Westerns and Modern Movies

Here’s a great look at the portrayal of Native Americans in classic Hollywood movies:


They do a great job highlighting the portrayal of American Indians as violent, uncivilized, and animalistic, and the effect that has on Native American moviegoers. I did notice, though, that all the movies they showed were fairly old, and that such blatant racist rhetoric would have a harder time now. But does that mean the problem has actually gone away, or has Hollywood just stopped portraying Indians at all, negatively or positively? Or have more subtle, insidious stereotypes slipped in to take the place of what we see here?

2 thoughts on “Westerns and Modern Movies”

  1. I do remember being shocked the first time someone looked at me and quoted the movie line “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.”
    My mother was always proud of her Cherokee heritage, although my Grandfather chose to break ties with the tribe(s)we are related to.
    Do you remember the Spaghetti Westerns? Those confused the heck out of me when I was little. I knew the actors weren’t Indians and the setting wasn’t the American West. Kind of funny now, though.

  2. And after Spaghetti Westerns we got Ramen Westerns (Rampopo et al), and after Ramen Westerns we got Space Westerns (Firefly et al) . . . wherever will they take the Western next?

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