Library exhibition explores 20th-century American West

The ways in which screen writers, directors, producers, and actors have embraced, challenged, and shaped 20th-century American views of the West are explored in the latest exhibition at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.  

Featured in “Celluloid West” are over 50 posters, dozens of lobby cards, publicity materials, and 60 film scripts — from silent film depictions of Buffalo Bill’s adventures to “Dirty Harry” to contemporary African-American life in Los Angeles. Genres include the traditional, generic "Western," film noir, contemporary drama, romantic comedy, and historical epics, in both urban and rural settings.

(Rebecca Martz)Materials in the exhibition range from the classic John Ford films “Stagecoach,” “Fort Apache,” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence,” to multiple drafts for more recent works such as “McCabe and Mrs. Miller,” “Thelma & Louise,” and “Drugstore Cowboy.”

“Celluloid West” is on view through Sept. 22. Visit the Beinecke Library’s website for more information.