Standard Article

The Hollywood A-Production Western

2. 1929 to 1945

3. 1939–1945

  1. Kevin L. Stoehr

Published Online: 13 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470671153.wbhaf035

The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film

How to Cite

Stoehr, K. L. 2011. The Hollywood A-Production Western. The Wiley-Blackwell History of American Film. 2:3:33.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 13 NOV 2011


Film scholars have long recognized a familiar distinction established by the studios between large-scale A-Westerns and their usually less costly B-Western counterparts. There is certainly no necessary correlation between financial investment and cinematic quality, as superb small-budget films and atrocious big-budget movies have demonstrated. But higher production values can indeed often attract better performers, accomplished directors and their crews, and more thoughtfully designed scripts.


  • western;
  • John Ford;
  • Raoul Walsh;
  • King Vidor;
  • comedic western;
  • Howard Hawks;
  • expansionism;
  • William Wyler;
  • hero/heroism;
  • pioneer;
  • America;
  • nation-building