The Searchers

Are we talking about the John Wayne film?

If so i think it was one of the best films he did. Beautiful scenery, powerfull story, great cinematography. Ranks as one of the top ten all time westerns in imho. May have to dig it out and watch it soon.
 
Yes a masterpiece indeed!!! One of my favorite movies!! I never tire of watching it and own a bunch of copies of it (video, DVD, HD DVD and Blu-ray); every time the format changes, lol. A great long movie. It's also nice to see Jeffery Hunter in something else beside Trek.
 
I guess it explores racism and the fear of miscegenation at the core of Western values... something inherent in Western expansion. Though Ethan has a bit of a change of heart at the end, his racism runs too deep to ever fully fit into an America that is becoming more melting pot. That is why he can't join the family at the end. Does this suggest he's a dying relic? Or perhaps just rotten at the core? I don't know, but it's an ugly picture. One which makes me uncomfortable, having felt a bit of racism through out my life.
 
I guess it explores racism and the fear of miscegenation at the core of Western values... something inherent in Western expansion. Though Ethan has a bit of a change of heart at the end, his racism runs too deep to ever fully fit into an America that is becoming more melting pot. That is why he can't join the family at the end. Does this suggest he's a dying relic? Or perhaps just rotten at the core? I don't know, but it's an ugly picture. One which makes me uncomfortable, having felt a bit of racism through out my life.

Its been suggested by some (though I do not know with what credence) that his hatred and motivation goes beyond racism, in that the Debbie character may be implied to be his own daughter.

It was overtly admitted (by the filmmakers themselves, I believe), that there was an underlaying subplot that Ethan and his borther's wife were secretly in love.

It was later analysts and critics that suggested the theory that Debbie was a result of the affair, based on the timing of the story and Debbie's age, etcetera.

Or so I have read...
 
I tend to side with Ethan being Debbie's father because of his obsession in finding her for those many years.
 
I've seen it a few times...doesn't do anything for me personally. I like the concept better than the film itself.
 
I've seen it a few times...doesn't do anything for me personally. I like the concept better than the film itself.


For that reason, I feel this one would be prime for a remake.

I tread on thin ice, as this is a beloved classic and the common sentiment amongst afficianados is that you don't **** with a classic.

But the brutal reality of this dynamic (native American abductions of settler women and girls) could be displayed with shocking reality these days. In the hands of a craftsman screen-writer (who fully comrehends, embraces, and manifests the psychology of these abductions and abductees), combined with a director willing to display the harsh reality, this story could be striking, if not shocking.

The true horror, and mind-tweaking psychology of these abductions (and subsequent conversions, really) I think is masked and sugar-coated by the 50's "Disneyland" veneer of the Golden Age of film.
 
Well honestly it's one of the things I love about the movie is that it touched (though not out-right) on many areas (as mentioned previously, racism, extra-marital affairs, etc.) not addressed during the time. Yes, Ethan did have an affair with the brothers wife and Debbie could well be his daughter. It's really just fantastic and I find the more I watch it the greater it is. The sign (to me at least) of a timeless classic.

As far as remakes go I would not even go there except that I thought the remake of "True Grit" was done very well. It gives me hope!
 
Well honestly it's one of the things I love about the movie is that it touched (though not out-right) on many areas (as mentioned previously, racism, extra-marital affairs, etc.) not addressed during the time. Yes, Ethan did have an affair with the brothers wife and Debbie could well be his daughter. It's really just fantastic and I find the more I watch it the greater it is. The sign (to me at least) of a timeless classic.

I agree. It is a very layered story. I look forward to a second viewing.


As far as remakes go I would not even go there except that I thought the remake of "True Grit" was done very well. It gives me hope!

I don't entirely disagree with the "anti-remake" camp, but nonetheless, when a remake is made, the original remains. Though the younger generations may be somewhat blinded to the original.
 
I think it's the best Western, by far Wayne's best film both story- and acting-wise, and one of the ten great films period.

It was very brave of Wayne to do it, which, of course, he did for Ford. He was the biggest star in the world at the time, and to take on a part like that, to play such a racist (although he speaks their language, knows their customs, and wears their clothes--Ethan is a very interesting character) it's like Clooney/Pitt/Cruise, etc., playing someone today who so vehemently hates [insert your minority].

Ethan clearly is in love with Martha. When he arrives at the burned out house, he does't yell out his brother's name, but "Martha, Martha." And watch the beginning scenes very carefully and pay attention to what the camera is showing you. It's all there.
 
How many of you also think that Martin was Ethans son from a Comanche or indian woman? I also think Debbie was Ethan's daughter. Great movie and John Wayne was his best in this movie, played hero and villian both. Back to Martin being Ethan's son. Ethan wanted to tell something to Martin back in the house at Lauries, but Martin interrupted him before he could say it. Ethan also knew Martins mothers scalp. Wasn't the scalp black and thick, beside marthas and Lucy's.?
 
I guess it explores racism and the fear of miscegenation at the core of Western values... something inherent in Western expansion. Though Ethan has a bit of a change of heart at the end, his racism runs too deep to ever fully fit into an America that is becoming more melting pot. That is why he can't join the family at the end. Does this suggest he's a dying relic? Or perhaps just rotten at the core? I don't know, but it's an ugly picture. One which makes me uncomfortable, having felt a bit of racism through out my life.

Well, he overcomes at least some of his racism; remember, his original intent was to kill Debbie to, in his view, purify her of the taint of having been captured/converted/bedded by the so-called heathens.

You might be right about his departure in the end, but it could just be he isn't set out for that life, or just thinks he isn't, or even thinks he doesn't deserve it.
 
One of my favorite doesn't-make-sense-but-the-director-told-me-to movie moments is at the beginning when Martha is on the porch looking out at the new arrival. She puts her hand over her eyes, ostensibly to shield her eyes from the sun, but the sun casts a shadow on her forehead, meaning her eyes are not shielded at all!
 
One of the best classic Westerns ever. Ford's masterpiece and John Wayne in one of his best films.

Ethan's racist hatred is highlighted when he shoots the eyes of the Comanche corpse so that he can't find his way around in the afterlife.
 
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