DND Minipod – Chapter 4: Hollywood Westerns & Primary Sources


This Dime Novel Desperados MINI-POD profiles a Hollywood Western & primary sources that Dr. Hallwas used to write the book. We recommend first listening to the episode this MINI-POD accompanies:

Chapter 4: Law & Order and Prison Life


“High Noon” (1952) starring Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, & Lloyd Bridges.


  • How does this film reflect themes found in DND?
  • Describe the attitudes towards lawmen depicted in this film? How are they similar to and different from folks in western IL during this time?
  • Is this a Western or anti-western? How do you know?
  • Does this film celebrate or romanticize violence as a form of conflict resolution? What realities do you see? What is sensationalized?
  • What other thoughts, lessons, and illustrations come to mind about this film?


Dr. Halwas examined several historic newspapers, photographs, documents, letters, and more to write this book. In this episode, we feature 4 primary sources from Chapter 4 – Law and Order and Prison Life

  • #1 – Photo – 1875 McDonough County Courthouse (From Western Archives Special Collection)
  • #2 – Image – IL State Penitentiary at Joliet circa the 1860s (Chicago History Museum)
  • #3 – Photo – Penitentiary Boot & Shoe Shop 1870s (Courtesy of American Correctional Association/IL Department of Corrections)
  • #4 – Photo – Jail Cell at Joliet circa the 1870s (Courtesy of Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library)

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