The western genre has been getting a bit of a kicking lately.
In the last decade or so, it has become increasingly popular for modern film fans to simply write off the genre as 'boring' or 'outdated'. Even as properties in other forms of media, such as Red Dead Redemption, break records, the vast majority of western films these days seem to have been relegated to straight-to-DVD release.
But here's the thing - westerns are great.
It's no accident that they were so popular and so innovative for so many decades. They have been a vital part of filmmaking history since the very beginning, specifically because of their practically unparalleled ability to deliver spectacle and substance, hand-in-hand.
In short, westerns are fantastic, and there are a whole host of reasons why the genre's biggest detractors are just plain wrong.
10. Quintessential Good Vs. Evil Storytelling
Perhaps no genre has done as much for clearly defined, good versus evil storytelling as the western.
In classic western cinema, the lines are firmly drawn. The good guys wear white, the bad guys wear black, and there's little wiggle room in-between. Classic films like The Great Train Robbery, Stagecoach, or She Wore A Yellow Ribbon laid out these rules clearly and abided by them, creating some of the most classically-driven journeys of all time.
This is made all the more impressive by the fact that a great many of these classics came decades before Joseph Campbell's studies and publications about the hero's journey as audiences know it today even began.
Simplicity seems to often get a bad wrap in film these days and gets labeled as boring (see also any discussion revolving around the character of Superman). However, simplicity isn't always a bad thing; without these early western films, the three-act structure as we know it today might have never been laid out properly.
Most importantly of all, without the genre's clean-cut origins, it would have never been able to evolve in the way it has done.