Top positive review
5 of 5 people found this helpful
Brilliant blu ray: 'The Searchers' revealled
on 2 February 2013
Just to add to the many articulate reviews here, but I must add that the blu ray version of this film [which I have seen many times and have on DVD] in 'The Westerns Collection' box set is probably the best looking restoration disc of an old film I have seen [although the restoration of the inferior 'Grand Prix' is also stunning].
The choreography of Ethan's brother's family as they arrive at the front of the house - a home with rich textures in and out - subtly tells us all we need to know so later - when they are dead - they seem real enough to us. The monument valley landscapes lour and glow; the framing of various characters within door frames benefits from the deep blacks achieved by this newish disc format -and enhance the sense of Ethan as a homeless, war damaged, unhappy wanderer; costumes - colours and textures - are wonderfully vivid - esxpecially those of the native Americans - and the changing seasons [the cavalry riding through a river in the snow!] seem as real to me aS 'The Hobbit''s 48f.p.s.. The cinematography is superb. The use of fast focus push to Wayne's face, is made more effective: we're care getting close to Leone's extreme close ups here and Scorses's use of a similar technique to emphasise drama and interior monologue.
Most importantly, the relationship between Ethan and Marty seems refreshed for me: Ford shows the awkward boy become a man and begin to understand Ethan's terrible intent to kill his defiled neice; Marty learns to stand up to him, and forces a changed purpose to one of rescue. Although the moment when Wayne grabs and lifts Natalie Wood is fraught with risk, the moment of compassion arrives and Debbie is returned home to love and care. Ford's values are never Ethan's. Even his representation of commanche village life suggests something of respect. The suggestion in the script that the bones of these Texan settler must be in the earth to help grow a great new nation is both romantic and moving - and, yes, a touch absurd [why are they farming in this arid if magnificent place?]. A complex and an unusual for film of its time- but a subtle one too.