TV is obviously hopeless (it's what's to blame for this blog). But given there are literally hundreds of channels now, why isn't there one devoted to Westerns? They're obviously not popular nowadays - Hollywood has really given up trying to revive the genre. But then if popularity was a criterion most of what appears on multi-channel TV wouldn't be screened. My guess is they'd be cheap, too.
I think my younger self would be shocked by this state of affairs. Westerns seemed such a fixture then, an inter-generational male thing: often watched with Dad or Taid, both connoisseurs. Richard Widmark, Audie Murphy, Alan Ladd, Randolph Scott, Glenn Ford were names that tripped off the tongues of any red-blooded lad. My guess is that anyone under thirty-five would never have heard of them.
Richard Widmark (above) was a personal favourite. Blonde and handsome, a tough guy, of course. But he had a slightly crooked face, a bruised look in his eyes, and often a sardonic, almost wretched, moodiness which really appealed to me. Almost totally forgotten now though. He died last year.
So, I may be a member of the last generation of kids to watch Westerns on rainy weekend afternoons. I wonder what effect it had on me, an impressionable boy, witnessing these illustrations of what it was to be a 'real' man, whilst in the reverent presence of the mature males of the tribe? Anyway, it's an experience my boys won't have in quite the same way; just save us from films featuring Tom Cruise as his usual jumped-up, snotty little glove-puppet.