7.9/10
76,353
478 user 119 critic

The Searchers (1956)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Western | 26 May 1956 (USA)
Trailer
2:47 | Trailer
An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay), Alan Le May (from the novel by) (as Alan LeMay)
Reviews
Popularity
518 ( 2,489)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 ... Scar / Cicatriz
Ken Curtis ... Charlie McCorry
Harry Carey Jr. ... Brad Jorgensen
Antonio Moreno ... Emilio Gabriel Fernandez y Figueroa
Hank Worden ... Mose Harper
Beulah Archuletta Beulah Archuletta ... Look
Walter Coy ... Aaron Edwards
Dorothy Jordan ... Martha Edwards
Learn more

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Storyline

After a long three-year absence, the battle-scarred Confederate veteran of the American Civil War, Ethan Edwards, turns up on the remote and dusty Texan homestead of his brother, Aaron. In high hopes of finding peace, instead, the taciturn former soldier will embark on a treacherous five-year odyssey of retribution, when the ruthless Chief Scar's murderous Comanche raiding party massacre his family, burn the ranch to the ground and abduct his nine-year-old niece, Debbie. Driven by hatred of Indians, Ethan and his young companion, Martin Pawley, ride through the unforgiving desert to track down their lost Debbie; however, is the woman they lost and the prisoner in Scar's teepee still the same woman the searchers seek? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Biggest, Roughest, Toughest ...and Most Beautiful Picture Ever Made! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the first movies to market itself with a "making-of" documentary that aired on television. Gig Young hosted the program, with Jeffrey Hunter as the guest. See more »

Goofs

Mamacita is using an aluminum pot to cook Frijoles. 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 100 Years at the Movies (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
The Screen Comes Alive for Wayne and Ford
8 July 2014 | by drqshadow-reviewsSee all my reviews

A John Ford masterwork that's rich and spacious, just like the gorgeous western countryside that splashes every backdrop. John Wayne plays a flawed centerpiece, a grizzled former soldier with a chip on his shoulder and a strange, conflicted relationship with his extended family. As usual, cool confidence and raw masculinity seep from his pores and he takes hold of each scene with a pair of strong, old cowherder's hands. This is a film that rewards an active imagination, as there's much going on between the lines that, without being spelled out, brands the cast with an unusual level of depth and detail. Unspoken histories flesh out most every character, allowing even generic walk-ons to mosey into the picture at most any moment and cast ripples throughout the entire tapestry. It can be slow at times, and the casting of a very obviously non-native actor to lead the stereotypical enemy Comanche tribe doesn't sit well, but both such faults can be generally chalked up to the dated eccentricities of that era. Take the time to soak it all in, to look deeper than the superficial story, and you'll find a wealth of spoils.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Navajo | Spanish

Release Date:

26 May 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Searchers See more »

Filming Locations:

Kayenta, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

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

Company Credits

Production Co:

C.V. Whitney Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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