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The Searchers
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The Searchers (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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The Searchers -- As a Civil War veteran spends years searching for a young niece captured by Indians, his motivation becomes increasingly questionable.
Lawrence of Arabia -- AFI's 10 Top 10 - The 10 Greatest Films in 10 Classic Genres
The Searchers -- As a Civil War veteran spends years searching for a young niece captured by Indians, his motivation becomes increasingly questionable.

Overview

User Rating:
8.0/10   52,544 votes »
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Down 53% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Frank S. Nugent (screenplay)
Alan Le May (from the novel by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Searchers on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 March 1956 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The story that sweeps from the great Southwest to the Canadian border in VistaVision. See more »
Plot:
A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Awards:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(244 articles)
User Reviews:
A disturbing meditation on racism, rancor and violence... See more (416 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Wayne ... Ethan Edwards

Jeffrey Hunter ... Martin Pawley

Vera Miles ... Laurie Jorgensen

Ward Bond ... Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton

Natalie Wood ... Debbie Edwards - Age 15

John Qualen ... Lars Jorgensen
Olive Carey ... Mrs. Jorgensen

Henry Brandon ... Chief Cicatriz - Scar

Ken Curtis ... Charlie McCorry

Harry Carey Jr. ... Brad Jorgensen

Antonio Moreno ... Emilio Gabriel Fernandez y Figueroa

Hank Worden ... Mose Harper
Beulah Archuletta ... Look - Wild Goose Flying in the Night Sky
Walter Coy ... Aaron Edwards

Dorothy Jordan ... Martha Edwards

Pippa Scott ... Lucy Edwards

Patrick Wayne ... Lt. Greenhill (as Pat Wayne)

Lana Wood ... Younger Debbie Edwards
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pipe Line Begishe ... Comanche (uncredited)
Exactly Sonnie Betsuie ... Comanche (uncredited)
Danny Borzage ... Accordionist at Funeral (uncredited)

Ruth Clifford ... Deranged Woman at Fort (uncredited)
Carmen D'Antonio ... Carmen (uncredited)
Tommy Doss ... Wedding Musician (uncredited)
Pete Grey Eyes ... Comanche (uncredited)
Feather Hat Jr. ... Comanche (uncredited)
Nacho Galindo ... Mexican Bartender (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward ... Man at Wedding (uncredited)
Jack Tin Horn ... Comanche (uncredited)
Harry Black Horse ... Comanche (uncredited)
Away Luna ... Comanche (uncredited)
Robert Lyden ... Ben Edwards (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons ... Col. Greenhill (uncredited)
Peter Mamakos ... Jerem Futterman (uncredited)

Mae Marsh ... Dark Cloaked Woman at Fort Guarding Deranged Woman (uncredited)
Frank McGrath ... Ranger (uncredited)
Bob Many Mules ... Comanche (uncredited)
Jack Pennick ... Sergeant at Fort (uncredited)
Lloyd Perryman ... Wedding Musician (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson ... Ranger at Wedding (uncredited)
Smile White Sheep ... Comanche (uncredited)
Many Mules Son ... Comanche (uncredited)
Percy Shooting Star ... Comanche (uncredited)
William Steele ... Nesby (uncredited)
Chief Thundercloud ... Comanche Chief (uncredited)
Terry Wilson ... Ranger (uncredited)
Billy Yellow ... Comanche (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Ford 
 
Writing credits
Frank S. Nugent (screenplay)

Alan Le May (from the novel by) (as Alan LeMay)

Produced by
Merian C. Cooper .... executive producer
Patrick Ford .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
 
Cinematography by
Winton C. Hoch (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Jack Murray (film editor)
 
Art Direction by
James Basevi 
Frank Hotaling 
 
Set Decoration by
Victor A. Gangelin  (as Victor Gangelin)
 
Costume Design by
Charles Arrico (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Web Overlander .... makeup
Fae M. Smith .... hair dresser (as Fae Smith)
Jack Obringer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Vera Tomei .... assistant hair stylist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Lowell J. Farrell .... production supervisor
R.L. Johnston .... assistant production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Wingate Smith .... assistant director
Gary Nelson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Edward O'Fearna .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Dudley Holmes .... properties
Richard Brandow .... props (uncredited)
Art Cole .... assistant property master (uncredited)
William Crider .... greensman (uncredited)
William Frederickson .... swing gang (uncredited)
Larry Hogan .... swing gang (uncredited)
Richard Huhn .... greensman (uncredited)
Don Hume .... drapery man (uncredited)
Jerry Hume .... drapery man (uncredited)
Frank M. Miller .... lead man (uncredited)
Grady Willard .... construction supervisor (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Hugh McDowell Jr. .... sound (as Hugh McDowell)
Howard Wilson .... sound
Danny Daniels .... boom operator (uncredited)
Bill Ford .... cable man (uncredited)
William Griffith .... radio man (uncredited)
Joseph Keener .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Willard W. Starr .... radio man (uncredited)
Roy Steele .... boom operator (uncredited)
William Stokes .... radio man (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
George Brown .... special effects
George F. Goss .... special effects (uncredited)
A. McLish .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Bill Cartledge .... stunts (uncredited)
Philip Crawford .... stunts (uncredited)
Dick Dial .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
Bryan 'Slim' Hightower .... stunts (uncredited)
John Hudkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Kennedy .... stunts (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... stunts (uncredited)
Frank McGrath .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel .... stunts (uncredited)
Henry Wills .... stunts (uncredited)
Terry Wilson .... stunts (uncredited)
Billy Yellow .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack N. Young .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Alfred Gilks .... second unit photography
Alfred Baalas .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Vaughn Burns .... grip (uncredited)
Gilly Campbell .... grip (uncredited)
Joseph Edesa .... gaffer (uncredited)
Ted Fell .... camera mechanic (uncredited)
Travis Gage .... grip (uncredited)
Carl Gibson .... head grip (uncredited)
Al Green .... camera operator (uncredited)
Ralph Guthrie .... grip (uncredited)
James Hunter .... electrician (uncredited)
John E. Jacobson .... electrician (uncredited)
Bob Joannes .... camera operator (uncredited)
Alexander Kahle .... still photographer (uncredited)
Tom King .... grip (uncredited)
Bela Kovacs .... electrician (uncredited)
George Le Picard .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Norman Lindley .... electrician (uncredited)
Neil MacDonald .... best boy (uncredited)
Del L. Mort .... grip (uncredited)
Gene Polito .... technician (uncredited)
Robert Rhea .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Galin Schultz .... grip (uncredited)
Ray Sealock .... generator man (uncredited)
Eugene Testera .... electrician (uncredited)
John Vusich .... grip (uncredited)
Paul Whitcomb .... assistant grip (uncredited)
Bob Wycoff .... technician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Frank Beetson Jr. .... wardrobe: men (as Frank Beetson)
Ann Peck .... wardrobe: women
Charles Arrico .... assistant wardrobe (uncredited)
Frank Cardinale .... assistant wardrobe (uncredited)
James Kelly .... tailor (uncredited)
Rose Viebeck .... wardrobe: females (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Murray Cutter .... orchestrations
 
Transportation Department
Ike Danning .... driver captain (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Robert Gary .... script supervisor
James Gooch .... technicolor color consultant
C.M. Florance .... location auditor (uncredited)
Ben B. Henry .... first aid (uncredited)
R.L. Hough .... location manager (uncredited)
W.F. House .... doctor (uncredited)
Albert Kraus .... timekeeper (uncredited)
Cliff Lyons .... technical man (uncredited)
Dr. Moresca .... doctor (uncredited)
John J. Sewell .... location auditor (uncredited)
Dr. Smilkstein .... doctor (uncredited)
Meta Stern .... dialogue supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
119 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.75 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Australia:G | Brazil:12 | Canada:G (British Columbia/Nova Scotia/Quebec) | Canada:G (Manitoba) | Canada:F (Ontario) | Finland:K-12 | Iceland:L | Norway:12 | Portugal:M/6 | South Korea:12 (2003) | Sweden:15 | UK:U (passed with cuts) | UK:U (re-release: uncut) (2008) | USA:TV-G (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #17787) | West Germany:12 (nf)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The Merseybeat band The Searchers took their name from this film. They are most famous for their cover of "Needles and Pins".See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: Marty's knife hilt seems to be a Ka-Bar knife, designed in WWII.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in The Godfather (1972)See more »
Soundtrack:
Shall We Gather at the RiverSee more »

FAQ

Did Ethan and Martha have an affair?
Is this based on a true story?
What are the words written on Ethan and Aaron's mother's headstone that Debbie sits next to?
See more »
79 out of 149 people found the following review useful.
A disturbing meditation on racism, rancor and violence..., 29 August 2001

There are striking differences between 'Stagecoach' and 'The Searchers' reflecting a change more important than the mere passage of time:

- 'Stagecoach' is a classic Western... 'The Searchers' is a rich Western...

- 'Stagecoach' explores major social issues and themes... 'The Searchers' explores complex moral issues and myths concerning the frontier...

- 'Stagecoach' captures frenetic action and awe-inspiring panoramas... 'The Searchers' captures the beauty and isolating danger of the frontier...

- 'Stagecoach' is about characters of clashing social classes/values... 'The Searchers' is the complex story of a hate-ridden quest and odyssey of self-discovery...

- 'Stagecoach' shows the classic attack on the stagecoach by the rampaging Apaches... 'The Searchers' shows the Comanche attack on a home without ever showing the attack itself...

- 'Stagecoach' shows one of the most enjoyable rides in cinema history... 'The Searchers' shows the Old West as visually magnificent, but very dangerous to live in...

- 'Stagecoach' captures the untamed, rocky wilderness in Black and White... 'The Searchers' captures the vast, sprawling desert wilderness in grand Technicolor fashion...

- 'Stagecoach" is the first movie Ford filmed in Utah's Monument Valley... 'The Searchers' is the 9th time Ford shoots footage in Monument Valley...

- 'Stagecoach' holds our attention because its story is in continual change... 'The Searchers' hunts us for its unique cinematic art...

- 'Stagecoach' made John Wayne a star... 'The Searchers' stars the biggest Western star of all time the 'Duke.'

- 'Stagecoach' is a picture that excites the sight... 'The Searchers' is a film that moves the heart...

- In 'Stagecoach' Wayne shoots and kills Apaches... In 'The Searchers' he kills Comanches and even shoots two bullets at an Indian corpse...

- In 'Stagecoach' John Wayne is a charming, reluctant outlaw... In 'The Searchers' he is an embittered man, a prejudiced Indian hater...

- The essence of 'Stagecoach' is the humanity that resides in all of us... The essence of 'The Searchers' is one man's tragedy...

'The Searchers' is a stunning film with enormous scope, and breathtaking beauty, the ultimate meeting of two legends who frequently worked together—John Ford and John Wayne...

"The Searchers" brings the feeling to focus in the story of the abduction by Indians of two white girls and the long hunt for them that becomes a personal crusade…

"The Searchers" is about just such a raid and the terrible obsession of a man who seeks not only to rescue captives but to exact fearful vengeance…

John Wayne comes riding back from Confederate service in the Civil War, three years after it's over, to the Texan ranch he co-owns with his brother (Walter Coy). There's bitterness and mystery about the man… There are gold double eagles in his saddle-bags and there's a clammed up look in his eyes that says whatever he's done, or whatever he's been through, he's telling nothing… It's obvious, though, that he's glad to be home, that he's quite fond of his brother's wife (Dorothy Jordan), but he hates the fact that they've adopted a Cherokee half-breed (Jeffrey Hunter) into the family…

When Ward Bond, a preacher-cum-Rangers' captain, drops in to form a posse, Wayne goes along with him, only to find later that they've been decoyed away by Comanches… He gets back to learn that his brother, his wife, and their son have been killed and their two daughters have been abducted…

As always, certain words, sequences, images stay in the mind and evoke an emotional response:

- The wind sweeping across the landscape and through a frontier woman's black hair...

- The homecoming of a lean ex-Confederate soldier (against a bright sky) approaching a solitary house...

- The sad reflective look of a loner, sitting on the porch with only a dog for company...

- A married woman seen, by a Captain/Reverend, taking out and gently caressing her brother-in-law's cape in a manner that betrays her love for him...

- The ride of the posse through the grandeur of Monument Valley, Utah...

- White men riding scared through a valley while marauding Indians surround them between two parallel lines...

- The anguish face of a man agonizingly realizing that his brother's family could be the target of a Comanche murder raid...

- A shadow covering a ten year old girl, and the shocking view of an Indian standing menacingly before her...

- The catchphrase, 'That'll be the day!'

- A long view of a two searchers riding along a ridge in front of a sunset...

- The passionate frenzy of an avenging man, shooting wildly at a herd of buffalo...

- The 7th Cavalry riding beautiful horses in lines, galloping through an icy river, and carrying colorful flags against the white of the snow...

- Dignified women line up on one side, and their well-behaved men on the other, to the tune of "Shall We Gather at the River."

- The old man Mose, peacefully sitting, on the porch, in the family's rocking chair...

'The Searchers' is a big motion picture that cries 'wilderness' and the images sustain it... The eye is constantly filled with space, and isolation... It is perhaps the first film to clearly investigate the emotional bases for the racial tensions between Indians and whites, and shows a shocking massacre of a Comanche village...

John Ford was certainly a fantasist that has meditated on the West for a long period of years and has created an imaginary West that is uniquely his own... Ford was a folk artist, a master storyteller, a poet of the moving image..

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (416 total) »

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
John Wayne was just plain annoying, totally unlikeable Lin301
Can I Ask: Why Do People -Like- This So Much? mail-2217
Martin Pawley elsa-reinsch
Lana Wood Appering at Maryland Nostalgia Con pickitwilly
WAS ETHAN, MARTIN PAWLEY'S FATHER??? racine84
Glenn Frankels The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend turtletommy
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