Great Moments In Film – The Searchers (1956)

Little bit of a late start today. Anytime you pair up Johns Ford and Wayne, you know the movie is going to be great (at the very least). The Seachers is arguably the finest film they made together. Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, a man who’s returning “home” after years on the trail following the Civil War (he fought for the Confederacy). Like with much of the movie, not much is said of what Ethan was up to during that time. No, it’s all up to speculation and visual cues (much like a possible unspoken love between Ethan and his brother’s wife).

After he returns, his family are massacred by the Comanche tribe with his two nieces (daughters?) kidnapped. He then goes on a five year quest to bring home the one surviving girl (the older one is found dead early on).

This is the final scene, obviously. Ethan has safely brought Debbie home. She’s carried into an house by neighbors. Ethan attempts to walk-in as well, but others beat him to it. Then he stands, contemplating. He can’t go home like everyone else, despite his success. It never was home to him nor did most of the people in the community want him there to begin with. Further more, there is a longing Ethan has: this is the life he had always wanted, but events have shaped him into a being in which it just isn’t possible. He’s a loner, always has been and always will be.

Just a beautifully shot scene which also contains one of the most iconic images of Wayne. He holds his right elbow as a salute to Harry Carey, a deceased western star who served as a mentor to a very young Wayne.

Ride away…

Vodpod videos no longer available.



~ by chrislejarzar on October 9, 2010.

3 Responses to “Great Moments In Film – The Searchers (1956)”

  1. Hi there Chris,

    October 27th marked the one year anniversary of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Club. Our gracious host and originator of this club, TheAnswerMVP2001, has put the club on Hiatus since July. Today, four months later, I am messaging you, as one of the original members of the club, to see if you are still interested in continuing the tradition of the 1001 Film club. Lets pick up where we left off, selecting films from the extensive 1001 Movies list for the club members to review, and also occasionally review the films that other members have selected.

    Long ago, I decided to make 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die the main focus of my website, and this club was a great way of reading what others had to say on the subject, and I miss it. I would be honoured if you would agree to continue our year-old tradition in the same fashion as TheAnswerMVP2001 ran it. I would be happy to host our discussions on my site at

    Please let me know if this is something you’d like to continue. If we get enough people on board, I shall pick up the torch and keep it running.

    You can feel free to contact me through my site, or directly at

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

  2. Hey Chris,


    On the week of November 29th to December 5th, 2010, I will be hosting an good old fashioned Blog-A-Thon to re-inaugurate the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Blog Club.

    After months of waiting for it to start again, I decided to just host the Club myself, and I’d love to have you as a member once again. I am writing you today to invite you to contribute a post (or posters!), on the first film on the epic 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die List, George Méliès’ “A Trip To The Moon” (1902) aka “Le voyage dans la lune.” Since you’re an old club member, it would be great to see your contribution!

    One of the many great things about “A Trip To The Moon” is that this short film is available everywhere for viewing. I’ve put a couple links for you of the complete film at the bottom of the page.

    If you’re interested, drop me a link or a line through my site (, and feel free to spread the word!

    Un voyage dans la lune:

    Alternate link:

  3. One last note, Chris. I hope you’re pardon the barrage.

    I wanted to see if you were still interested in contributing to the club. if so could you email me so i could communicate with you directly? I want to make sure i have your screen name and site name correct etc…
    Also you’ve contributed so much in the past that I want you to select the upcoming film.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: