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THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WESTERN

by Tadzio Bonaparte

“In the troubled aftermath of World War II a new breed of western emerged, borrowing elements of film noir to present a very different kind of hero to the one who had ridden West in search of land, liberty and the pursuit of happiness in the triumphant expansionist dramas of the 1920s and 30s. Obsessive, violent and often masochistic, these angry, alienated protagonists lent the films psychological depth and moral complexity, helping to reinvigorate the genre and better enable it to grapple with the socio-political concerns of the Cold War era.” (Graham Fuller, Sight & Sound, May 2016)