From Calamity Jane to Johnny Guitar: Cowgirl Women in Western Movie Posters

“River of No Return,” 1934

In the genre of Western American film, the tales of cowgirls have played a long and significant role. Women’s historical role in the American West is often depicted in the movies as a contradiction: they are peripheral to the film’s narrative, yet also central. This presentation explores the representation of gender in film by looking at movie posters from the Rennard Strickland Collection of Western Film History. Women are portrayed in opposing embodiments of “good” and “bad” – showgirls, wives, prostitutes and working girls.

Dr. Tricia Loscher

Join us as we consider glamorous stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Joan Crawford in women’s roles that range from card sharps and gunslingers to independent tomboy heroines in Westerns. Presented by Dr. Tricia Loscher, Chief Curator of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.

Included with museum admission; free to museum members.