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U.S., 1956
Directed by John Ford
Starring John Wayne, Natalie Wood, Jeffrey Hunter
Written by Frank S. Nugent
Based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May
Approx. 119 min. 35mm.

“That’ll be the day.” John Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter’s multi-year quest to rescue kidnapped Natalie Wood from the Comanche begins and ends with Wayne framed in a doorway. Arguably Ford’s greatest work, and subject of imitations and homages in a multiplicity of genres. “In its own way, as Tom Grayson Colonnese, a Sante Sioux scholar, writes, THE SEARCHERS 'goes further than any other Western of its day in the direction of truth and fairness' as it constructs equivalents between white and tribal cultures that don’t understand each other and that seem committed to the belief that 'civilization' can be secured only by the extermination of the racial other… In being a partial and torturous revisionist western—full racial reconciliation is a chimera that exists beyond the boundaries of the film’s narrative—THE SEARCHERS is the most unsparing, the most honest, of all the 'new' westerns of its era.” – Foster Hirsch


“Pictorially, Ford’s masterpiece; for panoramic compositions it has no equal.”
– Brian Garfield, Western Films

Film Forum