Formalist Westerns, a type of alternative Western that began appearing after the 1970s, ultimately derive from the spaghetti Westerns of Sergio Leone and others. The term originates from Richard Slotkin, who identifies Clint Eastwood’s Joe Kidd (1972) and High Plains Drifter (1973) as chief examples. The type features fanciful plots, gunfighter heroes, and bizarre landscapes with little geographical significance or reality. Normative characters play against the stereotypes of classic Westerns.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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