There were also the protection of the wagons of immigrants from the attacking Indians, the attack of criminals on the stage coach or the robbery of the train. More than a thousand real cowboys, Indians and Mexicans represented the action, accompanied by shooting, horse racing, rodeo and hunting scenes, which also involved many animals, horses and bison. Over the years, Buffalo Bill and his show have successfully toured not only in the USA, but throughout Europe, cultivating in every way the image of a strong, determined, fearless and invincible rider. Thus arose the romantic aura of the American cowboy. True to his viewers, from the literary works that filled the market, by that time, many of his subjects were already partly known.
Here, against the background of general fiction, such authors as Mayne Reid, Walter Scott, Jack London, James Cooper, O. Henry already had a special place. Thus, a completely new art direction is beginning to emerge – a multi-genre “Western”, literally – “Western”, since its action most often occurs in the Wild West. Later, it will be reflected in cinema, television, painting and other forms of art. In his advancement, such great masters as Karl May, whose novels about Indian Vinnetu were read by more than one generation of European youth, Edward Ellis, who has been releasing various stories about the Wild West, or Prentice Ingham, who wrote up to 600 novels and countless stories in this genre. However, its founder was considered to be Owen Wister, who in 1902 released the famous Virginia.
As in the old knightly novels, a kind of romantic knight, a cowboy who is perfectly wielding weapons, appears on horseback, a cowboy who is ready to prove his point in a personal duel fight. Taciturn, resolute and fair, honest and noble, bowing before a beautiful lady. By 1938, this book was sold in the amount of 1.5 million copies, three films were made on it. including (1929) with Gary Cooper, and staged four performances on Broadway. So the show of Buffalo Bill and his colleagues, cowboy songs, literature and theater promoted the increasingly powerful western.
It should all be noted that if the inner world of the hero and the characters of the characters around him are most interesting for the traditional classic work, action and the rapidly changing situation in which the hero appears is the most important thing in western. It so organically happened that the period of development of the genre coincided with the development of the film industry in the country. And the intrigue and the rapid development of the plot in many literary works of the genre coincided with the tasks of silent films.
Therefore, as early as 1903, the film “The Great Train Robbery” was shot by director E. Porter. However, this film was only the forerunner of the genre, since there was no self-acting protagonist in it. A golden age of westerns in cinema will be associated with the activities of two directors – John Ford and Howard Hawks. Ford in the silent film period managed to make about 60 films, the most significant of which was “The Iron Horse”, in the filming of which about 5,000 people took part. And already in the sound film, his film “Stagecoach” (1939) predetermined the paths of western development for the following years. He tried to shoot his pictures in the picturesque Monument Valley in Utah, with the involvement of stellar actors: John Wayne, who rightfully bore the name of “King of Westerns” and Henry Fonda. Not to mention the epic western “Searchers”, shot in 1956, recognized by the American Film Institute as the pinnacle of the genre.