The Western is a genre of art that may be found in film, television, radio, literature, painting and other visual arts. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West. Some Westerns are set as early as the Battle of the Alamo in 1836 but most are set between the end of the American Civil War (1865) and the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. There are also a number of films about Western-type characters in contemporary settings.
Westerns often portray how primitive and obsolete ways of life confronted modern technological or social changes. This may be depicted by showing conflict between natives and settlers or U.S. Cavalry or between cattle ranchers and farmers or by showing ranchers being threatened by the onset of the Industrial Revolution. American Westerns of the 1940s and 1950s emphasize the values of honor and sacrifice. Westerns from the 1960s and 1970s often have a more pessimistic view, glorifying a rebellious anti-hero and highlighting the cynicism, brutality and inequality of the American West.
Photo of the Osage boom town in the RKO film Cimmaron, circa 1930-31