Cowboy Imperialism and Hollywood Film explores how Hollywood has employed the frontier myth to sanction imperial behavior. This cultural project integrates the myth, America’s secular creation story, with Manifest Destiny, the sugar-coated impetus to conquer without compunction. Through Hollywood – the history teacher who reaches the largest audiences – the imagery of conquest has become effectively naturalized, glorified, and personified in the guise of the mythical frontiersman, such as John Wayne and Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. This book examines eighteen movies, ranging from
The Green Berets to
Raiders of the Lost Ark, from
Red River to
Hidalgo. Others, from
Full Metal Jacket to
The Big Lebowski, The Ballad of Little Joe to
25th Hour, posit intriguing revisionist frontier tales.