Western : Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

From an interview with Jonathan Nolan:

http://www.ew.com/article/2016/12/05/westworld-finale-interview


Some of my favorite movies are the Sergio Leone adaptations of the Akira Kurosawa samurai films: The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven. In the period when the Western was the biggest genre in the world, the interplay between Westerns and samurai films in the domestic market in Japan was really cool. On that meta level, those two genres have this almost incestuous relationship with each other.


I knew Westerns used to be bigger than they are today, but I had no idea that they were actually the biggest genre some decades back.

Re: Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

My Total Westerns Seen by Decade (feature films)
2010s - 18
2000s - 2
1990s - 12
1980s - 4
1970s - 38
1960s - 66
1950s - 128
1940s - 54
1930s - 25

Westerns I Rate 7+ (or better)
2010s - 7
2000s - 1
1990s - 3
1980s - 2
1970s - 12
1960s - 19
1950s - 24
1940s - 12
1930s - 4

Re: Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

Hollywood Western Movie Production Figures per year. This does not include TV Westerns that dominated that media between 1950 and 1979 high point year being 1959 with 820 hours of programing.

1930 (82)
1931 (90)
1932 (112)
1933 (97)
1934 (79)
1935 (148)
1936 (133)
1937 (134)
1938 (117)
1939 (118)
1940 (129)
1941 (126)
1942 (121)
1943 (104)
1944 (97)
1945 (81)
1946 (99)
1947 (99)
1948 (112)
1949 (117)
1950 (134)
1951 (103)
1952 (106)
1953 (90)
1954 (68)

The following 1955-1959 list is possibly incomplete

1955 (45)
1956 (58)
1957 (58)
1958 (43)
1959 (35)

Movie Listings by Genre Westerns of the 60-70-80-90-00's Doesn't include the roughly 600 +/- Spaghetti Westerns from roughly 1964 to 1976

1960 (11)
1961 (6)
1962 (6)
1963 (3)
1964 (7)
1965 (12)
1966 (20)
1967 (20)
1968 (21)
1969 (22)
1970 (19)
1971 (22)
1972 (24)
1973 (12)
1974 (5)
1975 (8)
1976 (15)
1977 (3)
1978 (4)
1979 (7)
1980 (7)
1981 (2)
1982 (4)
1983 (2)
1984 (0)
1985 (4)
1986 (7)
1987 (6)
1988 (4)
1989 (2)
1990 (5)
1991 (6)
1992 (1)
1993 (3)
1994 (11)
1995 (4)
1996 (4)
1997 (2)
1998 (2)
1999 (5)

For the 2000's I don't have a way of easily getting a comprehensive list of all the possible Westerns produced so the list below is probably incomplete haven't worked on this since 2008.

2000 (4)
2001 (4)
2002 (1)
2003 (4)
2004 (0)
2005 (3)
2006 (0)
2007 (6)
2008 (2)

Re: Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

Yeah, pretty big back in the 50s, especially Saturday at the picture show downtown, and, on into the 60s lots of TV Westerns, big in America, anyways.

Re: Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

Westerns were the top genre in the PULP mags,back before the Boob tube ruined things.

Re: Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

Got your drift, but "Gunsmoke" sure was great on that tube.

Re: Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

I tried to find out how many westerns were produced per year, per decade or just overall from 1930s through to 1950s recently, for a piece of written work called How the Spaghetti Western Influenced the Hollywood Western at unversity.

It appeared impossible to find out, so I had to write countless in my written work, as it really was countless.

Re: Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

Didn't know they were once that popular and numerous.

Found this website about the most popular genres in the last decades. It's just America, not the whole world, but it shows how the world has changed:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/188658/movie-genres-in-north-america-by-box-office-revenue-since-1995/

Re: Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

I got into this conversation with a couple of people over dinner a few weeks ago... we were all discussing how westerns used to be huge and they tailed off a few decades ago.
Are westerns making a comeback? Seems there are some recent releases: Forsaken, Hell or High Water, The Duel, as well as genre mashups like Bone Tomahawk.

Re: Once the biggest movie genre in the world?

There have been some good (and some not so good), albeit low budget, westerns made in the past few years. Whether this will amount to a comeback is yet to be seen. For example:

Appaloosa (2008) / Ed Harris
The Salvation (2014) / Kristian Levring
Das finstere Tal (2014) (The Dark Valley) / Andreas Prochaska
Diablo (2015) / Lawrence Roeck
The Timber (2015) / Anthony O’Brien

And, of course, a couple of high profile films (both of which I pretty much hate):

True Grit (2010) / Ethan and Joel Coen (virtually a shot for shot remake of a great classic)
Django Unchained (2012) / Quentin Tarantino (not really a western, taking place in the slave holding south before the Civil War. Supposedly; a satire of '60s Italian westerns that only manages to take Spaghetti western tropes and crank them up to 11. Dull and repetitious.)

We can hope for a comeback, but, like musicals, directors want to make them more "modern" and "with it" using dialog and editing that undercuts the genres. When those new westerns and musicals fail, the Hollywood studios become more and more convinced that it is the westerns' fault instead of the truth, viz. today's directors don't know how to make them.

mf

Trust me. I’m The Doctor.
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