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The Stage Brings the Western to Life

Popular stage melodramas add to a clear Western collection.  These plays, many set in the West, provide scenes of large-scale action which includes horse riding, gunfights, fires and even train crashes.  The Western provides the same action, only more detailed.  

In 1872, Frank H. Murdoch's writes the play, �Davy Crockett.�  The play is enormously successful.  The Great Train Robbery� has been a stage play before becoming one of the very first film Westerns in 1903.  The legitimate theatre, in fact, feeds the cinema. 

William S. Hart, one of the great silent film movie stars, has appeared in the 1905 stage play �The Squaw Man.  In 1914, the play becomes one of the first feature ‑ length Westerns.  In 1907, Hart stars in the stage version of �The Virginian.�  He takes over the lead role from Dustin Farnum, who also goes on to become a Western film star.


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