The Searchers

Released 1956


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Movie Summary

John Ford
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The Searchers is an iconic Western film staring John Wayne and directed by legendary American director John Ford. Based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, the film is centered on Ethan Edwards, a Civil War veteran with a mysterious past. One day Ethan and a group of men are called to hunt down some missing cattle, but when Ethan comes back to his home, he finds that his property has been burnt to the ground, wife and son have been murdered, and his two nieces have been captured. What follows next is Ethan Edwards’ incredible journey to track down and rescue the missing girls. Through famine and dehydration, clear skies and dark, lonely passages and dangerous roads, Ethan’s quest to save his nieces is as much a quest to find himself in the world. Named the Greatest American Western of all time by AFI, as well as being placed at number 12 on the AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies, The Searchers is a definite must-see film.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    This C.V. Whitney production is undoubtedly one of the greatest Westerns ever made. For sheer scope, guts and beauty I can think of no picture of the Indian Wars of the Southwest t...

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The Searchers contains scenes of magnificence, and one of John Wayne's best performances.

  • 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    John Wayne's Ethan is his all-time top performance: funny, romantic, hard-bitten, scary, the personification of machismo.

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visually stunning, old time america, will they won't they, Military & War, breathtaking nature