Searchers (Blu-ray)

Directed By: John Ford Starring: Jeffrey Hunter John Wayne

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Classic Western

on 6/5/2012

I'm not a huge fan of westerns, but I greatly enjoyed this one when I first saw it in film class. John Wayne gives a great performance here as a man searching for his niece. He spends 5 years looking after she is kidnapped by Native Americans (as we refer to them today).

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Product Overview

Working together for the 12th time, John Wayne and director John Ford forged The Searchers into an indelible image of the frontier and the men and women who challenged it. Wayne plays ex-Confederate soldier Ethan Edwards, a believer more in bullets than in words. He's seeking his niece, captured by Comanches who massacred his family. He won't surrender to hunger, thirst, the elements or loneliness. And in his obsessive, five-year quest, Ethan encounters something he didn't expect to find: his own humanity.Running Time: 119 min.Format: BLU-RAY DISC


Studio Warner
SKU 203358020
UPC 085391115328
UPC 14 00085391115328
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 10/18/2006
Rating NR
Essential Cinema
Kidnapping And Missing Persons
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note A classic Western regarded by many as the best of the genre, John Ford's THE SEARCHERS has been acknowledged by several directors who came into their own in the 1970s, including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Paul Schrader, and George Lucas, as a powerful influence on their work. The film stars John Wayne as Ethan Edwards, a case-hardened Civil War veteran returning to his brother Aaron's (Walter Coy) Texas home in 1868. When Rev. Samuel Johnson Clayton (Ward Bond) arrives to raise a posse to run down the Comanche who have stolen the cattle of neighbor Lars Jorgenson (John Qualen), Ethan is among those who join him. They return to find the Edwards family slaughtered and the two girls, Lucy (Pippa Scott) and Debbie (Natalie Wood), missing. The posse continues to search for the girls but turns back as winter settles in. However, Ethan and his reluctantly accepted companion, Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter), the girls' part-Cherokee stepbrother, press on for another seven years, with the Indian-hating veteran becoming ever more fanatical as the hard seasons pass. In his epic meditation on racism, obsession, paranoia, and the myth of the West, Ford explores the ugly underside of a genre that he had imbued with optimism in his early career. Wayne gives perhaps his most powerful performance as the embittered Edwards, but it's the visual poetry of what are possibly Ford's most carefully framed, lit, and composed images that shape this masterwork from beginning to end. As Wayne walks through the doorway at the film's end, he grabs his elbow in a tribute to his and Ford's close friend Harry Carey Sr., a Western film icon who had passed away a few years before.
Plot Summary
Summary An embittered frontiersman engages in an extensive and obsessive search for his niece, abducted years ago by Indians who killed her family in retaliation for a massacre in their village.
Memorable Quotes
Quote "That'll be the day."--Ethan Edwards (John Wayne)
New York Times "...Heads many a list of all-time cinematic favorites....Stunning..." 05/14/1993 p.C28
USA Today "...An audience favorite from the beginning -- and a creative influence on a generation of filmmakers..." 09/25/1998 p.7E
Chicago Sun-Times "...THE SEARCHERS contains scenes of magnificence, and one of John Wayne's best performances. There are shots that are astonishingly beautiful..." 11/25/2001 p.4
Total Film "...A masterpiece..." 11/01/2000 p.106,4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]ender and insightful. It will cut you up." 07/01/2006 p.121,5 stars out of 5 -- "Ford's picture is relentlessly unpretentious; tackling Big Themes without neon-slicking them or telling us what to think." 07/01/2006 p.122
Entertainment Weekly "...The Western that bowled over a generation of film schoolers, from Lucas to Scorsese to Spielberg..." 01/11/2002 p.30
Ultimate DVD 5 stars out of 5 -- "It's a thoughtful, and rather dark piece....Ford used Monument Valley as a canvas for the breathtaking photography." 07/01/2006 p.117
John Ford
Jeffrey Hunter
John Wayne
Cast & Crew
Alan Le May - Based On Novel By
Frank Hotaling - Art Director
Frank S. Nugent - Screenplay
Jack Murray - Editor
James Basevi - Art Director
Jeffrey Hunter - Actor
John Ford - Director
John Wayne - Actor
Max Steiner - Original Music By
Merian C. Cooper - Executive Producer
Patrick Ford - Producer
Vera Miles - Actor
Ward Bond - Actor
Winton C. Hoch - Cinematographer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1956
Catalog ID 111532
UPC 00085391115328
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 119 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English, French Dubbed, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.78:1
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review John Ford's ''The Searchers'' contains scenes of magnificence, and one of John Wayne's best performances. There are shots that are astonishingly beautiful. A cover story in New York magazine called it the most influential movie in American history. And yet at its center is a difficult question, because the Wayne character is racist without apology--and so, in a less outspoken way, are the other white characters. Is the film intended to endorse their attitudes, or to dramatize and regret them? Today we see it through enlightened eyes, but in 1956 many audiences accepted its harsh view of Indians.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 9
Widescreen, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled
Product Attributes
Actor Wayne,John
Label Warner Home Video
Music Format Blu-ray DVD
Video Format Blu-Ray
Box Office Magazine ...unquestioned best of [John Wayne's] long and impressive career.
Find-A-Video ...[a] beautifully filmed Western.
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide Superb Western saga...
Tim Dirks, The Greatest Films ...a true American masterpiece of filmmaking, and the best and perhaps most-admired film of director John Ford.

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Classic Western on Jun 05, 2012