Entertainment for sprouting Baby Boomers was in large part Western, black and white...
|Media entertainment for sprouting Baby Boomers was black and white, and predominately of the Western genre. There were TV Westerns every night of the week. |
Terrific black and white Westerns from the 1950's and earlier portray a somewhat historical record of life in America--especially the Civil War of 1861-1865, and the remainer of the 19th Century. That history was less than 100 years old then, and it was a culture that grandma had actually lived in.
Toilets were still outhouses in small North Texas towns in the 1920's. My great Aunt told root cellar stories, and my mom recalled that going to the out house for a midnight visit might involve dealing with snakes or other country critters. Life wasn't like that when I grew up. The techno kids of today probably can't comprehend life without their electronic necessities.
Ages Boomers to school kids can pick up historical culture, and some stories that always ended happily, Happy endings are cliche now, but experiencing one again brings good feelings to my heart. If you are open to this kind of experience, I'd like to share some of the most familiar faces and names with you.
Almost all the popular actors of the time did a Western or two, or more. The good ones played different characters among the weekly series offerings---on three channels.
I stop my list in 1969 because Westerns became few and far between. My highlights from the "post-Western Era" Would be Billy the Kid played by Kris Kristofferson, with Bob Dylan ("Knockin' on Heaven's Door") as a side character. My other favorite is the Young Guns series (I and II) with Emilio Estevez, Keifer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, and Lou Diamond Phillips. Pat Garrett and Doc Holiday have been played by actors of top quality.
This was about 40-50 years before cable television or taped movies, and twenty years before PBS. This was before President Kennedy was assassinated. The world has turned a couple of generations since then. There is high quality TV, now easily available on cable runs or "on demand," of the Western genre. These are some Western Cowboy Movie actors that I admire.
Sergio Leone was the best known director of a series of films, shot in Italy, and consequently called "Spaghetti Westerns." From the actors, scenery, and the music, these movies will move you.
This is 1st draft. Check back. Still brain-storming--next step is alphabetizing.
Lee Van Cleff
(Robert Salinas? -- High Chap)
Tex Ritter (John Ritter's Dad)
Lee J Cobb