Traditionally, Westerns are set west of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, primarily from the end of the Civil War (1865) to the beginning of the twentieth century. They feature the adventures of cowboys, scouts, Indians, settlers and lawmen, and the explore the clash between civilisation and anarchy in mythic stories of men and the land. While they may accurately depict time and place, the image and feel of the West, as well as the struggle to survive against myriad perils, take precedence over history. Westerns speak to deep-seated feelings about the land and the men who brought their version of justice to the wild, uninhabited country.
A detailed summary of the characteristics and history of the Western genre:
Filmed in November 1903 at Edison's New York studio, at Essex County Park in New Jersey, and along the Lackawanna railroad and released in December 1903, "The Great Train Robbery" is considered to be one of the first significant early US narrative films. Greatly influenced by the British film "Daring Daylight Robbery" (1903) it introduced many new cinematic techniques (cross cutting, double exposure, camera movement and location shooting) to American audiences. It was directed by Edwin S Porter and stars Justus D. Barnes as the head bandit, G. M. Anderson as a slain passenger and a robber, Walter Cameron as the sheriff. Film remastered, tinted and new soundtrack added in 2011 by The Video Cellar.