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Alcoholism in the Western Genre: The Portrayal of Alcohol and Alcoholism in the Western Genre

NCJ Number
Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education Volume: 46 Issue: 2 Dated: Winter 2000 Pages: 3-11
Danny Wedding
Date Published
9 pages
This article examines the various ways that alcoholism and alcohol use have been depicted in American cinema.
Through an examination of American movies, this article focuses on the ways that alcohol use and abuse are portrayed in films from the 20th century. After discussing the various ways that alcohol use is depicted in films such as “Casablanca,” “Star Wars,” “Arthur,” and many others, the author focuses on films within the Western genre because of these films’ high incidence of salons, whiskey bottles, alcoholic gunfighters, and town drunks. Analyzing Westerns such as “Unforgiven,” “Rio Bravo,” “Stagecoach,” and others, the author argues that examining the ways that alcohol use and abuse is portrayed in the media may offer insight into society’s values and beliefs associated with alcohol use. References


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