The teacher of the film studies class at daughter’s high school is looking for a Western to replace “Stagecoach” in the curriculum (so he can watch something different).
Also considering adding a documentary (preferably with a thematic element of empathy for people who are different)
He is also toying with the idea of replacing “Singing in the Rain” as a Musical.
(For Western daughter suggested “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”. I added “The Searchers” as a possibility.)
(For musicals I suggested “Umbrellas of Cherbourg” or “West Side Story” but that “Singing in the Rain” is a really good choice. Daughter said those are exactly the recommendations she gave him.)
The Sheepman (for something different)
Rio Bravo and Destry Rides Again are two westerns that come to mind as films that both teacher and students could enjoy, and discuss afterward. Can’t help much with the musical choice, as I am only a recent convert, but based on reputation, how about Meet Me In St. Louis, An American In Paris, or Seven Brides For Seven Brothers? It’s nice that the teacher is taking input from students about the curriculum for the course. I wish my son’s high school had a film studies class.
Western- The Fastest Gun Alive
Musical- West Side Story (they already study Romeo and Juliet as freshman)
Thanks for the suggestions.
Dennis, “The Sheepman” looks interesting. I haven’t seen it, but now I want to. Thanks
Western: Seven Men from Now
Musical: The Band Wagon
Western: 100 Rifles (La dirty Welch)
Musical: Snow White (Mexican version)
For a western, you can’t go wrong with Johnny Guitar. As for musical, American Pop may not be appropriate for the kiddies, but I can’t not recommend it.
For the documentary, I’m not certain what you want, but you can try Kirby Dick’s Outrage. It’s about homophobic American politicians who turned out to be gay.
Yes, Johnny Guitar would be an interesting atypical one, raising gender issues.
The Band Wagon is a superb musical, with similarities to Singin in the Rain, though centred on a theatre rather than film production, and Fred as an alternative to Gene.
For documentary, how about Stealing a Nation, about the expendable and atrociously treated Chagos Islanders
I second @Paul Anderson’s musical suggestion of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Singin’ in the Rain has a lot going for it, though. I don’t think I would mind seeing it once a year.
One other musical that is actually a very good representation of the genre is Guys and Dolls, but the movie with Sinatra and Brando is dreadful.
Western: Rio Bravo, or The Big Country
Musical: Blue Skies, or The West Side Story for the Romeo and Juliet aspects, i believe someone else has mentioned this already as well.
Western: I second “The Searchers”
Musical: I understand that the teacher may tire of it, but “Singin’ in the Rain” would be new to his students. Don’t change it. It is the best musical ever and invaluble to a film education. But if you must, “The Band Wagon” is the way to go.
Documentary: “Hearts and Minds” or for some variety and interesting discussion: “Nanook of the North.”
Yeah, I’m tending to think “Singing in the Rain” is pretty much perfect for a first film class.
Daughter will be offering recommendations to the teacher next week.
Thanks for your input, everyone.
I hope the teacher branches out into non-Anglophone cinema- how about an Indian musical like Pakeezah? Or a great documentary like Man with a Movie Camera that should astonish them, a film in love with the possibilities of cinema.
In any event, Singin in the Rain is greatly preferable to West Side Story and does have a film suibject.
The Searchers would be ripe for discussion on racism in the West and Hollywood legend- it’s as troubling as it is beautiful and majestic, while Johnny Guitar offers gender aspects that may appeal
I’m not sure if he already has any non-Anglo movies in the curriculum. I suggested to daughter that she recommend adding a “Bollywood” movie in which case I know she’ll recommend Lagaan.
She also just told me he asked “If I added a Kung Fu movie to film studies, which do think is better— Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Hero”. Her gut reaction was neither since they weren’t real Hong Kong martial arts films, which are what we in the states have referred to for decades as “Kung-Fu flicks”. She asked me for suggestions and, while I gave her a list of them, the one I finally settled on as my recommendation was The Legend of Fong Sai Yuk.
The racism issue as well as some of the iconic Western imagery were what drew me to The Searchers as a good choice for a Western.
I don’t envy the teacher trying to pick movies for a one semester film studies class. so much good stuff inevitably gets left out.
Oh, and he may be adding Princess Mononoke for animation.
High school is not kindergarten , guys
Well, he could kill two birds with one stone and just show “Paint Your Wagon.”
Western: Ride Lonesome by Boetticher
Documentary: Nanook of the North by Flaherty
Musical: West Side Story by Robbins and Wise
Musical: Cabaret/All that Jazz/ Moulin Rouge/ Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Western: Dead Man/ Peckinpah Westerns