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The Searchers [HD DVD] [Import]
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• IMPORTANT NOTICE: This high-definition disc will only play in an HD DVD player. It will not play in a Blu-ray player or a PS3.
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A favorite 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.
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Ethan goes to the rescue, joined by Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter), a friend of the family who is himself part Indian. After a while, they discover that only the younger niece, Debbie, has survived. Their quest to bring Debbie back, or so Martin thinks, takes place over a period of five years. At some point along the way, Ethan's relentless quest for Debbie seems to undergo a transition from rescue mission to execution squad in the belief that it is better to be dead than to have "gone Injun".
The film suffers somewhat from revisionist history and its own stereotypic portrayal of Indians. They are portrayed as either savages or buffoons fit only to be the butt of jokes. Moreover, the character of Ethan is an enigma, as he changes from heartbroken uncle to death squad killer in his relentless search for his surviving niece. Ethan embodies hatred and racism, concepts that are tantalizingly laid out but never fully examined or explored, which is why Ethan remains an enigma.Read more ›
A few additonal comments:Co-star Jeffery Hunter would later go on to star in the original pilot of Star Trek-only to pull out at his wife's advice-and we all know what William Shatner did with the part. Monument Valley is stunning and director John Ford photographs it so nicely that the scenery almost takes over the story! Filmakers would leave those scenics to Ford alone, out of respect as if he made the area HIS private portrait studio.
Martin Scorcesse commented that in the last shot of the last scene -John Wayne is standing on the porch (the same set as the opening shot) but this time he crosses his arm a perculiar way-which was a spontaneous gesture of respect for the Western actor Harry Cary who made that "pose" his trademark. The older woman in the scene that the camera dollys past as Wayne does this; bursts into tears, off camera. (as she saw Wayne do this.) She was Harry Cary's widow. Having heard that from Scorsese-I get chills of emotion every time I see that ending shot and Wayne's gesture of respect to one of his peers. Wayne is a class act-and he delivers his best performance in this incredibly visual film.
Most recent customer reviews
As much as I love John Wayne, this is not one of my favorites. The Duke comes across as a heartless brute and we all know betterPublished 20 days ago by Ursula G. Webber
My favourite Wayne movie of them all. Good story, great cast. All of Wayne's old crew are present and make the film work.Published 8 months ago by BobbyT
it is my opinion (and i believe the "Duke's" also) that this was his finest movie; amazing acting by all. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Genny Walker
There was a lot of room to make a true "breakthrough" movie but the 1950's was not yet the right time. Read morePublished 11 months ago by S. T. Munro
THIS DVD WASN'T IN GOOD CONDITION, IT WAS IN PERFECT CONDITION. THANKS--
PLUS A GREAT MOVIE
The movie is one of John Wayne's favourites and mine also !! I would highly recommend it to anyone !!Published 15 months ago by almeinannette
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