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The Searchers (1956)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Western  |  13 March 1956 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 57,014 users  
Reviews: 429 user | 144 critic

A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (from the novel by) (as Alan LeMay)
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Title: The Searchers (1956)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
...
...
Lars Jorgensen
Olive Carey ...
Mrs. Jorgensen
...
...
Charlie McCorry
...
Brad Jorgensen
...
Emilio Gabriel Fernandez y Figueroa
...
Beulah Archuletta ...
Look
Walter Coy ...
Aaron Edwards
...
Martha Edwards
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Storyline

Ethan Edwards, returned from the Civil War to the Texas ranch of his brother, hopes to find a home with his family and to be near the woman he obviously but secretly loves. But a Comanche raid destroys these plans, and Ethan sets out, along with his 1/8 Indian nephew Martin, on a years-long journey to find the niece kidnapped by the Indians under Chief Scar. But as the quest goes on, Martin begins to realize that his uncle's hatred for the Indians is beginning to spill over onto his now-assimilated niece. Martin becomes uncertain whether Ethan plans to rescue Debbie...or kill her. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Biggest, Roughest, Toughest ...and Most Beautiful Picture Ever Made! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

13 March 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Más corazón que odio  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The role of a young cavalry officer, Lt. Greenhill, is played by Patrick Wayne, John Wayne's son. See more »

Goofs

When Clayton's posse is about half way across the river, the scene cuts to a close up of five Indians coming over a dirt bank. Seconds later, a puff of smoke is seen coming from the bottom of the screen when all five Indians fall off their horses and into the water (the ropes used to trip up the horses are visible in the muddied water). The posse is already across the river and too far away to make such a shot; one shot cannot bring down five Indians. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[seeing a horseman in the distance]
Aaron Edwards: Ethan?
Debbie Edwards: Hush, Prince.
Lucy Edwards: That's your Uncle Ethan!
Martha Edwards: [he approaches] Welcome home, Ethan!
See more »

Crazy Credits

This Warner Brothers film was said to be in VistaVision, according to the credits - this may be the only Warner film in VistaVision. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Man Called Death (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Garryowen
(uncredited)
Traditional Irish tune
Heard in score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
If your searching for something great, you will certainly find it here!
3 July 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The searchers is arguably John Fords Magnum Opus - and that is quite a claim considering his impressive list of films. It is a film that has everything; fine acting; exemplary photography; great storytelling; magnificent composition; the list goes on.

This film is certainly not just for lovers of the western genre - it offers so much more and treats you to the wonders and treasures great film-making has to offer. It is an epic story, a complete watershed in cinema. Often credited as an early study of racism, this is not what lies at the heart of this picture. As well as racism, the films themes include individuality, the American character, and the opposition between civilization and the untamed frontier wilderness.

After arriving back at his brothers home too late to save him and his family, the Searchers becomes a story of a desperate, hate-ridden quest. A heroic and epic journey of discovery which explores the psychological chaos of a deeply troubled, crusading man obsessed with revenge and hatred, who searches for his two nieces Lucy and Debbie who have been taken by the Comanche tribe who brutally massacred their family. The search for his relatives is mirrored also by his inner search for peace and his desire for acceptance in society.

The films sophisticated and dazzling cinematography is extremely striking visually, and captures the harsh nature of the characters surroundings, accentuating its beauty and its isolating and dangerous nature. This is contrasted against the welcoming and homely nature of family life depicted in the film. This is the place Ethan Edwards longs to belong to. However his true home is the dangerous, brutal and unforgiving environment of which he has become akin to as a soldier in the civil war and one which ultimately alienates him beyond being able to re-enter civilized society. He becomes perfect evidence of what happens to an individual in the midst of a great battle when he gives in to his own hatred.

Films shot so beautifully as the searchers are a joy to watch. Describing this film as a 'motion picture' really is quite appropriate, as you really do feel like the landscapes of monument valley, fords favourite locale, transcend the boundaries of the camera and become a beautiful oil painting come to life that grips and consumes the viewer.

When you consider the vast range of great individual scenes, it is easy to see why so many of the film industries 'new Hollywood' directors such as Spielberg and Scorcese cite this as such a cinematic milestone and express the huge impact it has had on both their own work (Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver is almost a modern Ethan Edwards roaming the streets of New York in a taxi, instead of on horseback) and on cinema in the twentieth century as a whole.


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Good film, not a great film... VivaAcetate
The greatest Western ever made? tanner-bartko-828-203237
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