The name of this site is taken from a 1955 King Vidor Western. It refers to the fact that Kirk Douglas plays a man who isn’t a sheriff. Just a tough guy who rolls into town with a chip on his shoulder about barbed wire. But doesn’t want to get involved in violent cowboy rivalries. He reckons you should tear all the wire down and keep the land open and free..

Then maybe an hour in he switches. He realises that pulling down barbed wire for a wealthy landowner actually helps her to push out small farmers and he starts putting the stuff up again instead. Sure it’s a nice, healthy dose of anti-capitalist sentiment. But I particularly like the idea that a guy without a star has the right, or the mentality, to flip-flop, where another guy might not..

I think that can stand for now as something of what this site’s about..

My name is Benedict Dooley. I’m a third year PhD candidate at the University of Essex where I also teach courses in Film and Literature. My research focuses on European filmmakers who moved to Hollywood in the 1930s.

You can contact me at dooleyben@gmail.com or via carrier pigeon.


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