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The Searchers (1956)

David Lean said he learned how to shoot landscapes for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA by watching THE SEARCHERS. The story about a Civil War veteran (John Wayne) searching for his niece who has been kidnapped by the Comanches who slaughtered her family has been echoed in works by Martin Scorsese, Paul Schrader and Wim Wenders. Although critics in 1956 dismissed THE SEARCHERS as a lesser effort from director John Ford, it has come to be regarded as one of the greatest Westerns ever. After years of treating Native Americans as “the other,” Ford here contextualizes their actions, showing the military to be just as brutal. He also got one of Wayne’s best performances onscreen and, with cinematographer Winton C. Hoch, captured unforgettable images of his favorite location, Monument Valley. 

d. John Ford, 119m, 70mm


Restored by Warner Bros. in collaboration with The Film Foundation