Genre theory and john fords stagecoach essay

I still got a Starbucks coffee by saying "a medium coffee please. The close proximity of adverse events such as the Great Depression and WWII took a toll on the American economy and what resulted was a paradigm shift in American economic policy and concepts.

Genre theory and john fords stagecoach essay

Most contentiously, he mandates that the narrative focus upon the individual hero's plight to assert his identity, and diminishes the importance of secondary characters and issues, or any tendency toward "social drama. It would be nearly impossible to declare Stagecoach a non-western by either Warshow's own generic criteria or the expectations of the genre viewer, yet the film clearly conveys the more individuated social concerns of its director.

While Warshow claims that this perversion of the norm threatens to make the genre uninteresting, I believe the contrary to be true. Subverting the expectations of the genre, while still functioning within the language of the "western" is what makes Stagecoach a powerful film, and legitimizes the notion of genre itself.

The traits cited by Warshow as compulsory for the "western" are extensive. Most elements concern the figure of the melancholy cowboy hero, who is certainly present in Stagecoach in the personage of Ringo. The hero usually exhibits a certain leisure, an ambiguity of occupation, a nonchalant mode of interpersonal relations, and is easily recognizable by his unchanging dusty white clothes.

Other elements expected by the "western" viewer include the importance of the vast landscape in relation to the men upon it; the figures of the morally ambiguous marshall, the cultured Eastern lady, the understanding yet fallen prostitute and the "bad guy"; and the conflict between nature and civilization, usually represented by Apaches and white settlers respectively.

Lastly, the most general and material characteristic of a "western" is its setting on the American western frontier in the late 's.

Each of these motives is evident in Ford's Stagecoach ; however, there are several conventions of the "western" which the director intentionally manipulates, which exceed altering the traits of the actor who plays the lead role.

The first convention varied by Ford is the hero's expected relationships with two different types of women. The generic first lady is the refined Eastern "schoolmarm" character. She represents the paradigm of civilized virtue, and as such fails to understand the cowboy's need for revenge, to do Genre theory and john fords stagecoach essay he has to do.

This second woman understands the cowboy's code in a way that the cultured woman cannot. In the conventional "western", the hero often ends up with the "lady", but his choice is excused by the "convenient" accidental death of the saloon girl, usually due to a stray bullet.

However, as Warshow says, the hero should not actively pursue love, rather it "is at best an irrelevance. The usual nonchalance in love is replaced in Ringo, who proposes to Dallas very early in the film's action, by a genuine interest in settling down.

In the end, in fact, it is his domestic future with Dallas that saves him "from the blessings of civilization. Mallory can be identified as representing the Easterner, but she is never really available to Ringo as she is married.

The normal task of protecting the "lady" against the harsher elements of the desert is for the most part neglected by the hero, and attended to only by the enigmatic Southern gambler, Mr. Mallory's strictly-guarded virtue is viewed by the audience as unnecessary, hurtful, and hypocritical, as well as by Ringo, who identifies with Dallas from the onset, referring to her as "the other lady.

Therefore, the film demonstrates both the problem of Mrs. Mallory's assumptions about Dallas, and how the former must come to appreciate and value the latter. Likewise, Dallas is not simply the stereotypical fallen woman; rather she possesses the unusual prospect of redeeming both the hero and herself through the actualization of a domestic lifestyle.

This potential is never ascribed to the conventional saloon girl, who rarely survives to the end of the action. Also unusual is Dallas's concern for Ringo's well-being; the saloon girl is usually more like the one who tosses the rifle at Luke Plummer before the shoot-out.

According to genre convention, Dallas, should be understanding of Ringo's need to face the enemies, yet she is like the refined "lady" in other "westerns", entreating Ringo not to fight, not to risk death or their potential domestic future.

By subtly changing what we expect of certain characters, or trading aspects among them, Ford uses the code of the "western" genre in a way which enables the creation of new meaning out of an established form. Another way in which Stagecoach subverts the standards of the "western" is through manipulation of notions of mobility and freedom.

In the film's conventional form, the male hero's relation to his horse may be the most important. The horse is his one "trusty" companion, his only stand-by in the isolation of society.

Warshow also identifies the horse as a symbol of the extensive personal mobility afforded the individual hero upon the frontier. It is striking to the viewer to meet Ringo, stranded in the middle of the desert without a horse, with neither companion nor mobility.

Warshow would accuse Ford of adding insult to injury when Ringo's expected freedom and mobility are further compromised: The solitary figure of the hero suddenly becomes one who must both integrate into the flux of societal interaction, and use his potential to ease the interactions of others within the construct, as shown by his constant efforts to treat Dallas with the same care as is received by Mrs.

Thus the stagecoach becomes a conceptual vehicle for society, and the hero's mandate to function within it.

This would be problematic for Warshow, who views any attempt to show the hero "as the one dominant figure in a complex social order" as breaking the pattern and potence of the "western. Here, the limitations of Warshow's theory are evident, as rather than causing the "western" to become "uninteresting", Ford's introduction of the hero's social functions gives the film an entirely new depth, and allows it to address certain issues such as anti-materialism and anti-elitism.

Even in his final get-away, when Ringo rides into the free horizon, the conventions of mobility are craftily manipulated. The hero is not alone with his trusty steed, but is on the wagon with his future bride. Furthermore, the traditional cliched image of riding into a sunset, an indicator that the hero's story is ending, now that he has killed his enemy, is changed in Stagecoach to the image of riding into a sunrise.

This reversal from the norm illustrates that although Ringo's mission all-along was indeed to kill the Plummers in revenge for his father and brother, there is life after the shoot-out, a life of naturalized, redeeming domesticity on an "uncultured" new frontier.Below is an essay on "Auteur Theory - John Ford" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Auteur Theory – John Ford. A director’s film reflects a personal creative vision as if he were the primary auteur.

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The History Of The Western Film Genre Film Studies Essay. John Ford and Stagecoach’s screen writer, Dudley Nicholls ask the questions “will the group on the stagecoach fight the Indians and survive or die and will Ringo survive, get caught, or die?” Both films also question women’s roles in the western genre.

Westerns up to the. On John Ford's Stagecoach Serious Westerns weren't in fashion in when John Ford and company went to Monument Valley to shoot Stagecoach. In , Ford and his cast and crew reminisced in the DGA's Action magazine about making a film that truly changed the genre.

Genre theory and john fords stagecoach essay

With the coming of sound in the late 's, westerns like Victor Flemming's The Virginian and John Fords Stagecoach would set the elements and typify the straightforward heroic tales that would dominate the classic stage of the genre until the 's.

/5(3). May 25,  · To conclude, I believe that from widely looking at John Ford, his films, John Wayne, the Western genre and taking into account Andrew Sarris and François Truffaut’s ‘Auteur Theory’, I believe that I am able to conclude that John Ford can be considered an Auteur Theorist of the Western Genre.

Genre Theory and John Ford's Stagecoach Essay Words | 8 Pages Genre Theory and John Ford's Stagecoach The analytic theory posited by Robert Warshow in his essay "The Westerner", itemizes the elements necessary for a film to belong to the genre of the "western".

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