The western is one of the most popular genres in American film history, and some estimate more than 20,000 of them have been produced. Its popular portrayal of the American West, as a place where good and evil are clearly defined, created heroes that are still among the most respected and remembered in film history.
Writers Lane Roth and Tom W. Hoffer, William E. Tydeman III, R. Philip Loy, Gary Kramer, Raymond E. White, Michael K. Schoenecke, Sandra Schackel, Jacqueline K. Greb, Jim Collins, Richard Robertson, and Gary Yoggy each contributed an essay, focusing on the performances of some of the most famous of Hollywood's leading cowboys and cowgirls. Analyses of the works of G.M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson, Tom Mix, Buck Jones, Tex Ritter, Roy Rogers, James Stewart, Barbara Stanwyck, Steve McQueen, and James Arness are included. James Drury of The Virginian relates his firsthand experiences of movie making by way of introducing this collection.