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blackthorn


V.20 No.43 | 10/27/2011
“Mmm. Nice scenery.”

Film Review

Blackthorn

Butch Cassidy takes his own famous advice and goes to Bolivia in vivid revisionist Western

By Devin D. O’Leary

Used to be Westerns were standard-issue Hollywood boilerplate. From the silent era up through the ’50s, cowboy movies were the backbone of the film industry. These quick-and-easy tales of white-hat heroism were simple, escapist fare—the equivalent of cop movies in the ’80s or superhero movies today. Nowadays, with rare exception (Cowboys & Aliens, for example), when someone chooses to make a Western, it’s not some flippant wild West fantasy about good guys and bad guys. More often than not, today’s Westerns are dark, elegiac compositions about a long-faded way of life—and, by extension, a long-faded genre of moviemaking.

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