The stereotypical cowboy hero plays cards and plays them well. Inevitably he can spot a crooked dealer and handles cheaters quickly and efficiently. Yet the cowboy hero is an amateur, and he naturally suspects the honesty of all professional gamblers. The game of choice in Westerns is poker, not just because it was historically the game of choice in the West but because, unlike other games of chance, successful poker play depends less on the intellectual skill of the cowboy hero than on his individual character. Inevitably, card play scenes in Westerns are placed early so that they will develop the hero’s, or the villain’s, character. How a man, or occasionally a dance hall girl, plays cards often determines how he will respond in other situations in the film. The man who can play honestly and skillfully but without emotion, who can win as well as lose with equanimity, is a man deserving our respect. The cowboy hero must know all the tricks used by cardsharps but never use them himself—and he must know how to deal with those who deal crookedly. Thus in My Darling Clementine (1946), we see Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) casually call out the professional gambler (Earle Foxe) for cheating. In the same film, Doc Holliday (Victor Mature) proves his superior poker skills to all players throughout his part of the West.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • List of Alvin and the Chipmunks episodes — The Chipmunks Go to the Movies redirects here. For the album of the same name that was recorded by Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., see The Chipmunks Go to the Movies (album). This is a complete listing of episodes from the 1983 animated television series… …   Wikipedia

  • THE OUTLAW (1943) —    Jane Russell, Jack Buetel, Howard Hughes (director)    The plot of this film is rather simple. Billy the Kid (Buetel) and Rio (Russell) attempt to outwit Pat Garrett (Thomas Mitchell), with Doc Holliday (Walter Huston) thrown in the mix. But… …   Westerns in Cinema

  • The Warriors (gang) — The Warriors are a fictional New York City street gang from the cult classic 1979 film The Warriors . They were also the main characters of the 2005 game The Warriors .TurfThe Warriors are based on the west side (and, more recently, the east side …   Wikipedia

  • Dial H for Hero — is a comic book feature published by DC Comics about a mysterious dial that enables an ordinary person to become a superhero for a short time, by selecting the letters H E R O in order. Each time it is used, the dial causes its possessor to… …   Wikipedia

  • List of The Nostalgia Critic episodes — The Nostalgia Critic is a Web review series hosted by Doug Walker. The series began in July 2007 on YouTube, but after having a large amount of his episodes removed from YouTube, those, along with new ones, started appearing in April 2008 on… …   Wikipedia

  • List of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre characters — The list of members of the Hewitt/Sawyer family Contents 1 The Sawyer/Hewitt family 1.1 Chop Top Sawyer 1.2 Drayton Sawyer 1.3 Grandpa Sawyer …   Wikipedia

  • Complete list of downloadable songs for the Rock Band series — For Rock Band Track Packs, see List of Rock Band track packs. For Rock Band Network songs, see List of Rock Band Network songs. The Rock Band series of music video games supports downloadable songs for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii… …   Wikipedia

  • List of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episodes — This is a list of episodes of the American animated television series The Grim Adventures of Billy Mandy, which was created by Maxwell Atoms, and which originally aired on Cartoon Network from June 13, 2003 to October 12, 2008. There were 80… …   Wikipedia

  • List of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction — This is a list of apocalyptic and post apocalyptic fiction works, sorted by the nature of the catastrophe portrayed.World War III and other apocalyptic wars (between humans)Films1930s*1936. Things to Come , in which an extended future second… …   Wikipedia

  • Art, Antiques, and Collections — ▪ 2003 Introduction       In 2002 major exhibitions such as Documenta 11 reflected the diverse nature of contemporary art: artists from a variety of cultures received widespread recognition for work ranging from installation to video to painting …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.