The Searchers is perhaps John Ford's greatest film. The character studies are rich and complex and never too revealing, adding mystery and depth. The location in Utah's Monument Valley is magnificent. The Technicolor is simply stunning. And of course, the story set a standard for all action movies to come. The plot is simple and engaging and the subplot allows us to take a break from the relentless search. John Wayne's portrayal of Ethan Edwards is memorable. The dark, anti-hero persona gives the movie an edge not seen in those days. Jeffrey Hunter (Martin Pauly) and the rest of the cast give solid performances that are very natural and spirited. All of this is credited to the brilliant directing of John Ford. It is a great movie to watch. It is a great outdoor movie that should be seen on a big screen. People say that this movie is very racist and stereotype Indians. I disagree. I think this movie is about racism, period. Both races are ruthless and barbaric in this movie. Let's take a look: 1. The calvary massacres an Indian village. 2. Ethan's hatred of Indians consumes him. But his hatred has a reason. And he is not naturally racist. 3. Ethan is a loner, hated and feared by his own people. 4. When Ethan and Marty are hiding out in the canyons, they shoot the Indians in the back as they retreat. Not very noble, is it? 5. Ethan shoots three white men in the back during a shootout. I guess Ethan can do it to his own people as well! 6. When Ethan sees a group of tortured white women who were rescued from the hands of "savage" Indians, he fears for the worst. But when Lucy is found, she looks well and cared for. Ethan, upset with this unexpected result, decides to kill Lucy because she has turned 'injun.' 7. Marty accidentally marries an Indian woman. Although ridiculed by Ethan, the Indian woman is portrayed favorably throughout the film. 8. Marty and a friend fight for Laurie's love (Marty's fiancée). It is a civilized fight among gentlemen. Ethan and Marty meet with Scar, the Indian chief who abducted Lucy. Scar realizes who they are but does not kill them on the spot. Why? It is a Commanche code of honor not to kill someone when he is at a disadvantage. 9. Both races are good and evil in this movie. Ethan and Scar are both driven by revenge. One dies in the end, the other continues to live a life of a loner, dead in the eye of society. There are many reasons why I love The Searchers. It is a very simple story, yet says a lot. It is very entertaining and never boring. Unless you are a meat-head who cannot handle anything except mindless action sequences, this is the movie that stands the test of time, up there with Citizen Kane, Vertigo and The Godfather. Enjoy! Watch it on the big screen if possible. The special edition 2-Disc DVD set from Warner Brothers is an absolute must. If you are a fan, you will not believe your eyes when you see the new transfer. The film has been restored to its original VistaVision widescreen, color by Technicolor! On a final note, the last scene is pure poetry. Truly one of the greatest moment in film's history. John Ford really struck gold with this one.
Adventure / Drama / Western
Adventure / Drama / Western
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An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.
December 26, 2019