The Western is a movie genre with a set time period, say the 1800's and slightly into the 1900's, when people looked like this...
Of course the male heart throbs of the 60's - had their turn in the Western as well, it became common fair for the aging John Wayne to have a hunkish somewhat of a rebel side kick- complete with the slicked back hair, chip on his shoulder and of course the tight tight pants, my it must of been hard to get on a horse.
in fact you could catch Jim West's pants ripping, in TV's Wild Wild West, if you looked real close in the fight scenes. Please don't judge me, I was young.
Then on came the 70's and who would be the consummate Western persona of that decade other then Clint Eastwood and such movies as High Plains Drifter (1973).
here on imdb.com
I really don't like the Westerns of the 70's- Cowboys too scruffy, women too slutty, too long of shots setting the mood, not enough dialogue, music is just weird.
I take that back, one of my favorites is the Frisco Kid (1979)
Can't think of a Western from the 80's?
Of course Eastwood came back to the Western in Unforgiven (1992) , again directing and his Western World is a little bit more accurate I think. No slicked hair, no over the top scruffy/slutty-ness.
And believe it or not, Kevin Costner's not so well received The Postman (1997) is really a Western...of the times.
It looked good, had Russell Crowe in it for peet sakes, but it broke the first rule of story writing, once you create your universe you are bound and dicated by the contraints of that univers. Read my disappointment in a previous post on my other blog Moonflower Musing.
Even though they are not popular at the moment and fading farther and farther in to some sort of "mythology" the Western will always be one of my favorit genres. Here is hoping there are people in Hollywood who still love them and want to make them to be a reflection of the times they are made.
(Wikipedia source of most movie poster, most movies available at Netflix and more info at imdb.com)