MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 2,686 this week

The Searchers (1956)

Approved  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Western  |  13 March 1956 (USA)
8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 57,525 users  
Reviews: 429 user | 144 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

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

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

10 Best Back-to-School TV Shows

Dust off your varsity jacket and get excited for fall with our list of the 10 best back-to-school TV shows.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 28 Jan 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 07 Feb 2012
 
a list of 44 titles
created 10 Feb 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 01 Sep 2013
 
a list of 29 titles
created 27 Dec 2013
 

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

2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles
Rio Bravo (1959)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson
Stagecoach (1939)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine
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 teenager track down her father's murderer in Indian territory.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell
The Quiet Man (1952)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald
Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan
Red River (1948)
Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Dunson is driving his cattle to Red River when his adopted son, Matthew, turns against him.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson
Stars: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru
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
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Captain Nathan Brittles, on the eve of retirement, takes out a last patrol to stop an impending massive Indian attack. Encumbered by women who must be evacuated, Brittles finds his mission imperiled.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar
Rio Grande (1950)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Rio Grande takes place after the Civil War when the Union turned their attention towards the Apaches. Union officer Kirby Yorke is in charge of an outpost on the Rio Grande in which he is ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ben Johnson
El Dorado (1966)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.

Director: Howard Hawks
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan
High Noon (1952)
Drama | Thriller | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell
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
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:

He had to find her... he had to find her... See more »


Certificate:

Approved | 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

Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Jean-Luc Godard, John Milius, and Paul Schrader regard it as one of their most influential movies and have all paid some form of homage to it in their work. 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 The 100 Greatest Films (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

The Searchers
(1956)
by Stan Jones
Sung by Sons of the Pioneers (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"We Be Texicans"
11 January 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

If John Wayne was ever cornered about what his favorite movie role was he'd be answering Ethan Edwards in The Searchers. Proof of that is obvious, he named his son by his third marriage John Ethan Wayne.

Ethan Edwards takes his time in returning home to Texas from the Civil War to the home of his brother and his family. But soon after he does the family is massacred in an Indian raid. The two young daughters are taken prisoner and Wayne with Jeffrey Hunter and Harry Carey, Jr. go off in search of them. Carey is killed early on, but Wayne and Hunter go on for years, both driven men for different reasons.

Ethan Edwards is probably the most racist man Wayne ever portrayed on the screen, yet we feel sympathy for him at the same time. It's been a hard and bitter life on the frontier for him. Just as it's been for the Indians as well. Chief Scar, played by Henry Brandon, is Wayne's opposite number and he makes clear what he thinks of whites. Two of his sons were killed and he's going to take many white scalps in reprisal.

My guess is that Ethan Edwards war service involved him seeing the war of desolation waged by William T. Sherman in the deep South. Small wonder he goes out and starts killing buffalo with a maniacal intensity that Wayne never showed before or since in film. Not an aspect that is normally brought out by reviewers.

Wayne's relationship with Jeffrey Hunter is a strange one. He found Hunter as a toddler during a raid on a wagon train. Hunter is a distant cousin of the Edwards family and one eighth Cherokee. But to Wayne he's an Indian. He gains a grudging respect for him on the trail though.

But Hunter's there to stop him. The oldest Edwards daughter is discovered dead early on. That by the way is an intense scene where Wayne's facial expressions register more than pages of dialog. Wayne had one of the great faces for close-ups and John Ford well knew it.

The younger daughter has grown up and is played grown up by Natalie Wood. Wayne feels he has to avenge some family code of honor because Wood's been taken as a bride by Henry Brandon. Hunter just wants his cousin back on any terms.

John Ford as he always does, gets some good comedy relief of the broad kind in the film. Jeffrey Hunter and Vera Miles who is Harry Carey's sister have a thing going, but when she doesn't hear from him she almost ups and marries Ken Curtis. Hunter and Curtis's confrontation is pretty funny.

Ford also probably made his best use of Monument Valley in this film. Though Stagecoach and Fort Apache are also among his best photographed films, The Searchers being in color is in a class by itself. Proof of that is the scene at the Edwards home at twilight just before the Indian raid. Beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

Ward Bond has a great role as Reverend/Captain Samuel Clayton, parson and Texas Ranger at the same time. A difficult job for some to reconcile, but I'm sure Bond believes that conversion of the Indians is not uppermost on his mind. Bond also has some great blustering comic moments with Patrick Wayne who plays an earnest young army lieutenant.

The Searchers is usually found on just about every top ten list of best westerns ever made and it surely belongs there.


68 of 109 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Good film, not a great film... VivaAcetate
The greatest Western ever made? tanner-bartko-828-203237
John Wayne was just plain annoying, totally unlikeable Lin301
Scar alanwhit
shootin' irons... beauhooligan
WAS ETHAN, MARTIN PAWLEY'S FATHER??? racine84
Discuss The Searchers (1956) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?