definition of the word genre means a style or category of film. It is the
grouping of films that tend to share similar themes, iconography, character
plots and other factors. A genre convention is a set of defined rules that help
an audience distinguish one genre from another, focusing in particular on what
is typical and accepted within a specific genre of film. The reason genre
conventions are significant is that it
gives an audience an underlying expectation that help to condition a response
to a particular film and the familiarity of a genre film promises each
spectator to be able to anticipate what will happen. They focus on the agreed
expectations that have already been established within a specific genre.
Western genre is one of the major defining genres of the American film industry.
In essence, a Western film involves the American frontier typically set in the
late 19th century commonly featuring characters such as cowboys,
out-laws, Native Americans as well as settlers in the region. According to the
American Film Institute, a Western film is a genre of films set in the American
West that embodies the spirit, struggle and the demise of the new frontier¹.
Leone’s ‘Once Upon A Time In The West’ is widely known as one of the most successful
Spaghetti-westerns ever made. Because of the success Sergio Leone’s filmmaking
style had gained him, the term Spaghetti-western was created, coined mainly by
American critics as a belittling term used to describe a sub-genre of Western
films. These were mostly directed and produced by Italians and many foreign
critics strongly believed these were inferior to American Westerns. Despite the
Western film being one of the most prominent and ominous genres within
Hollywood, by the 1950s the industry was producing fewer Western films than
ever before. The rise of popularity and interest in television within America was
the cause of this, ultimately resulting in an influx of Westerns being produced
for the small screen. Overseas however, where television was not catching on so
quickly, the demand for Western films never dwindled.