ming movie reviews

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The Searchers (1956)

US 119m, Colour
Director: John Ford; Cast: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Natalie Wood

The Searchers is arguably the quintessential Hollywood American Western and one of John Ford’s most important and influential films. As a bitter Civil War veteran and Mexican Revolutionary soldier of fortune, Wayne plays Ethan – a bitter anti-hero who searches for his young his young “niece” Debbie who is held captive by a Comanche raiding party. A beautiful looking film, Ford’s location shooting and cinematography are spectacular, and perhaps only surpassed by the brutality and power of the story which sees Ethan resolve that he would rather see Debbie dead than living as an Indian (Klaus Ming November 2012).

3 comments on “The Searchers (1956)

  1. Anthony Lee Collins

    Important, yes (both how great it is and for what it’s about). And influential, yes (look no farther than Star Wars, and the final shot has been echoed in many places, including Kill Bill). It’s also really powerful to watch (which not all important and influential movies are).

    (I was just watching Prometheus again and there are so many shots in there, small people and vehicles against huge landscapes, that are classic Ford-influenced shots.)

    There’s a good review of it here: http://thebestpictureproject.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/the-searchers/
    (including a very long comment by me).

    Also, it is (IMHO) probably the best argument that John Wayne could act. (Red River is another persuasive argument, but I don’t like the picture as much.)

    • Klaus

      I’m still not, and probably will never be a John Wayne fan. While i’ve come to better appreciate some of the films he was in – arguably they would have been great films with another actor in the lead.

      What I have come to better appreciate is Ford’s work as a film maker.

      • Anthony Lee Collins

        I have never thought, “Hey, I need to see more John Wayne films.”

        I have thought (and continue to think), “Wow. I need to see more John Ford pictures!” 🙂

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This entry was posted on 11/22/2012 by in 1001 List, 1950s, All and tagged .
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