19 December 2013 5:37 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Nobody wants to rock the boat when it comes to reassessing the classics, but face facts: Gregory's Girl is clunky, 2001: A Space Odyssey is never-ending, while Dirty Dancing is still brilliant

A few weeks ago I watched The Searchers, the 1956 John Ford horse opera that is routinely described by critics as one of the greatest films of all time. In 2008 the American Film Institute named it the finest western ever, as well as the 12th best American movie, while the British Film Institute slotted it in at number seven on the all-time greatest list.

Are these guys serious? The Searchers, which deals with a mysterious, morally ambivalent Johnny Reb's relentless quest to find – and perhaps kill – a niece abducted by marauding Comanches, is padded out to epic length with all sorts of daffy comedy. The gags and slapstick fistfights undercut the serious message of the film: that most white »

- Joe Queenan

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