Nov 8, 2012 · 7:00 PM
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THE SEARCHERS (1956)
I saw this film for the first time last night.
I want to watch it again. "The Searchers" may be the most physically beautiful film I have ever seen (despite the fact that John Wayne is in it). You will come away from this movie with an appreciation for the genius of director John Ford and cinematographer Winton Hoch.
Ethan Edwards (Wayne) is a cynical, racist jackass, who seems to be aimlessly wandering the country following the defeat of his beloved Confederacy in the American Civil War. He arrives at his brother's homestead in Texas, with plans to stay awhile.
Comanches led by a warrior known as "Scar" soon attack the homestead and take Ethan's young niece Debbie with them.
Ethan, along with Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter), a young man of mixed "white" and "indian" blood whom Ethan had "rescued" from the Comanches as a child, spend nearly a decade searching for Debbie and her "captor" Scar.
When Ethan and Martin finally find Debbie, she is a young woman (now portrayed by Natalie Wood), has a mind of her own, and is not so sure she wants to be "rescued." Ethan does not take this turn of events well.
Interesting Cultural Reference: This film was reportedly seen by Buddy Holly and his friends in the summer of 1956. They were so impressed with Ethan's repeated use of the phrase "That'll be the day" that they used it as the hub of the soon-to-be hit song they composed immediately thereafter.
Here's the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYOp3l9wL1k&feature=related