You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Westerns roam H’wood range again

For generations of filmgoers, the Oscar/box office success of “Unforgiven” and “Dances With Wolves” and such TV fare as “Lonesome Dove” is sweet revenge for the naysayers who claimed the Western genre was dead. Give ’em a good shootout and they will come.

A total of six gun sagas and sagebrush dramas are a fixin’ to corral a new audience. But it’s been fully two decades since oaters were a significant staple of the production diet.

Eastwood deserves a special award as the man who picked up John Wayne’s mantle and kept the Western alive when all others were moving into science-fiction and buddy-cop movies. “Pale Rider” ranked as the 13th top grosser in 1985, a year that also saw the revisionist “Silverado” chew up a lot of dust.

Between 1975 and 1985, Eastwood was virtually the only rider on the horizon. The others included more modern variants such as “Urban Cowboy” and “The Electric Horseman.”

Just one year earlier, four Westerns were among the year’s top 10 –“Blazing Saddles,””The Trial of Billy Jack” and reissues of the original “Billy Jack” and “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

Just prior to 1974, the marketplace embraced both traditional fare such as “The Cowboys” and 1970’s second-biggest grosser, the offbeat “Little Big Man.”

However, for die-hards, 1969 was the last great ride. Audiences experienced cinematic saddle sores from Butch and Sundance, “True Grit,””The Wild Bunch, “”Once Upon a Time in the West,””Support Your Local Sheriff” and a passle of others including Burt and Raquel in “100 Rifles” and the Duke in “The Undefeated.”

More TV

  • Andrea Riseborough Nancy

    Gabriel Byrne, Andrea Riseborough, Amazon Board Cocaine Drama ‘ZeroZeroZero’

    For generations of filmgoers, the Oscar/box office success of “Unforgiven” and “Dances With Wolves” and such TV fare as “Lonesome Dove” is sweet revenge for the naysayers who claimed the Western genre was dead. Give ’em a good shootout and they will come. A total of six gun sagas and sagebrush dramas are a fixin’ […]

  • Nordic Noir Gets Tropical Twist With

    Nordic Noir Gets Tropical Twist With Canary-set ‘Crimeshare’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    For generations of filmgoers, the Oscar/box office success of “Unforgiven” and “Dances With Wolves” and such TV fare as “Lonesome Dove” is sweet revenge for the naysayers who claimed the Western genre was dead. Give ’em a good shootout and they will come. A total of six gun sagas and sagebrush dramas are a fixin’ […]

  • SCANDAL - "Over A Cliff" -

    'Scandal' Series Finale Recap: The Gladiators Say Goodbye in 'Over A Cliff'

    For generations of filmgoers, the Oscar/box office success of “Unforgiven” and “Dances With Wolves” and such TV fare as “Lonesome Dove” is sweet revenge for the naysayers who claimed the Western genre was dead. Give ’em a good shootout and they will come. A total of six gun sagas and sagebrush dramas are a fixin’ […]

  • Bart Peters

    Former Audience Network Exec Bart Peters Launches Big Branch Productions

    For generations of filmgoers, the Oscar/box office success of “Unforgiven” and “Dances With Wolves” and such TV fare as “Lonesome Dove” is sweet revenge for the naysayers who claimed the Western genre was dead. Give ’em a good shootout and they will come. A total of six gun sagas and sagebrush dramas are a fixin’ […]

  • David Hogg

    TV News Roundup: Freeform, ABC News Team for 'Parkland: For Our Lives' Special

    For generations of filmgoers, the Oscar/box office success of “Unforgiven” and “Dances With Wolves” and such TV fare as “Lonesome Dove” is sweet revenge for the naysayers who claimed the Western genre was dead. Give ’em a good shootout and they will come. A total of six gun sagas and sagebrush dramas are a fixin’ […]

  • Henrik Bastin UTA

    'Bosch' Producer Fabrik Entertainment Signs With UTA (EXCLUSIVE)

    For generations of filmgoers, the Oscar/box office success of “Unforgiven” and “Dances With Wolves” and such TV fare as “Lonesome Dove” is sweet revenge for the naysayers who claimed the Western genre was dead. Give ’em a good shootout and they will come. A total of six gun sagas and sagebrush dramas are a fixin’ […]

  • Pilot -- Upon learning that Lesley

    CBS Pulls Comedy 'Living Biblically' Off Schedule

    For generations of filmgoers, the Oscar/box office success of “Unforgiven” and “Dances With Wolves” and such TV fare as “Lonesome Dove” is sweet revenge for the naysayers who claimed the Western genre was dead. Give ’em a good shootout and they will come. A total of six gun sagas and sagebrush dramas are a fixin’ […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content