Hollywood legend Robert Duvall has lashed out at claims the western movie genre is outdated - insists the film format is America's answer to "SHAKESPEARE".

The OSCAR-winning actor, 73, stars alongside Kevin Costner and ANNETTE BENING in new cowboy drama Open Range, which has been met by good reviews - but many critics have complained there is no place for the western in the 21st century.

Duvall says, "The English have Shakespeare, we have the western.

"They (producers) keep saying let's make more westerns again, then they don't. It's our genre. I loved working on this."

Duvall is so infatuated with the films, he's signed up to make another one this summer (04).

He explains, "I'm gonna be doing a modern-day western in June, in New Mexico. Hopefully with Walter Hill."

09/03/2004 21:09