Edit
The Searchers (1956) Poster

(1956)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

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.
8 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
During the snowy creek crossing, a woman on horseback can clearly be seen wearing sun-glasses.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The Winchester model 1866 was nicknamed the "Yellow Boy" due to the brass receiver. The Winchesters used in the film were actually from 1873. Since 3 years after the war was only 1868, Ethan and the others couldn't have had those model 1873 Winchesters.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At the Comanche camp where Martin buys a "blanket" the female extras are wearing clothing, jewelry and hair styles typical of 20th Century Navajos (not surprising, as Monument Valley lies within the Navajo Nation.)
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Marty's knife hilt seems to be a Ka-Bar knife, designed in WWII.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The movie begins in 1868; however, all of the guns used are mid 1870s vintage. The pistols used are Colt 1873 Peacemakers and the rifles are Winchester Model 1892. Although both Spencer and Volcanic Repeating Arms both produced cartridge firing repeating rifles, it is more likely that most of the men, not being professional gun hands, would have carried Civil War surplus rifles (muzzleloaders) like Mose.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Laurie is seen wearing what appear to be riveted blue jeans in Texas around the year 1869 or 1870. Denim pants reinforced with rivets were not patented and mass produced until 1873 (by Levi Strauss in San Francisco), and prior to that were likely unknown outside of Reno, Nevada, where they had been invented by a local tailor.
5 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the cavalry troop is crossing the snowy river, a car can be seen in the background behind the trees as it pulls up and stops.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Although the movie is set between 1868 and 1873, several characters are seen wearing Levi's jeans (complete with stitching on the back pocket and signature red Levi's tag). Levi's didn't patent a blue jean until 1873, and the name "Levi's" wasn't patented until 1928.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

During the shootout with the Indians at the river, Rev. Capt. Clayton's gun is emptied and Ethan throws him a loaded gun; Clayton throws his hat and hits Ethan. Ethan is moving his lips and saying something but, there is no sound.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the Comanches ride down on Ethan and Marty from the sand dune, one Comanche can be seen and heard firing his rifle. However, he fires his rifle a second time but no gunshot sound effect can be heard.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Martin runs toward Ethan and yells; "No Ethan, No!", his mouth does not move. Several other scenes throughout the movie also have some visibly dubbed/mismatching pieces of dialogue.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Character error 

Right after he takes the loaded gun from Ethan & throws his hat at Ethan, Clayton's gun goes off unintentionally before he takes his first shot.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Rev. Capt. Clayton is swearing in Martin and Aaron as Deputy Texas Rangers he is continually interrupted. One interruption occurs immediately after he says, "...and you will faithfully discharge..." After the interruption he asks young Debbie where he was, and she replies, "You will faithfully fulfill." When he restarts the oath, Clayton again says, "You will faithfully discharge..."
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Mamacita is using an aluminum pot to cook Frijoles.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Continuity 

In the open shot of the funeral scene, Reverend Captain Clayton has only Ethan and Martin near him. But in the subsequent shot a man appears just behind Ethan.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the Indians charge across the river toward the reverend's posse, the river changes both direction and color throughout the scene. In some shots, the river is a muddy red, while in others it is clearer and blue. In the shots of Ethan firing his rifle, the river moves from his left to his right. But in the shots of the Indians getting shot and falling from their horses, the river moves from Ethan's (and the viewer's) right to his left. Then, as the Indians retreat, the river switches back to moving left to right.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
After the children go to sleep, Aaron's pipe disappears from his hand. Afterward, when he is hiding Ethan's money, the pipe reappears in his mouth.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
During the battle with the Comanche crossing the river, Mose and Martin seem enveloped in dusk while firing from behind a log, whereas their companions, seen in other shots, are viewed in bright sunlight.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Martin is taking a bath, Laurie brings in 2 buckets of water and leaves them by the door. Then when the camera cuts to a close up of Martin in the tub, the buckets are next to the tub. When the camera pans back to a full shot, the buckets are by the door again.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the Indians charge across the river, Ethan is shooting at them with an octagonal barreled rifle, when the angle changes, he is shooting with a round barreled carbine.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At the beginning of the movie, a blanket is draped on the hitching rail. When the shot moves from inside the darkened house to the bright outdoors the blanket is gone.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
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.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the Aaron's family goes out to welcome Ethan, the dog follows Debbie and stays on her right-hand side. In the next shot the dog is on her left.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The horses Ethan and Marty are riding are not in sequence. When Marty rides his horse to death and is seen carrying his saddle, he was riding his buckskin (which is the horse that supposedly died). When he rides out with Ethan to look for the two girls, he is again on the same buckskin horse. Also, when Marty leaves and goes after Ethan, Laurie gives him her blaze-faced sorrel 'Sweet Face'. When Ethan and Marty are riding together after Marty buys 'Look', they are both riding dark faced dark horses and not leading any other horses. Later on, Marty is once again on 'Sweet Face'.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the fight between Marty and Charlie is broken up by the wedding guest, both men are completely covered in white dust. When they cut to a closer shot of the two men, they are much cleaner with only a small amount of brown dust on them.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Clayton's posse is crossing the river, you can clearly see the Indian war party following behind on the river bank. When the posse gets to the other side, the war party is not visible on the opposite bank or in the river.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
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.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
As Ethan and Marty approach the Jorgenson ranch: when Mrs. Jorgenson is standing outside the front door, the position of the sun changes from shot to shot, in the first her back is in direct sunlight with her shadow in front of her, in the next shot it is now the front of her body that is in sunlight, now her shadow is behind her. In the next shot the position of the sun has reverted back to the position it was in the first.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At the beginning, when Ethan takes his brother's place in the Ranger posse, he walks out wearing his chaps. When he gets on his horse and rides out, his chaps are laying across the front of his saddle.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Ethan and Martin are left by Luke, the day dawns bright and clear and they are lightly dressed (with Martin with his shirt open), but in the "letter" Martin sent describing that day, as read by his girlfriend in a quick cut, Martin says it "snowed that day," and the next quick cut shows them riding through a snow covered landscape, which can only mean that a warm, sunny day they woke up to, to find Luke gone, very suddenly turned into winter.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
During their fight, Martin and Charlie rolled up in a almost completely yellow bedspread. From one shot to another the bedspread changes its color.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
During the final battle, when the Texas Rangers rush the Indian camp, the scene goes from night to broad daylight from that point on.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Early in the movie when Captain Clayton is trying to recruit Ethan and his brother, John Wayne puts on his gun belt and in the next shot buckles it again.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the Reverend breaks up the fight between Martin and Charlie, a group of men are seen behind the Reverend with Martin and Charlie in front of him however, when the fight resumes, Seth, the violinist, has appeared behind Charlie.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
At the Jorgenson ranch when Laurie is cooking breakfast, the bottoms of the legs of the jeans she is wearing are turned up. In the next scene where she hands her horse over to Marty, the bottoms are no longer turned up.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Ethan, Marty, and Mose meet Emilio Gabriel Fernandez y Figueroa in the bar, the bartender has put out an inferior bottle of tequila. Emilio asks (in Spanish) for a better one but the bartender only wipes off the same bottle and places it back on the bar. In the next shot, a different bottle - with supposedly a better quality tequila - is shown.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Ethan walks up to the stone "arrow" marker left by Luke when she runs away, his moccasins have high tops above the ankle. Then, when you see him kneeling at the arrow, his moccasins are rolled down, revealing modern sweat socks.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the Comanche attack is imminent on the Edwards homestead the window's wooden reinforcements facing out from the front of the house go from being closed/boarded up when viewed from outside to open when the character Aaron Edwards comes back into the house. He then closes them again.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When the men are going after the cattle thieves, Ethan puts on his gun belt and buckles it. When the camera cuts to a medium shot, he is putting the tongue of the belt, through the buckle after he's already completed buckling it in the previous shot.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Ethan & Marty arrive at the house just before the wedding, Mr. Jorgensen is coming down the stairs with flowers in his right hand. The next shot shows the flowers in his left hand.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
While Laurie reads Martin's letter, Charlie stays plucking the guitar. In the next shot he is touching his chin with his left hand.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Just after the shooting at the river Ethan is sitting and putting new bullets in his rifle while talking to Clayton, then he walks up to the two by the horses behind with his rifle in his left hand. Just before the cut to a closeup on the three, he shifts the rifle to his right hand. But after the cut to the closeup he is still holding his rifle in his left hand.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Crew or equipment visible 

After Ethan stokes the campfire and Martin turns in for the night, the camera tilts up to Futterman on a rock. The angle is so high that the top of the studio backdrop and a studio light are visible when the film is projected or seen in 1:1.33 aspect ratio.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
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.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the long tracking shot of the calvary riding through the Comanche village near the end of the film, dust kicked up by the dolly riding on its track is visible at the bottom right corner of the screen.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In the buffalo stampede, where Ethan and Martin are supposed to be alone, there are horsemen (wranglers?) riding in the background of the third and fourth shot after the first buffalo falls.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Errors in geography 

At the beginning of the film, when the Rangers discover the prize bull and decide that it is a "murder raid", Martin rides off in the same direction as those going to the Jorgensen ranch (west) instead of heading south, towards his family's place.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The Native Americans were supposed to be Comanche, but virtually everything about them was Navajo or generic Hollywood "Indian"--nothing distinctly Comanche. They speak Navajo throughout the film (a common word is "yatahey" i.e. "hello").
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Monument Valley, a well-known stretch of the Arizona-Utah border, is used to represent Texas.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Factual errors 

Ethan's medal, which he gives to Debbie, is a prop combining features of French and Mexican medals. The white and blue Maltese cross is similar to the white and red cross on the Mexican Order of Guadalupe and the red and green ribbon appears on the French Order of Merite Agricole.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Miscellaneous 

When crossing the river with the Indians in pursuit, Rev/Capt Clayton appears to fall off is horse gets up and walks right into another one.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Plot holes 

Ethan and Mose are on horseback and pass Martin who is on foot during the return to Aaron's ranch. Martin arrives at the burning ranch only seconds behind Ethan and Mose, but should have been hours behind.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Revealing mistakes 

The "dead" Indian under the rock, when the rock is removed, is clearly breathing.
Debbie's head is visible at the top of a distant sand dune as she awaits her cue to run over the hill to join Ethan and Martin.
9 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Debbie's lipstick, clothing, and perfectly coiffed hair after five years of living with the Comanche.
5 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Laurie receives the letter from Marty she throws it into the open fire in disgust. It's obviously supposed to catch fire but it doesn't. Her father, Lars, quickly kneels down and can be seen setting light to the paper before dropping it on the hearth and stamping on it to put the flames out.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The outdoor scenes set at night (those not shot in a studio) are clearly filmed during daytime. Highlights and hard shadows are an easy giveaway. By underexposing the film it is then made to look dark.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

When Brad returns to Ethan and Marty after scouting the Comanche camp, he tells them that they are camped a half mile away. After learning of Lucy's fate, he mounts his horse and rides off towards the camp. About five to seven seconds after his departure, we hear the sounds of gunfire. For a good saddle horse, carrying an average sized man and saddle with gear, to run a half mile at full speed would require roughly 50 to 60 seconds lead time. Brad could not have come remotely close to the Comanches in the time between his leaving and the sounds of gunfire.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Ethan rides his horse into Scar's tepee and scalps his corpse. Afterward, he is riding and shooting with the rest of Capt. Clayton's men outside, before he exits the tepee with Scar's scalp.
1 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

Revealing mistakes 

When Lars Jorgensen is trying to stop Ethan and Martin from entering his house just before Laurie's wedding, their shadows can clearly be seen on the painted backdrop behind. A few minutes later, when Martin and Charlie go outside to fight, their shadows are also briefly seen on the backdrop.
2 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Ethan and Marty finally find Debbie she has grown from a child (Lana Wood) into a young woman (Natalie Wood), yet the only sign of aging amongst the other members of the cast is a simple streak of gray in Ethan's hair in the wedding scene.
3 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page