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The Searchers [DVD]

Price: £9.23 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Searchers [DVD] + Rio Bravo [DVD] [1959] + She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (John Wayne) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Natalie Wood, Vera Miles, Ward Bond
  • Directors: John Ford
  • Producers: Merian C. Cooper
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009L39B02
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,167 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Thought by many to be director John Ford's masterpiece, 'The Searchers' tells the story of Ethan Edwards (John Wayne), an ex-confederate soldier who swears revenge after his brother's family is butchered by Comanches and his niece (Natalie Wood) is kidnapped. Accompanied by Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter), a young foundling raised by the family, Ethan sets out on a epic seven-year search for the missing girl. But as their quest draws to a close, Martin begins to realise the extent to which Ethan has been dehumanised by his own thirst for revenge.


A favourite film of some of the world's greatest filmmakers, including Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg, John Ford's The Searchers has earned its place in the legacy of great American films for a variety of reasons. Perhaps most notably, it's the definitive role for John Wayne as an icon of the classic Western--the hero (or antihero) who must stand alone according to the unwritten code of The West. The story takes place in Texas in 1868; Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a Confederate veteran who visits his brother and sister-in-law at their ranch and is horrified when they are killed by marauding Comanches. Ethan's search for a surviving niece (played by young Natalie Wood) becomes an all-consuming obsession. With the help of a family friend (Jeffrey Hunter) who is himself part-Cherokee, Ethan hits the trail on a five-year quest for revenge. At the peak of his masterful talent, director Ford crafts this classic tale as an embittered examination of racism and blind hatred, provoking Wayne to give one of the best performances of his career. As with many of Ford's classic Westerns, The Searchers must contend with revisionism in its stereotypical treatment of "savage" Native Americans, and the film's visual beauty (the final shot is one of the great images in all of Western culture) is compromised by some uneven performances and stilted dialogue. Still, this is undeniably one of the greatest Westerns ever made. --Jeff Shannon, --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Griffin on 8 Feb. 2010
Format: DVD
First things first, "The Searchers" does not mean to be racist no matter what any one says and will continue to say. Those that say it obviously have not found the film's message. That's why I'm writing this.
Based upon the real life story of Cynthia Ann Parker and her uncle who searched for her for nearly twenty years, you might notice that this is probabaly the first film where white men attack an Indian encampment and we see the Indian women and children running for their lives. You also get a look at a village after the U.S. Cavalry have finished burning it to the ground and left the dead.
However in trying to highlight the racist attitudes that settlers in the 1860s-70s held for Native Americans Ford falls into the trap of making racial stereotypes. Hence the "Look" character, however many of her scenes are done exactly as they were in Alan Le May's original book (also worth a read if you're interested. You learn a bit more about Martin Pawley's backstory as well as the Ethan character) plus the over the top freed captives who "ain't white, no more, they're Comanch", In reality they would have been perfectly normal but would have rather lived with the Comanches who would have continued to treat them as human beings.
Another problem is John Wayne. Yes, it is probably his best film and he is very good in it but, in 1956 Wayne was a pillar of everything people believed to be great about the United States. He stood for decent human values. The problem is that it was and continues to be difficult for people to picture him as an anti- miscegnationist and a hate filled racist. People who hate him will cite "The Searchers" as an example of his racial beliefs and how he stands for the conquering of the West . Even though that is not what the film is about.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 25 Sept. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This and The Shootist are my two favourite westerns - John Wayne is very different in these two films and I think both performances are great. I disliked Wayne quite a lot until I saw these two movies, and they changed my mind fast.
The photography and editing are superb, and as always in Wayne westerns, even this darkest one, there is a golden vein of humour in it, not as much as usual in his films but it's still there.
Some of the shots in this film are astounding; the great closing scene of course, and I think the shot earlier on where the camera moves in as Wayne spins round and stares (and I mean stares!)at an 'indianised' white girl, is one of the best shots I've ever seen in any film. The intensity of that shot is unforgettable.
A really great film.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Carlos Vazquez Quintana on 14 Jan. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Ethan Edwards is a mature ex confederate soldier, a solitary man hardened in action, and I’m afraid more than possibly he’s not entirely in the side of the law –“I have some Yankee dollars recently coined”- offers Ethan to Aaron, his brother, as a pay for staying in his ranch. We don’t know how Ethan has obtained these money. He has been also fighting in Mexico and in full, he’s clearly an outsider. As the film begins it seems all Ethan wants is peace and rest, but the territory is wild and there’s “Scar”, a sort of Indian version of Ethan, as hard, somber, complex and vindictive as him. Scar, who has seen his own family destroyed by the white men, assaults and burns the ranch of Aaron and kills all the relatives of Ethan excepting the little Debbie, and so, the searching of the white girl kidnapped by the Comanches and the incessant, obsessive and sometimes morbous and irrational prosecution begins for Ethan with the paradoxical company of the young Martin Pawley, himself a semi - red skin, young and inexpert and to which Ethan hardly can be said has at first any confidence nor affection. The personages are colossal as the whole story with some drops of indispensable humor, and when the long, tremendous search is concluded, Ethan is forgotten and at the end as at the beginning, he rests out and alone. His family doesn’t need to him anymore. Simply superb movie.
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36 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Steve Robbins on 20 Feb. 2008
Format: Blu-ray
When taking this film in context, it was 1956 after all, this is an amazing film, full of wonderful panoramic backdrops of monument valley and the surrounding area. OK, so the story is a bit weak in places, the acting a bit wooden at times and it is full of clichés, but it has this magic charm that is irresistible.

The real magic lies in the cinematography that was well above the standard of the day, and is better than a lot of modern films. Each scene is carefully constructed, with beautiful western style back drops, and a real sense of the harsh environment they are playing the story out in.

The picture quality is very good, full 1080p, sharp edges and little unintentional bobbing around like old films do sometimes. Occasionally there is the small fault, but given the very good restoration they did, it embarrasses some modern films in its presentation.

The supplements are very good. There are several documentaries about how they made the film, about the people in it. It is interesting to see original TV shots and film shots of the set, and you can really see what the standard of the day was like in visual and audio production, which gives you a better appreciation of the film.

Overall, it's an enjoyable presentation, but remember it is from 1956, so not everyone's cup-of-tea.
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