Anthology Film Archives

WOMEN OF THE WEST

August 31 – September 16

As the genre most inextricably linked to America, the Western has always been malleable enough to be reconfigured and revised to reflect the current moment and its values, with each generation interpreting the past through its own lens. Traditionally set during the Civil War era, both U.S.- and internationally-made Westerns have centered on a country in transformation, as the railroad extended west and frontier towns grew into cities. To many the Western is seen as a typically masculine genre bringing to mind iconic images of John Wayne and Monument Valley, but while sublime desert landscapes coupled with the machismo of the great American cowboy are important elements of the genre, the West was not won by men alone.

Women have always been present in the genre as supporting figures: wives, sisters, preachers’ daughters, teachers, prostitutes, etc. But this series highlights Westerns that focus on a female protagonist, foregrounding the importance of women both to the Western genre and to the history of the American West itself. Spanning the early days of cinema all the way to the 21stcentury, and encompassing a number of films written and directed by women, this series aims to construct a narrative indicating the varied roles women played in shaping this country and more broadly the ways that the film industry has told stories of our western foremothers: the sharpshooters, hustlers, entrepreneurs, bandits, and all-around resilient women who worked as hard as men to maintain normalcy amid an inhospitable landscape.

Programmed by Hannah Greenberg.

Special thanks to Brian Belak (Chicago Film Archives); Brian Belovarac (Janus Films); Daniel Bish (George Eastman Museum); Cassie Blake (Academy Film Archive); Jack Durwood (Paramount); Johan Ericsson (Swedish Film Institute); Holly Fisher; Maggie Greenwald; Monte Hellman; Dave Jennings (Sony Pictures); Mark McElhatten (Sikelia); Kristie Nakamura (WB); Veronica Neely & Beth Krublit (Twentieth Century Fox); Lynanne Schweighofer (Library of Congress); and Cameron Swanagon (Oscilloscope).

Upcoming Screenings

  • Anthony Mann
    THE FURIES
    August 31 at 6:45 PM
    September 6 at 9:00 PM
  • Nicholas Ray
    JOHNNY GUITAR
    August 31 at 9:15 PM
    September 2 at 6:30 PM
    September 4 at 9:15 PM
  • TEXAS GUINAN SHORTS
    September 1 at 3:30 PM
    September 11 at 6:45 PM
  • Kelly Reichardt
    MEEK’S CUTOFF
    September 1 at 6:00 PM
    September 15 at 9:15 PM
    September 16 at 6:00 PM
  • Monte Hellman
    THE SHOOTING
    September 1 at 9:00 PM
    September 13 at 7:00 PM
    September 16 at 4:00 PM
  • William Wellman
    WESTWARD THE WOMEN
    September 2 at 4:00 PM
    September 4 at 6:45 PM
    September 7 at 6:45 PM
  • Samuel Fuller
    FORTY GUNS
    September 2 at 9:00 PM
    September 6 at 7:00 PM
    September 8 at 9:15 PM
  • Allan Dwan
    CATTLE QUEEN OF MONTANA
    September 3 at 7:00 PM
    September 9 at 9:00 PM
  • R.G. Springsteen
    HELLFIRE
    September 3 at 9:00 PM
    September 5 at 7:00 PM
    September 9 at 4:15 PM
  • Gordon Parks Jr.
    THOMASINE & BUSHROD
    September 5 at 9:00 PM
    September 8 at 6:45 PM
    September 11 at 9:00 PM
  • Maggie Greenwald
    THE BALLAD OF LITTLE JO
    September 7 at 9:15 PM
    September 15 at 6:30 PM
  • Holly Fisher
    BULLETS FOR BREAKFAST
    September 8 at 4:45 PM
    September 12 at 7:00 PM
  • Wesley Ruggles
    ARIZONA
    September 9 at 6:15 PM
    September 13 at 9:00 PM
    September 15 at 3:45 PM
  • Lina Wertmüller & Piero Cristofani
    THE BELLE STARR STORY
    September 10 at 6:45 PM
    September 12 at 9:00 PM
    September 14 at 9:00 PM
  • Ferdinando Baldi
    RITA OF THE WEST (aka CRAZY WESTERNERS)
    September 10 at 9:00 PM
    September 14 at 7:00 PM
    September 16 at 9:00 PM

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