The Searchers


Adventure / Drama / Western

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 96%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.9 10 74,786


Downloaded times
December 26, 2019



John Wayne as Stony Brooke
Ken Curtis as Monsignor Killian
Natalie Wood as Susan Walker
Vera Miles as Mrs. Lee Kirby
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1 GB
23.976 fps
119 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.83 GB
23.976 fps
119 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by rejj2369 10 / 10 / 10

No one understands this movie

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.

Reviewed by jpdoherty 10 / 10 / 10

Steiner's Ignored Contribution!

The best western ever made is how many regard this 1956 John Ford classic. Its star John Wayne gave his most winning performance and it is reputed to have been his favourite movie even to the extent of his naming his last born son Ethan after the character he played. Ford's beloved Monument Valley in Arizona never looked more spectacular in Vista Vision and colour and over the years the picture has gained cult status. An integral part of the combined elements that makes THE SEARCHERS great is Max Steiner's outstanding score. It is the picture's driving force - its backbone. Steiner's music propels the film forward, unifies the narrative and gives greater density to its key scenes. In fact without his music much of the picture's impact would be considerably diminished. Yet I am consistently amazed and at a total loss to see here on these pages - where the best part of 400 reviews appear - that Steiner's music is hardly referred to at all by any of the writers. Not only that but even on the extras of the last DVD release three well established film directors, Martin Scorsese, John Milius and Peter Bogdanovitch each speak glowingly of Ford's masterpiece but fail to mention Steiner's exceptional contribution. Bogdanovitch, at one stage, briefly mentions the music and how good it is but never puts a name on its composer. I find this not only doctrinaire but quite bizarre that these three men, who you would imagine should know better, would have such a detached attitude concerning one of the most perfectly conceived scores for a motion picture. Therefore I will attempt here to amend this anomaly and the afore mentioned omissions and give some deserving credence to Max Steiner's exceptional music for THE SEARCHERS which has well earned its place in the history of cinema. A veritable orchestral explosion opens the picture in the form of a fanfare over the Warner Bros. logo. As the credits roll we hear the haunting Stan Jones ballad "Song Of The Searchers" wonderfully rendered by Ford favourites The Sons Of the Pioneers. The composer later interpolates this song into his score as the theme for the racist protagonist Ethan Edwards (Wayne). Then a lovely version - scored for guitar, solo trumpet and strings - of the traditional ballad "Lorena" plays under Ford's evocative 'frame within a frame' opening scene as the door of a remote homestead opens to reveal an approaching rider. It then skillfully segues into "Bonnie Blue Flag" to point up the rider's confederate allegiance. The "Lorena" ballad later becomes the family theme and is especially effective on solo violin for the scene where Ethan gives the young Debbie his wartime medal as her "gold locket" ("Oh, let her have it - it doesn't amount to much" declares Ethan somberly). And later it is arrestingly heard on spinet as Ethan bids farewell to the family and rides out with the posse to begin what effectively will be his great search. But where the score really shines is in the powerful music for the Indian sequences. Here there is a palpable authenticity in the scoring. Aided by the clever orchestrations of Murrey Cutter and some virtuoso playing by the Warner Bros. orchestra (particularly in the percussion section) Steiner fires on all cylinders adding realism, pathos and a sense of foreboding. There are echoes of the composer's "King Kong" (1933) in the cue for the scene where the Indians surround the posse and the music becomes rhythmically savage for the charge at the river and for the attack on the Indian camp near the finale. The composer's celebrated "Indian Idyll" (which he originally wrote five years earlier for the Burt Lancaster picture "Jim Thorpe-All American") comes into play and can be heard to splendid effect in the Indian camp sequences and as the motif for Look, Martin's (Jeffrey Hunter) new Indian "wife". Hearing these cues one can't help but wonder how remarkable it is that this most romantic of film composers - steeped in the musical tradition of late 19th century Vienna - his birthplace - should be so ethnically proficient at musically depicting the native American. More akin to what we have come to expect from this composer are lovely cues such as the sprightly theme for Martin and the lush and sweeping music for Martin and Laurie (Vere Miles). The score - and the movie - ends just like it began with "The Song Of The Searchers" playing as Ethan and Martin finally bring Debbie home and conclusively the door of a homestead closes on Ethan where a brief fortissimo quotation from that explosive fanfare closes the picture. Alongside the great film music works of Miklos Rozsa, Alfred Newman, Dimitri Tiomkin and others Max Steiner's music for THE SEARCHERS stands head high as one the finest scores ever written for one the finest films ever made and as such should, and must, be alluded to in any dissertation or essay on the film.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 10 / 10 / 10

"We Be Texicans"

If John Wayne was ever cornered about what his favorite movie role was he'd be answering Ethan Edwards in The Searchers. Proof of that is obvious, he named his son by his third marriage John Ethan Wayne. Ethan Edwards takes his time in returning home to Texas from the Civil War to the home of his brother and his family. But soon after he does the family is massacred in an Indian raid. The two young daughters are taken prisoner and Wayne with Jeffrey Hunter and Harry Carey, Jr. go off in search of them. Carey is killed early on, but Wayne and Hunter go on for years, both driven men for different reasons. Ethan Edwards is probably the most racist man Wayne ever portrayed on the screen, yet we feel sympathy for him at the same time. It's been a hard and bitter life on the frontier for him. Just as it's been for the Indians as well. Chief Scar, played by Henry Brandon, is Wayne's opposite number and he makes clear what he thinks of whites. Two of his sons were killed and he's going to take many white scalps in reprisal. My guess is that Ethan Edwards war service involved him seeing the war of desolation waged by William T. Sherman in the deep South. Small wonder he goes out and starts killing buffalo with a maniacal intensity that Wayne never showed before or since in film. Not an aspect that is normally brought out by reviewers. Wayne's relationship with Jeffrey Hunter is a strange one. He found Hunter as a toddler during a raid on a wagon train. Hunter is a distant cousin of the Edwards family and one eighth Cherokee. But to Wayne he's an Indian. He gains a grudging respect for him on the trail though. But Hunter's there to stop him. The oldest Edwards daughter is discovered dead early on. That by the way is an intense scene where Wayne's facial expressions register more than pages of dialog. Wayne had one of the great faces for close-ups and John Ford well knew it. The younger daughter has grown up and is played grown up by Natalie Wood. Wayne feels he has to avenge some family code of honor because Wood's been taken as a bride by Henry Brandon. Hunter just wants his cousin back on any terms. John Ford as he always does, gets some good comedy relief of the broad kind in the film. Jeffrey Hunter and Vera Miles who is Harry Carey's sister have a thing going, but when she doesn't hear from him she almost ups and marries Ken Curtis. Hunter and Curtis's confrontation is pretty funny. Ford also probably made his best use of Monument Valley in this film. Though Stagecoach and Fort Apache are also among his best photographed films, The Searchers being in color is in a class by itself. Proof of that is the scene at the Edwards home at twilight just before the Indian raid. Beautiful and terrifying at the same time. Ward Bond has a great role as Reverend/Captain Samuel Clayton, parson and Texas Ranger at the same time. A difficult job for some to reconcile, but I'm sure Bond believes that conversion of the Indians is not uppermost on his mind. Bond also has some great blustering comic moments with Patrick Wayne who plays an earnest young army lieutenant. The Searchers is usually found on just about every top ten list of best westerns ever made and it surely belongs there.

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment