7.9/10
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477 user 119 critic

The Searchers (1956)

Passed | | Adventure, Drama, Western | 26 May 1956 (USA)
Trailer
2:47 | Trailer
An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Frank S. Nugent (screenplay), Alan Le May (from the novel by) (as Alan LeMay)
Reviews
Popularity
3,007 ( 41)
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Ethan Edwards
Jeffrey Hunter ... Martin Pawley
Vera Miles ... Laurie Jorgensen
Ward Bond ... Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton
Natalie Wood ... Debbie Edwards - Age 15
John Qualen ... Lars Jorgensen
Olive Carey ... Mrs. Jorgensen
Henry Brandon ... Scar / Cicatriz
Ken Curtis ... Charlie McCorry
Harry Carey Jr. ... Brad Jorgensen
Antonio Moreno ... Emilio Gabriel Fernandez y Figueroa
Hank Worden ... Mose Harper
Beulah Archuletta Beulah Archuletta ... Look
Walter Coy ... Aaron Edwards
Dorothy Jordan ... Martha Edwards
Learn more

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Storyline

After a long three-year absence, the battle-scarred Confederate veteran of the American Civil War, Ethan Edwards, turns up on the remote and dusty Texan homestead of his brother, Aaron. In high hopes of finding peace, instead, the taciturn former soldier will embark on a treacherous five-year odyssey of retribution, when the ruthless Chief Scar's murderous Comanche raiding party massacre his family, burn the ranch to the ground and abduct his nine-year-old niece, Debbie. Driven by hatred of Indians, Ethan and his young companion, Martin Pawley, ride through the unforgiving desert to track down their lost Debbie; however, is the woman they lost and the prisoner in Scar's teepee still the same woman the searchers seek? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Biggest, Roughest, Toughest ...and Most Beautiful Picture Ever Made! See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Merseybeat band The Searchers took their name from this film. They are most famous for their cover of "Needles and Pins". See more »

Goofs

As the cavalry approaches and begins to cross the snow-covered river to the left, an automobile appears and drives to the right-hand corner of the shot and stops just beyond a tree. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[seeing a horseman in the distance]
Aaron Edwards: Ethan?
Debbie Edwards: Hush, Prince.
Lucy Edwards: That's your Uncle Ethan!
Martha Edwards: [he approaches] Welcome home, Ethan!
See more »

Crazy Credits

This Warner Brothers film was said to be in VistaVision, according to the credits - this may be the only Warner film in VistaVision. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Banovic Strahinja (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

The Searchers
(1956)
by Stan Jones
Sung by Sons of the Pioneers (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

 
Ford and Wayne doing what they do best
18 December 1998 | by 29055See all my reviews

John Ford's classic Western, has inspired many quest movies and tv series since its release. The film is a series of episodes linked by the 10 year quest for a niece stolen by Indians as a child. Wayne's Ethan Edwards, an embittered Confederate veteran shows only hatred for all redskins and is uncomprimising in his intended treatment of his niece when he finds her. Modern cinema audiences may find this uncomfortable, especially since western folklore has been reassessed over the last 20 years. But don't let this put you off. Ford's treatment is a modern allegory and Ethan can be forgiven his sins when, at the final denoument, one act of kindness gives us hope, and we feel Ethan has learned an important lesson. Tolerance. Everything about this film makes it a classic and perhaps the best in its genre. Ford's direction is as impeccable as ever, Frank Nugent's script and Winton Hoch's cinematography give us some of the classic images of the cinema. John Wayne, as ever, doesn't even need to act. He just sits tall in the saddle and perpetuates the myth.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Navajo | Spanish

Release Date:

26 May 1956 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Searchers See more »

Filming Locations:

Kayenta, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

C.V. Whitney Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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