June 03, 2007

Navajos in old Westerns

Utah's movie career still going strong after 85 yearsKanab--and Utah--got its big break when in 1939 John Ford made "Stagecoach," starring John Wayne, in Monument Valley. After that, he and many other directors returned to Utah many times.

Of course, Kanab's citizens profited. Locals happily jumped for the opportunity to work as extras, contribute livestock, provide meals and transportation, and help build roads. Many Navajos were willing to work as “savage Indians.” The income that acting provided became important to many Navajos. In 1946, when Kanab's movie business was languishing somewhat, 65 tribe members sent a petition, signed with thumb prints, to Hollywood asking for more work.

No comments: