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The BFI Companion to the Western

The BFI Companion to the Western

by British Film Institute Staff, Edward Buscombe (Editor), Richard Schickel (Introduction), Richard Slotkin (Introduction)

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Library Journal - Library Journal
In addition to the obligatory annotated list of best Western movies, this entertaining compendium from the British Film Institute provides a fascinating ``Dictionary of Culture and History,'' which compares the real West to its celluloid counterpart. ``Scalping,'' ``prostitution,'' ``Bat Masterson,'' ``Dalton Gang,'' and ``Springfield Rifle'' are some of the 400 biographical/thematic entries, which give not only historical details but cite Westerns in which the character/topic figures prominently. Other major sections include a biographical directory, with filmographies for over 400 actors, directors, scriptwriters, etc., as well as a listing with credits and descriptions of every Western TV series and made-for-TV movie. Rounding off the volume is a fine 40-page essay on the history of the Western, hundreds of black-and-white photographs (many, though, are too tiny), and a 12-page color insert of Western-genre paintings. This offers much more than the standard Western book, e.g., Phil Hardy's The Western ( LJ 2/1/84), whose major feature is an annotated list of films. Casual moviegoers and experts alike will enjoy the historical perspective and posse of clever insights presented here. Highly recommended.-- Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno

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