- Series: Quality Paperbacks Series
- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Da Capo Press (August 21, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 030680333X
- ISBN-13: 978-0306803338
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 7.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,971,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Western Films (Quality Paperbacks Series) Paperback – August 21, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
Garfied is a purist who favors Westerns from a earlier period of time- Westerns that do not stay too far from their mythic and literary roots. He hates, in no particular order, "Spaghetti Westerns," the auteur theory, (auteur fave Howard Hawks is a repeated target) self-consious artiness, and ulimately, much produced after the Kennedy assination (save for THE WILD BUNCH which Garfield repeatedly considers a masterpiece but exhibits all the characteristics of Vietnam era Westerns that Garfied supposedly despises. Go figure.). Garfield also turns a blind eye to "B-Westerns." Oaters starring the likes of Roy Rodgers and Gene Autry are mostly a "trite trife," and best left for other "historians, stunt-action fans and nostalgic programmer-buffs." Whether you agree with him or not, Garfied ultimately bleeds the fun out of Westerns and offers a world without an interesting thing to say about Clint Eastwood, Sergio Leone, RIO BRAVO, or the attributes of, say, Hopalong Cassidy. It's a world that I'll visit from time to time, but one that I quickly vanish on the noon time stagecoach.
I can not begin to count the number of times over the past twenty years I have picked up this book, I may not agree 100% with the authors comment's but I have never found a anyone else writing on film who comes closer to my own views, and I think the same would be true of most fans of the American "adult" western.
The book may be almost 25 years old, but that is no problem. Because how many films have people like
Ben Johnson, Randolph Scott, John Wayne, Glen Ford, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Stewart, Slim Pickens, Lee Van Cleef,Fred MacMurray and Audie Murphy made in the years since?
He's the kind of writer who simply has to say something negative in almost any review he writes, sometimes even when he likes the film.
Having said all that it is a fun read is you're in tune with the author's bitchy worldview.
Garfield no doubt gives credit to writers because he's a writer himself. He wrote the book that "Death Wish" was based on and many others, including Westerns, two of which were made into movies, "The Last Hard Men" and the TV miniseries "Wild Times".
The rest of the book is the best part, of course - reviews of every Western you can name up until 1980. What makes these critiques better than the average review guide is Garfield's opinionated approach and his excellent writing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent, albeit quirky survey of the western film, Brian Garfield's is by no means the only book a western fan should have but it's a valuable addition to any classic film buff's... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Chillerama
I found this to be an interesting book and of value to the western movie collector. I agree with his take on movies after the late 60's and the B-Western. Read morePublished on February 5, 2013 by Nochangeleft
I have nothing new to add here. Maybe the single most biased book on film I have ever read. Granted, Garfield isn't alone in his distaste for the more recent versions of his... Read morePublished on May 30, 2011 by L. DiSalvo
WOW! This is a seriously smoking guide/critique of Western films.Mr. Garfield is an excellent writer; his choice of wording and sentence structure is outstanding. Read morePublished on July 7, 2002 by Dirk