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The Searchers (1956)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Western  |  13 March 1956 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 58,096 users  
Reviews: 429 user | 144 critic

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



(screenplay), (from the novel by) (as Alan LeMay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


The story that sweeps from the great Southwest to the Canadian border in VistaVision. See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





| |

Release Date:

13 March 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Más corazón que odio  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$3,750,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


David Lean watched the movie repeatedly while preparing for Lawrence Of Arabia to help give him a sense of how to shoot a landscape. See more »


As the cavalry approaches and begins to cross the snow-covered river to the left, an automobile appears and drives to the right-hand corner of the shot and stops just beyond a tree. See more »


[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 »


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Let Me Go! (2011) See more »


Traditional Irish tune
Heard in score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Ford and Wayne doing what they do best
18 December 1998 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

John Ford's classic Western, has inspired many quest movies and tv series since its release. The film is a series of episodes linked by the 10 year quest for a niece stolen by Indians as a child. Wayne's Ethan Edwards, an embittered Confederate veteran shows only hatred for all redskins and is uncomprimising in his intended treatment of his niece when he finds her. Modern cinema audiences may find this uncomfortable, especially since western folklore has been reassessed over the last 20 years. But don't let this put you off. Ford's treatment is a modern allegory and Ethan can be forgiven his sins when, at the final denoument, one act of kindness gives us hope, and we feel Ethan has learned an important lesson. Tolerance. Everything about this film makes it a classic and perhaps the best in its genre. Ford's direction is as impeccable as ever, Frank Nugent's script and Winton Hoch's cinematography give us some of the classic images of the cinema. John Wayne, as ever, doesn't even need to act. He just sits tall in the saddle and perpetuates the myth.

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