The 's Land, By George Winner, 1972 ) And Charley One Eye Essay

The 's Land, By George Winner, 1972 ) And Charley One Eye Essay

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Although the later British efforts Chato’s Land (dir. Michael Winner, 1972) and Charley One-Eye (dir. Don Chaffey, 1973) fail to discard Western conventions to the same extent as Captain Apache, both of these films reverse traditional racial roles to make it clear that the white man is the villain. In Chato’s Land, a group of white townsfolk embark on a journey to find and kill Chato (Charles Bronson), a renegade Apache, and are incensed when he decides to retaliate by successfully assassinating various members of the posse. Although Native Americans are repeatedly referred to as “savage animals” by the film’s white characters, it is members of the posse who inspire Chato to act, by raping his wife, murdering one of his children, burning a fellow Apache at the stake and setting fire to the wickiups they encounter on their journey. Similarly, in Charley One-Eye, “the Indian” (Roy Thinnes) is motivated to kill for the very first time after witnessing the brutal way in which “the Bounty Hunter” (Nigel Davenport) murders his pet chicken (referred to as Charley One-Eye) and mutilates the Union Army deserter credited as “the Black Man” (Richard Roundtree). While both Chato’s Land and Charley One-Eye reaffirm the idea that Native Americans are a race prone to violence, acts of Native aggression can at least be understood in these films within the context of prior white brutality. Thus, the traditional dichotomy between Natives constituting the irrational actors and Whites being rational and justified in their actions is reversed.
The fact that both of the aforementioned films were released during the height of the public’s disapproval of the Vietnam War should not be regarded as merely coincidental, for even the most rudimentary and low-...


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...s in mind, it is unsurprising that the “Golden Age” of the classical Western genre is regarded to be the 1950s. During this era, national solidarity in the United States was high, with polling by the Pew Research Centre suggesting that just 23% of Americans distrusted their country’s government at the time of The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw’s release in 1958. Concurrent with the increase of revisionist westerns produced in the United States, this level of distrust would grow throughout the Vietnam War, with 62% of the public distrusting their public officials by December 1974. However, the fact that Walsh’s revisionist Western questioned American values before the majority of the majority of the country’s citizens developed a cynicism for their government provides an explanation as to why The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw was initially unpopular upon its stateside release.

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