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Thread: "Easterns"

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    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    "Easterns"

    Anyone here familiar with the Eastern genre? By which I mean Soviet films inspired by Westerns? Kind of curious to see the films where the Cowboys are the bad guys and the Indians the good. Any that would be particularly recommended and if so where to find them?
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    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    I know nothing about this genre but am also curious about this stuff if anyone has any pointers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D View Post
    Anyone here familiar with the Eastern genre? By which I mean Soviet films inspired by Westerns? Kind of curious to see the films where the Cowboys are the bad guys and the Indians the good. Any that would be particularly recommended and if so where to find them?
    I recall that there were some put out on DVD back in the day, but I can’t recall any titles.

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    Pallid Hands Andrew Monroe's Avatar
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    They are also known as osterns or Red Westerns. I found a list of some at Wiki :

    Red Westerns
    The Elusive Avengers by Edmond Keosayan.
    The New Adventures of the Elusive Avengers by Edmond Keosayan.
    White Sun of the Desert, one of the most popular Red Westerns (see Ostern).
    The Crown of the Russian Empire, or Once Again the Elusive Avengers by Edmond Keosayan.
    The Headless Horseman by Vladimir Vajnshtok.
    At Home Among Strangers, another Red Western film by Nikita Mikhalkov (his debut).
    Armed and Dangerous by Vladimir Vajnshtok.
    A Man from the Boulevard des Capucines by Alla Surikova.


    Here's an article that also mentions some more titles (I have no idea where to find any of these) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostern
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    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    Turns out a bunch of them are available on youtube. "Soviet Tours" facebook page has this to say:

    RED WESTERNS, set in America's "Wild West" but involving radically different themes and interpretations than US westerns (e.g. the white gringos were the baddies and the native American the heroes). These were mostly produced in Eastern European countries like East Germany and Czechoslovakia, rather than USSR. Red Westerns are often compared to Spaghetti Westerns, in that they use local scenery to imitate the American West. In particular, Yugoslavia, Mongolia and the Southern USSR were used. Some of the East German films were called Sauerkraut Westerns, whereas the Hungarian and Yugoslavian ones were called "Goulash Westerns" and "Gibanica Westerns" respectively.

    SOVIET EASTERN , set usually in the steppes of Soviet Central Asia, especially during the Russian Revolution or the following Civil War, but presented in a style inspired by American western films. While influenced by Westerns, Easterns form a specific and distinct genre. Western stock characters such as "cowboys and Indians" were also replaced by Central Asian stock characters, such as bandits and revolutionaries. A famous example of the genre was White Sun of the Desert, which was extremely popular in the Soviet Union."

    I had a look at White Sun Of the Desert on youtube. It definitely belongs in the Soviet Eastern Category rather than the Red Western. As I understand this is a long time favourite in Russia. It's definitely different. Our hero is on his way home across the desert from 10 years of waging war in the Orient. Somehow on the way he has 8 or 9 members of a local warlords harem thrust upon him. he has to protect the women, kill the warlord, and get home to the wife who has been waiting on him for the last many years. It's very light on action and not a huge amount of story. It does have a relaxed, likeable vibe however and an engaging leading man. Not the sort of thing I'd want to watch every night but interesting to see something totally different.

    You can check it out here and this page should give you a lead on other titles. I'm more interested in the Red Westerns actually. I'll try to hunt down one of them next.

    Last edited by Dom D; 09-23-2020 at 01:18 AM.
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    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    Never mind. Fixed it.
    Last edited by Dom D; 09-23-2020 at 01:17 AM.
    "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

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