The true story of the American West on film, through its shooting stars and the directors who shot them... Howard Hughes explores the Western, running from John Ford s 'Stagecoach' to the revisionary 'Tombstone'. Writing with panache and fresh insight, he explores 27 key films, and draws on production notes, cast and crew biographies, and the films box-office success, to reveal their place in western history. He shows how through reinvention and resurrection, this genre continually postpones the big adios and avoids ending up in Boot Hill...permanently. Major films covered include the best from genre giants John Ford, Howard Hawks and John Wayne, plus classics 'High Noon', 'Shane', 'The Magnificent Seven' and 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'. 'Stagecoach to Tombstone' makes many more stops along the way, examining well-known blockbusters and lowly B-movie oaters alike. It examines comedy westerns, adventures south of the border , singing cowboys and the varied depiction of Native Americans on screen. Hughes also engagingly charts the genre s timely renovation by Sam Peckinpah ('Ride the High Country' and 'The Wild Bunch' ), Sergio Leone ('Once Upon a Time in the West') and Clint Eastwood ('The Outlaw Josey Wales' and 'Unforgiven'). Presented too are the best of western trivia, a filmography of essential films - and ten aficionados and critics, including Alex Cox, Christopher Frayling, Philip French and Ed Buscombe, give their verdict on the best in the west.