MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 101 this week

The Searchers (1956)

8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 52,008 users  
Reviews: 415 user | 132 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (from the novel by)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb at Comic-Con 2014

Follow our coverage of Comic-Con 2014, direct from San Diego July 23-27 in our Comic-Con section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 49 titles
created 07 Feb 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 10 Feb 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 20 Feb 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 03 Mar 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "The Searchers" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Searchers (1956)

The Searchers (1956) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Searchers.

User Polls

1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

True Grit (1969)
Certificate: M Adventure | Western | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger help a stubborn young woman track down her father's murderer in Indian territory.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell
The Shootist (1976)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard
The Cowboys (1972)
Certificate: GP Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

When his cattle drivers abandon him for the gold fields, rancher Wil Andersen is forced to take on a collection of young boys as his drivers in order to get his herd to market in time to ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: John Wayne, Roscoe Lee Browne, Bruce Dern
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century--including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and 2 more credits »
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An oppressed Mexican peasant village assembles seven gunfighters to help defend their homes.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson
Shane (1953)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A Western retelling the tale of the Shoot-out at the OK Corral.

Director: John Ford
Stars: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature
Certificate: M Adventure | Biography | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close.

Director: George Roy Hill
Stars: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Lt. John Dunbar, exiled to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military.

Director: Kevin Costner
Stars: Kevin Costner, Mary McDonnell, Graham Greene
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sharpshooter Matt Quigley is hired from Montana by an Australian rancher paying a very high price. But when Quigley arrives Down Under, all is not as it seems.

Director: Simon Wincer
Stars: Tom Selleck, Laura San Giacomo, Alan Rickman
Adventure | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1825 an English aristocrat is captured by Indians. He lives with them and begins to understand/accept their lifestyles. Eventually he is accepted as part of the tribe and becomes their leader.

Director: Elliot Silverstein
Stars: Richard Harris, Judith Anderson, Jean Gascon
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Lars Jorgensen
Olive Carey ...
Mrs. Jorgensen
...
...
Charlie McCorry
...
Brad Jorgensen
...
Emilio Gabriel Fernandez y Figueroa
...
Beulah Archuletta ...
Look - Wild Goose Flying in the Night Sky
Walter Coy ...
Aaron Edwards
...
Martha Edwards
Edit

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:

TV-G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Ranked #1 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Western" in June 2008. See more »

Goofs

In the cabin where the cavalry is holding the deranged woman and the two teenage girls, a filming light is visible in the ceiling after the deranged woman screams and grabs the doll. The light is partially hidden behind a horizontal stovepipe and the glare is clearly visible for most of the scene. 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

Featured in When Brendan Met Trudy (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Lorena
(1856) (uncredited)
Music by J.P. Webster
Lyrics by Henry D.L. Webster
Heard in score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
John Ford shows us how to make a Western
17 June 2002 | by (Manhattan) – See all my reviews

John Ford is a classic Western filmmaker (though certainly not the only genre in which he excelled), employing the classic Western film star, John Wayne, in perhaps one of the most underappreciated films of our time. Ford builds a thoroughly entertaining movie which explores classic Western themes without necessarily relying on these themes to drive the plot.

Like any good Western, we are inorexably drawn to a kind of Cowboys vs. Indians saga, but Ford manages to draw us into the conflict in such a way that the mere "Cowboys good, Indians bad" aesthetic isn't really applicable here. While relying on the archetypical roles of the two groups to set up a conflict, Ford is ahead of his time in managing to characterize the Indians as more than "noble savages". Wayne's character's (Ethan Edwards) hatred of "the Commanch" is called into question a number of times, especially in his stormy relationship with adopted nephew and fellow searcher Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter), who we are told is a quarter-Indian himself, and cannot bring himself to find the same sort of hatred for the Indians that Ethan holds.

Ethan was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War, returning to his brother's Texas homestead after the war. A group of Commanches, led by the ominous Chief Scar, route and kill his brother's family while Ethan and Martin are investigating a cattle rustling, the Commaches' diversionary tactic. The Indians took the family's youngest daughter, and the majority of the film has us following Ethan and Martin in their attempts to track down Scar and take back the girl, Debbie (played by Lorna and Natalie Wood, at different times).

Such a situation sets up one of the many moral ambiguities that make this more than an ordinary Western: the Commanches slaughtered Ethan's brother and his family - he seemingly has reason to hate them with the almost crazy passion that he does. Yet the more naive Martin cannot bring himself to hate them in such a way, and the split between them becomes a major point of contention when it becomes clear that Debbie has more or less been adopted as a Commanche (the two "Searchers" chase after her for about five years in film time). Furthermore, when the two "Searchers" actually meet Scar, who they've been chasing for years, he is presented as a rather intelligent character, although certainly one filled with vengance - he, too, has his reasons for waging war with the likes of Ethan and Martin, and cannot merely be written off a the type of bloodthirsty savage that is typical of the portrayal of most Indians within the genre.

The film relies on enough classic Western material to imbue with the feel with the sense of such pictures. Aside from the question of Ethan's morality, Wayne plays him with classic John Wayne freewheeling confidence and swagger that made the actor such an icon, and it comes off quite well. We are also given a side story involving Martin's romance with the hard-as-nails Laurie Jurgensen (played by Vera Miles, best known for playing Janet Leigh's sister in "Psycho"). The relationship is from a classic, archetypical Western mold - the two have been in love since they were kids, but Martin has responsibilites to his family that stop him from making the proper time for his beau, and his rough frontier-uprbringing leave him seemingly lacking the proper sensitivity for dealing with Laura (though he does, of course, have a heart of gold).

As a side note, this film should prove immensely interesting to any serious fan of the "Star Wars" trilogy (the original one). While those films undoubtably draw a great deal of inspiration from Kurosawa's samurai films, there is most certainly a great deal (especially in the film subtitled "A New Hope") drawn from here. One scene in particular (when Luke returns to his farm after stormtroopers have blasted in pieces) is virtually ripped straight from "The Searchers". Ford's film is also full of the sort of gallows humor present throughout the trilogy, and even incorporates some rather goofy characters, the half-cracked Mose Harper (Hank Warden) and the incredibly over-the-top rival for Laura's hand Charlie McCorry (Ken Curtis), without ruining the overall serious feel of the film, but managing to squeeze laughs out of absurd situations (such as a fight between Martin and Charlie) without compromising the ability to quickly return to a solemn tone. Such deft touch, as well as the addition of wise-cracking dialogue (provided largely by Wayne and Ward Bond here) are a large part of what made the original trilogy so successful, and it's strikingly similar to the type of paradigm on display between various characters here.

Regardless of ranting and raving about Star Wars, however, this is an excellent film on it's own merit.


77 of 132 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
John Wayne was just plain annoying, totally unlikeable Lin301
Can I Ask: Why Do People -Like- This So Much? mail-2217
Glenn Frankel’s The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend turtletommy
WAS ETHAN, MARTIN PAWLEY'S FATHER??? racine84
shootin' irons... beauhooligan
Texas Snow GI_Joe86
Discuss The Searchers (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?