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 has always been one of the most leading 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 frontier².
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 had not
become as popular as in the US, the demand for Western films never dwindled.