Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Ethan (John Wayne) and Martin (Jeffrey Hunter) spend years searching the desert for a young relative who's been kidnapped by the Comanche Indians who also murdered her family.

Although Ethan knows their enemies' ways inside out, he's hampered by his disastrous people skills, which combined with the appalling nature of the atrocity made me hate him all the way through. The result was two hours that had me riveted right to the end, even despite the film's vague timeframes, theatrical acting and occasional studio set of the great outdoors.

There are also some farcical tendencies that increasingly creep in, such as Martin's giving away a rug and accidentally getting married, however even she shortly suffers a bloody fate.

I'm not quite sure why The Searchers is regarded as such a classic. It has strong themes, an unusually mean lead-character and breathtaking locations, but nothing that I found to be especially great film-making. Maybe the fact that we really do get to go on the journey with those two antagonistic leads has alot to do with it.

Available here.

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