

Some of Hollywood’s greatest films have been Westerns and every major Hollywood male star acted in them: Gary Cooper, Henry Fonda, John Wayne, James Stewart, Clint Eastwood, Kevin Costner. In this course, we will analyze many of the classics: Stagecoach, The Ox-Bow Incident, Red River, Shane, High Noon, One-Eyed Jacks, The Wild Bunch, Once Upon a Time in the West, Tombstone, to mention just a few.

We will critique these films as dramas — their stories, characters, and structures. We will also consider what it is about Westerns that still speaks to us. We will also examine the Western’s concept of heroism and masculinity, how the genre has used women, and how women’s roles have changed over the decades.

Course Requirements:

There will be two papers, a midterm, and final exam.

Class Format:

Each week the class will meet for two 90-minute lectures as well as a 2-3 hour screening.

SAC 331 - Film Genres and Types
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (LAB)
Tu 4:00PM - 7:00PM
003 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
004 (LAB)
Tu 7:00PM - 10:00PM
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