Western films reflect the eras in which they're made

Quentin Tarantino, whose latest film, "Django Unchained," is a tribute to Spaghetti Westerns, is a devotee of the Western genre.

"One of the things that's interesting about Westerns in particular is there's no other genre that reflects the decade that they were made or the morals and the feelings of Americans during that decade [more] than Westerns," Tarantino said on NPR's Fresh Air.

"The Westerns of the '50s definitely have an Eisenhower, birth of suburbia and plentiful times aspect to them. America started little by little catching up with its racist past by the '50s, at the very, very beginning of [that decade], and that started being reflected in Westerns. Consequently, the late '60s have a very Vietnam vibe to the Westerns, leading into the '70s. And by the mid-'70s, you know, most of the Westerns literally could be called 'Watergate Westerns,' because it was about disillusionment and tearing down the myths that we have spent so much time building up."

One of Tarantino's favorite Westerns is Sergio Leone's 1968 film, "Once Upon a Time in the West."

"Django Unchained" comes out on DVD and streaming today.

What's your favorite Western? Tell us in the comments.

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