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Western Film: Cowboys, Outlaws, and the American Frontier

Teacher: Mr. Ben McEntee

How young people understand and critique the many images and messages that they see on the multitude of screens that scream for their attention in daily life is a necessary skill in the 21st century. In Western Film, we will look critically at a variety of Western films and discuss the stories, themes, settings, characters, cinematography, mis-en-scéne, tropes, and motifs that make this most engaging of art forms such a powerful way to communicate ideas, values, and larger historical issues that resonant with all of us. In this class, students will not simply “watch” a movie, but they will learn to analyze and study a film. Students will learn key film analysis terms and concepts as they study film and discuss their ideas and findings in class. Students will also be required to write 400-600 word essays per viewed film.


  • Binder or folder for paperwork, notes, etc.

  • Access to a printer.

  • If absent from a class: the ability to find and watch required film at home on computer or television. (Note: this would most likely include renting or watching the film on subscription streaming sites.)


  • $5 payable with tuition

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