Date of Project


Document Type

Honors Thesis

School Name

College of Arts and Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Barker

Second Advisor

Dr. Annette Powell


In contrast to mainstream and blockbuster movies, art house and independent films are usually rooted in a particular sense of self, of culture, or of beliefs. While they may not enjoy the level of exposure or profit as their bigger budget counterparts, they are often more likely to resonate with an audience due to their more personal, less-commodified brand of storytelling. Often, when international film industries are attempting to remake foreign films, they look to these independent, original efforts, since it is unlikely that the big budget movies can be remade due to oftentimes monetary constraints alone.

There has existed since the early 20th century a robust adaptive process from Western film into Bollywood, one of the largest film industries in the world; however, film discourse over the last few decades has largely overlooked this phenomenon. This thesis utilizes two seminal works (Once Upon a Time in the West and Sholay) to analyze this adaptive process to gain insight into the language of film and its malleability in the face of its audience and creators, as well as insight into the complexities of both cultures involved. Moreover, given the films' existence in the Western genre, the thesis also explores the ripe interplay of male and female characterization on screen, and how progressiveness and traditionalism favor in transnational adaptations.