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The Searchers (1956)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Western | 26 May 1956 (USA)
An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (from the novel by) (as Alan LeMay)
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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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 »
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Cast

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


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

26 May 1956 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Más corazón que odio  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Irwin Winkler named this as his favorite film in an AFI poll. See more »

Goofs

When Aaron Edwards is looking around outside to spot Indians, it is dusk. We then see a quick cut away to a bright blue sky when he spots something, and then a cut back to dusk. 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 Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Shall We Gather at the River
(1864) (uncredited)
Written by Robert Lowry
Sung at funeral and later at wedding
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Landmark Western.
7 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

John Ford and John Wayne re-team for their best and most famous western. Wayne plays returning Civil War veteran Ethan Edwards, who comes to the Texas ranch of his brother on hopes of settling down to a new life. Unfortunately, these plans are cruelly thwarted when the ranch(filled with the women and children) is raided by ruthless and renegade Indian chief Scar, who attacks and massacres the family, except for little Debbie Edwards(Natalie Wood) Ethan, enraged and distraught by this raid, vows to track down and kill the tribe, and rescue his niece, with the help from his nephew Martin(played by Jeffrey Hunter). This search takes several years of their lives, across the country and through all kinds of weather and obstacles, until one day they finally locate Debbie, who is now assimilated into the tribe Ethan hates, and he may not be able to spare her...

Gorgeously filmed on location in Ford's beloved Monument Valley, with an intelligent and ambitious script and a superlative performance by Wayne, as a driven and vengeful man who is not always likable, but is still righteous and fascinating. Film does ramble a bit, and the outcome is not really in doubt, but excellent film is still worth watching, with an astonishing closing scene.


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