Midterm 3: Review/Study Questions
Questions on the next exam will be taken from and/or based on the following:
1. How do the defining characteristics of the western change and evolve from Stagecoach (1939) to High Noon (1952) to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) to Heaven's Gate (1979)?
2. How is Valance looking back on the western genre and reevaluating its arguments and perspectives? How does this process begin in High Noon?
3. How is High Noon a parable of its time (the 1950s)? Is Heaven's Gate in its own way a parable of the late 70s?
4. What evidence do High Noon and Valance provide to suggest the films are products of an industry under stress in the late 50s and early 60s? How might Heaven's Gate also be a response to changing norms in the industry?
5. Why is the western a reappearing genre? Why does its mythology continue to appeal to film audiences?
6. Compare and contrast the role of the producer as Sklar discusses it, to the way that Bach describes how the producer's functions were handled at UA in Final Cut.
7. Assume Heaven's Gate had never happened. Would the prospect of making a Heaven's Gate today appear attractive? dangerous? What would be the arguments for green or red lighting the film's development if the idea were proposed to a contemporary studio executive?
8. If you were an executive in charge of overseeing production in a studio, what recommendations and policies would you put into place after reading Final Cut?
9. Why were semi-documentaries a favored mode of production after the war? Why did Hollywood hesitate to make them after the early 1950s?