Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Day of the Outlaw
In Day of the Outlaw, filmed in 1959, women have leading roles. The film centers on women, which is different from the traditional western. Women have a hold on the men, and are also protected by them. Helen Crane is a woman who once had an affair with Blaise. Helen is now married, and Blaise wants her back. Helen tells him it is too late and that she will be married to Mr. Crane for the rest of her life. Helen made her own decision and the alpha-male cowboy didn’t have much say. This shows a change in women’s role within society. Women were beginning to have voices, and were able to make their own decisions rather than the men controlling everything. One similarity that Day of the Outlaw has with the traditional western films is, however, is the fact that women are still viewed as “pleasures;” the outlaws, Tex and Pace, are kept away from the women because of their sexual drives. This shows that even though women were gaining rights during this period, they were not yet considered equals and were still degraded. Another similarity is that women still depended on men. Helen depended on her husband, and the other women depended on men for protection. During the late 50s and early 60s, the second wave of the Women's Rights Movement began and the status of women were beginning to change. Yet, they didn’t change completely.