Are Westerns For The Weak? Not According to "Sensei" Martin Kove

Martin Kove in his living roomMartin Kove in his living room, which is a museum of sorts dedicated to the western. He’s developed an encyclopedic knowledge of the genre. Kove says the western design of his home reminds him of a simpler way of life where he can escape from the outside world.

Decades ago, the western film was king, with nearly 100 produced every year at their peak in the 1940s, and their popularity extending years beyond. But today, other than rare successes like Django Unchained or True Grit, the genre is not in great shape. Films such as Cowboys and Aliens and The Lone Ranger failed to spark new interests in the western. It's a tough nut to crack, but veteran movie bad guy Martin Kove — most well known for his role as Sensei John Kreese in The Karate Kid — is passionate about the classic American film genre and is trying to revive it. We spent an afternoon at his home talking about westerns and how to make the genre interesting again. All photos by Jared Cowan.

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