Ethan Edwards, (John Wayne), finds his way home after the civil war to his brothers homestead. Some cattle are rustled and he and a few men track them only to discover it's a Comanche trick to lure them away while they kill out the folks left behind which is Ethan's brother, wife, and kids. They arrive back too late, all are dead except Ethan's niece who was taken captive. Ethan sets out to find his niece accompanied by Martin Pauley, (Jeffrey Hunter), who Ethan found as a baby years earlier after another Indian raid. Ethan loved his brother's wife which is clear in the book by Lemay but very lightly alluded to in the film. This helps to explain his rage because everything he cared for in the world is gone. He will pursue the Comanche that have his niece until hell freezes over. Along the way he finds that he is still a human being. This film is widely considered the greatest western of all time and a favorite film of Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg if that means anything to you, I thought I would toss it in anyway.