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The Searchers [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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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, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
John Ford and John Wayne collaborated on several films most of them westerns. Although this was their first Western for six years since they completed the last of the Cavalry Trilogy RIO GRANDE (1950). As with the trilogy, Ford once again choose to shoot the most of the film in Monument Valley Utah, when using this his favourite location Ford became an acclaimed visual poet of the West. With Ford's "Western Director" to Wayne's "Western Star" they were unequalled in the making of Westerns producing an outstanding body of work between 1939 and 1962! Although THE SEARCHERS remained totally unrecognised by The Academy Awards for 1956. Fifty-odd years later it still stands at the top of the many peoples list as the greatest Western of all time. Also appearing in most if not all of The Greatest 100 Movies Of All Time Lists.
Three years after the Civil War Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) a dark brooding mysterious character returns home to his brother Aaron (Walter Coy) homestead. Ethan takes his brother place on a posse led by Texas Ranger Rev. Capt.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An absolute classic, hugely enjoyable and remarkably shot from start to finish (film buffs, you know what I mean)Published 2 months ago by clem pavey
First class John Wayne film with beautiful cinematography! Loved every minute of it!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of my favourites, great reproduction of colour & sound. It ranks alongside Red River - also a Wayne classic in B&W (remember that).Published 5 months ago by LCR55
SUPERB, TIMELESS CLASSIC WESTERN. BRILLIANT PICTURE QUALITY. DVD RECEIVED PROMPTLY AND WELL PACKAGED. ONCE AGAIN, MANY THANKS.Published 5 months ago by DAVE LYLE