Yee — and we can’t stress this enough — haw! From old classics like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to modern takes like Wild Wild West, Hollywood loves to make movies about cowboys on the frontier. Unfortunately, something that filmmakers don’t often take into account is historical accuracy. Here are the most common mistakes that make it into tons of Western flicks.
The cowboy load
True cowboys never fully loaded their six-shooter pistols. Instead, they’d use a “Cowboy Load” and only put in five rounds, leaving one chamber empty. This was because the guns were extremely finicky in the 1800s and were known to randomly fire.
Why is it that bank robberies are such a common trope in Western movies when they barely happened at all in the real Wild West? In fact, more bank robberies occur each year in Dayton, Ohio, today than there ever were in the Old West! We’re guessing there weren’t canvas bags with dollar signs printed on them either.
You’d never think it from watching Westerns, but the Wild West had gay rights! In fact, it was incredibly common for cowboys to be in same-sex relationships with one another — some even getting married. Their peers accepted these partnerships, too. Now, this is something Hollywood should make into a movie.
There used to be feral camels in Texas. For some reason (boredom, maybe) the U.S. military established the Camel Corps in 1856 and imported 66 camels to the arid state. After the Civil War, they were sold to circuses or escaped into the wilds. Their last sighting was in 1941.