Movie "Young Guns" produced by Christopher Cain - how this movie coincides with the actual west in the late 19th century.

Essay by null March 2003

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Produced by Christopher Cain, "Young Guns" opens with the murder of a British ranchowner by a corrupt and ruthless competing cattle rancher. Six 'young guns' played by Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney and Casey Siemaszko go seeking revenge and are erroneously branded outlaws by the law, until they can clear their names. Throughout this 1988 film several characteristics of the west depicted coincide with the nature of the west in the late 19th Century.

One of the primary aspects representative of the west found in this movie is the presence and status of the Native American. Chavez, a mestizo, is an embodiment of both the Spanish and Indian cultures of the time. His presence serves to demonstrate the large immigration and role of Spanish and Indians at the time of western conquest. His status portrayed in the movie is also very accurate. On several occurrences in the film, he is referred to as a "Dirty Navajo" or some other demeaning title.

Chavez expresses that his family and tribe has experienced great destruction and almost ceases to exist. He tells of losing his family in the Battle of Sand Creek. The mention of this actual battle, which occurred November of 1864, continues with the accurate and realistic portrayal of the west. In the film, Chavez reveals this great loss and the struggle he must endure as a result.

The issue of Chinese immigration too is accurately portrayed in this movie. Although there is only one Chinese person in this movie, she denotes the overall attitude felt towards the group as a whole. During the actual conquest of the west, there existed a strong anti-Chinese sentiment. With the fear of losing job opportunities, Americans found ways to greatly limit Chinese immigration with the passing of...