This term originates with Umberto Echo and refers to the stylistic convention of the hero’s laconic facial expressions in the face of danger. Clint Eastwood in particular, in the Sergio Leone Westerns, casts about that expressionless look in which all emotion is conveyed by a certain glint of the eyes. But nearly all the regular cowboy heroes,from William S. Hart to the singing cowboys to Kevin Costner in Open Range(2003), take that short pause before the camera for a sideways look at the implications of the moment. The glance is not to be confused with the male gaze, for the glance is something the actor does while the gaze is something the audience does.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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