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4,915 Ratings

The Searchers

Directed by John Ford
United States, 1956
Western, Drama


A revered Western about a Civil War veteran who embarks on a dangerous journey deep into Indian territory to find his neice after members of his family are killed or abducted by Comanches. However, his motivation becomes increasingly questionable.

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The Searchers Directed by John Ford

Awards & Festivals

Village Voice Film Poll

1999 | Nominee: Best Film of the Century

Directors Guild of America

1957 | Nominee: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures

Golden Globes (USA)

1958 | Winner: Most Promising Newcomer - Male

Though it appears an understated occasion of mere familial consequence, Ford and Wayne instill in this meticulously arranged introduction an astonishing degree of unspoken intrigue. Where has “the prodigal brother” been for the three years after the Civil War? Was he in California or not, and why is it a secret? And what is he doing with a bag full of fresh-minted Yankee dollars?
June 22, 2018
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What will happen to Debbie? What will happen to Martin? I always ponder this when watching the ending of John Ford’s masterpiece, The Searchers. Most certainly I’ve long soaked in, reflected on and studied the famous final shot of John Wayne’s Ethan Edwards, standing outside that beautifully-framed doorway… he’ll roam lonely and damaged, never fitting in civilized society, never fitting in anywhere.
January 24, 2017
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The greatest western ever made is also arguably the greatest American movie ever made. Before filming began, director John Ford described THE SEARCHERS as “a kind of psychological epic” and indeed his complex take on the settling of the West, with its head-on—and daringly ahead-of-the-time—examination of racism, finds an appropriately complex and tragic anti-hero in the character of the mysterious Ethan Edwards (John Wayne in his best and most nuanced performance).
September 25, 2015
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