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The Searchers [HD DVD] [Import]

4.4 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Natalie Wood
  • Directors: John Ford
  • Writers: Alan Le May, Frank S. Nugent
  • Producers: Merian C. Cooper, Patrick Ford
  • Format: Color, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: NR
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: Aug. 22 2006
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B000HEVZ8K
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this with my friends when I was a kid - we went around quoting Old Mose, whom we all loved - "Thank you for those kind words." - it did not matter he was somewhat crazed; that made him all the more sympathetic and loveable. I don't know how much we liked the movie otherwise because it is not totally action-packed. Having seen it now, as an adult, I see that John Ford (and, perhaps John Wayne) had other concerns: racism, sexism, political intransigence, the concept of family, and the loner. This movie, set in Texas but obviously filmed (beautifully) in Monument Valley, is more about character. And the possibility of change. And, perhaps, the impossibility of change; or, the shattering of growth by an overwhelming sense of loss (Wayne's character: the war, and the woman). Ford is a master director - I recommend watching the Special Feature in which the movie is explained, showing all the incredible framing of shots, the backlighting, the pacing of shots.... Aw, just watch it and forget any prejudices you have against John Wayne. It is a beauty.The Searchers
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Format: DVD
A fantastic movie and a true classic - and certainly one that really shines when presented in its true widescreen aspect ratio. That said, SHAME on Warner Brothers for butchering this issue with a "imitation" widescreen format (hence my 1-star rating). The packaging claims both Standard format and "matted" widescreen are on the dvd - the latter (at least for WB) means that they take the (already width-cropped) standard screen version and simply [take] huge strips off of the top and bottom of the picture to make the shape approximately 1:85:1 (so an HDTV format screen is filled, no doubt). The result is that when watching this "widescreen" version, one is seeing far less picture than even in the Standard format! I have verified this by comparing the two dvd sides (one standard, the other "widescreen") to one another and to a true widescreen tape that I have. Those reviewers that have been raving about this widescreen presentation, have a look at the standard format side of the disk to see more of the movie ;-)
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By lawyeraau TOP 500 REVIEWER on Nov. 26 2007
Format: Blu-ray
This film, directed by the legendary John Ford, and starring John Wayne in the leading role is a western that has achieved mythic proportions. Touted as one of the greatest westerns ever filmed, it is, I will grant you, an entertaining film. In it, John Wayne plays the anti-hero, Ethan Edwards, an ex-confederate soldier, who goes to Texas in 1868 to visit his brother and his family on their ranch in Texas. While visiting, a report of marauding Indians in adjacent land draws out the Texas Rangers and Ethan, who joins them. When they discover that a decoy has been used to lure them away from the settlement, they hurry back, only to find that Ethan's family was masacred and his two nieces gone, taken captive by Comanche Indians.

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.
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Format: DVD
this is one of many John Ford/John Wayne collaborations.it certainly has a very epic scope to it,and it looks very beautiful.it also has a good story to it.John Wayne is a very charismatic presence,and the rest of the cast is also very good.this is a very character driven movie,yet there is still some decent action.i also thought the dialogue is very good in this one.i didn't enjoy this movie as well as Stagecoach(another Ford/Wayne picture).but then again,its' not the same kind of movie.true,the are both westerns,but Stagecoach has a much smaller scope to it.it's almost quaint,and i don't mean that in a bad way.The Searchers is a sweeping,grand epic.as for the bonus materials,they are pretty impressive.there are three documentaries included.also in the set is a reproduction of the original 1956 Dell comic book,behind the scenes photos,a reproductions of both the original 1956 press book and filmmaker memos and correspondence.to me the movie itself is a 3/5,but when you factor in the bonus materials,i give this edition of The Searchers a 3.5/5
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Format: VHS Tape
Noticing 106 reviews on this film, it has been well covered-and I agree with the 5 star raves and the eloquent commentaries.
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.
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