A type of western, epic in scope, which portrays collective or individual efforts to settle the West and establish national values. Different from the gunslinger and low-budget western, these films often feature lavish production values, large casts, major stars and on-location shooting. Focuses include family or social struggles against wilderness or corrupt governments, while individual actions include traveling stagecoaches and wagon trains, cattle drives, the construction of a town or railroad, and battling Indians. While westerns started out as cheap, short features, director John Ford ushered in the upscale epic form in 1923 with The Covered Wagon, the thrilling trip of a Westward bound wagon train, and followed it with The Iron Horse. These mythical approaches continued into the ‘30s and ‘40s with films like Union Pacific. With the advent of Cinemascope, images of the old West exploded larger than life onto movie screens. Widescreen versions of the genre made this brand of western not only epic in scope and tone, but in look. Post-war epics like Red River, Shane and The Searchers represented the height of this style. Following the decline of the western in America, several Italian Spaghetti westerns, like Once Upon a Time in West, adopted the form, often playfully mocking its conventions. Later, when the western tried to make numerous comebacks, films like Dances with Wolves reverted back to the epic form.