WESTERNS AS ALLEGORIES

   If Westerns are primarily about the time in which they are produced, not the time in which they are set, then Westerns of the cold war period are often interpreted as allegories of the tensions between the Soviet Union and its allies and the United States, Great Britain, and their allies. Westerns such as High Noon (1952) and The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) are usually seen as allegories of contemporary issues: individual rights versus rights of the state, mass hysteria in the face of common threats from outside. High Noon, for example, was produced during the national hysteria over communists brought on by the McCarthy hearings.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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