The Searchers

The Searchers

DVD - 2006
Average Rating:
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A Civil War veteran spends five years on the trail of a Comanche raiding party that kidnapped his dead brother's daughters. Breathtaking scenery gives a picture of frontier families separated by miles of emptiness.
Publisher: Burbank, CA : Warner Bros. Entertainment, c2006
Edition: 50th anniversary two-disc special ed.
ISBN: 9780790782966
0790782960
Branch Call Number: DVD
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (119 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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w
wodebaobei38
Jul 26, 2017

Disjointed is the word that best describes this movie. Disappointed is how i feel and that is saying something considering the director.

Marinetti May 08, 2017

If John Ford is the greatest Western director, The Searchers is arguably his greatest film, at once a grand outdoor spectacle like such Ford classics as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) and Rio Grande (1950) and a film about one man's troubling moral codes, a big-screen adventure of the 1950s that anticipated the complex themes and characters that would dominate the 1970s.

v
VonHafenstaaad
May 05, 2017

Some fine vignettes of frontier life in the early southwest and a realistic presentation of the difficulties faced by the settlers in carving out a homestead in dangerous Indian country.

t
TheSandoz
May 05, 2017

"The Searchers" was just named one of the 100 All-Time Greatest movies in the July 5/12, 2013 Entertainment Weekly magazine. And well deserved that honor is! I'd seen this movie many times but watched it again and enjoyed it just as much this time around.

John Wayne is spectacular in some say his greatest role (I love this movie but consider Rooster Cogburn his greatest role but that's just me). Magical cinematography (I especially liked the scenes in Monument Valley), wonderful co-stars including Jeffrey Hunter, Natalie Wood, Vera Miles and Ward Bond.

This movie came out in 1956 and is still a masterpiece after 57 years.

j
joecarson
Apr 27, 2017

An Indian hating movie. Whites attacked and took many more Indian children than Indians did white children, but justified it that they were "civilizing" them. whites like to believe they were so civilized. A whole continent of peoples systemeticly slaughtered, driven off their lands, and herded onto "reservations" by an arrogant people with "God Blessed Above All Others" delusions. Slavery, burning at the stake, putting people in the "stocks," and other things mean that whites are just part of the human race, not "Above It As Ordained By God."

m
Madreley
Feb 17, 2016

This is a really good western by John Ford, lots of drama, beautiful scenery, and a good story line. John Wayne's character is likeable at times, but other times not.

n
Nursebob
Feb 04, 2015

Historical revisionism aside, John Ford’s glorious widescreen Western, often seen near the top of many critics’ “best of” lists, manages to mold the usual genre tropes into something approaching spiritual allegory. John Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a weary Confederate soldier returning to his brother’s Texas homestead at the end of the Civil War. The happy family reunion is cut short however when a roving band of Comanches raids the farm killing most of Ethan’s family and making off with his little niece Debbie. Consumed with rage, Ethan sets out to rescue the girl and exact his revenge accompanied by young Martin Pawley, the “one-eighth Comanche” man he rescued from a similar raid when Martin was just an infant. But neither Ethan nor his motives are as honourable as they first appear for his hatred of all things Indian goes far deeper than first suspected (keep your eyes open for clues as to why) and he regards anything touched by them as tainted, including Debbie. Against a backdrop of soaring buttes and impossibly blue skies Ethan’s singleminded journey is as much psychological as physical; a few subtle hints suggest a man already burdened with a checkered past now anxious to redeem himself and make the world right again. Facing outlaws, harsh landscapes, and an increasingly antagonistic relationship with Martin who provides a small but persistent voice of reason, Ethan’s quest brings him face-to-face with a few of his own demons. A final showdown with the Comanche chief does not become the straightforward good versus evil struggle we expect, but rather an angry contest of wills and an airing of past sins. Much has been said of the film’s apparent racist overtones in portraying Ethan’s Indian nemesis as an ignoble savage, but when both men are viewed as archetypes rather than simple characters, Ford’s vision becomes abundantly clear. This is a parable for adults which begins with an open door and ends with that same door closing like the final page of a storybook. However, the real impact of the film lies in its wide angle cinematography which makes full use of those Utah settings; sunbaked deserts, crimson sunsets, and candlelit domestic scenes, all rendered in rich technicolour, give The Searchers a quasi-mythological feel and help distract the viewer from some rather mediocre performances. John Wayne, after all, was a screen icon and not an actor.

h
hoacornell
Dec 27, 2014

John Wayne's best film role by far!! He is working with his favorite director John Ford. The film has a wonderful cast and script. I won't ruin the movie by telling you about it. See it for yourself. Then maybe you will be like me, "The Searchers" is John Wayne at his finest!

n
Nursebob
Dec 13, 2014

Historical revisionism aside, John Ford’s glorious widescreen Western, often seen near the top of many critics’ “best of” lists, manages to mold the usual genre tropes into something approaching spiritual allegory. John Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a weary Confederate soldier returning to his brother’s Texas homestead at the end of the Civil War. The happy family reunion is cut short however when a roving band of Comanches raids the farm killing most of Ethan’s family and making off with his little niece Debbie. Consumed with rage, Ethan sets out to rescue the girl and exact his revenge accompanied by young Martin Pawley, the “one eighth Comanche” man he rescued from a similar raid when Martin was just an infant. But neither Ethan nor his motives are as honourable as they first appear for his hatred of all things Indian goes far deeper than first suspected (keep your eyes open for clues as to why) and he regards anything touched by them as tainted, including Debbie. Against a backdrop of soaring buttes and impossibly blue skies Ethan’s singleminded journey is as much psychological as physical; a few subtle hints suggest a man already burdened with a checkered past anxious to redeem himself and make the world right again. Facing outlaws, harsh landscapes, and an increasingly antagonistic relationship with Martin who provides a small but persistent voice of reason, Ethan’s quest brings him face-to-face with a few of his own demons. A final showdown with the Comanche chief does not become the straightforward good versus evil struggle we expect, but rather an angry contest of wills and an airing of past sins. Much has been said of the film’s apparent racist overtones in portraying Ethan’s Indian nemesis as an ignoble savage, but when both men are viewed as archetypes rather than simple characters, Ford’s vision becomes abundantly clear. This is a parable for adults which begins with an open door and ends with that same door closing like the final page of a storybook. However, the real impact of the film lies in its wide angle cinematography which makes full use of those Utah settings; sunbaked deserts, crimson sunsets, and candlelit domestic scenes, all rendered in rich technicolour, give The Searchers a quasi-mythological feel and help distract the viewer from some rather mediocre performances. John Wayne, after all, was a screen icon and not an actor.

g
garycornell
Oct 29, 2014

One of John Ford's best movies, and remember he directed the "Grapes of Wrath". Just read the films description of "a Civil War Veteran spending five years on the trail of a Comanche raiding party that Kidnapped his dead brothers daughters'. John Wayne plays Ethan Edwards a role he must have taken great pride in. He is accompanied on his search by Martin Pawley played by Jeffrey Hunter. They will travel through the most picturesque parts of the desolate west to find Ethan Edwards nieces. The movie is so highly thought of that in 1989 The National Film Preservation Award was given to the film. This assures us that the film will be preserved and cared for like a national treasure. There is also a book by Glenn Frankel titled "The Searchers The Making of an American Legend". The book tells the true story from which the film is based and the making of the movie by John Ford. The movie also comes with a Patrick Wayne introduction to the movie. I don't want to lose sight of one thing though, this is a movie you "must see". Afterwards, please be so kind to write your reaction to the movie. I know I was deeply touched by the movie and will watch many more times!
P.S. Please read the other comments, especially the five star rating from Monolith of December 17, 2012. Great piece of writing and I agree whole heartedly with his assessments of the movie.

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m
Monolith
Oct 30, 2012

Reverend Clayton: "Well, the prodigal brother. When did you get back? Ain't seen you since the surrender. Come to think of it, I didn't see you at the surrender." Ethan Edwards: "I don't believe in surrenders. Nope, I've still got my saber, Reverend. Didn't beat it into no plowshare, neither."

m
Monolith
Oct 30, 2012

Reverend Clayton: "You wanna quit, Ethan?" Ethan Edwards: "That'll be the day."

m
Monolith
Oct 30, 2012

Brad Jorgensen (trailing the Comanche): "They gotta stop sometime... If they're human men st all, they gotta stop!" Ethan Edwards: "No... A human rides a horse until it dies, then he goes on on foot... Comanch comes along, gets that horse up, rides him twenty more miles... then eats him..."

m
Monolith
Oct 30, 2012

Mose Harper (preparing for an Indian attack): "That which we are about to receive, we thank Thee, O Lord."

m
Monolith
Oct 30, 2012

Martin Pawley: "I HOPE YOU DIE!!" Ethan Edwards: "That'll be the day."

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