“Civilization requires heroes.”


The Hollywood Western was a great achievement of American popular art—an epic of the eternal frontier, where trouble is always brewing and everything is at stake: the law is out of town, and if a hero doesn’t ride into your valley, you’re going to lose the things you hold most dear. On the eternal frontier, we are always faced with the problem of establishing and securing justice and peace. Because establishing justice and peace is a pressing and permanent human problem, the classic Western is eternally interesting.