On-screen townsinevitably appear and some scenes must be shot indoors, but the most appealing shot in any Western is nearly always the panoramic sweep across the open range showing the enormous size of the landscapeand the healthy herds of cattle roaming at will. Western characters struggle with the land, but they seldom really want to tame it. Cattle ranges are still close to nature just as the buffalo ranges were. Cattle can be raised with little damage to the open range, so Westerns celebrate cattle raising on the open range. In Open Range (2003), Charley (Kevin Costner) looks out over the enormous empty vista with Boss (Robert Duvall), sees someone riding at a far distance, and mutters, “It’s getting crowded around here.” A rider on the open range of a Western is at one with the land. The horse connects the rider with the land, but the solitary rider’s dependence on the land is also emphasized.
   See also COSTNER, Kevin.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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