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Information

Year
1956
Runtime
119 min.
Director
John Ford
Genres
Drama, Adventure, Western
Rating *
8.0
Votes *
53,033
Checks
12,676
Favs
1,003
Dislikes
142
Favs/checks
7.9% (1:13)
Favs/dislikes
7:1
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. ShotMarvinInTheFace's avatar

    ShotMarvinInTheFace

    Dated and silly. John Wayne's character is very unlikable. He is not a flawed character a la Travis Bickle, he is just a douche. And why did Debbie suddenly changed her mind and wanted to go back with Ethan and Martin?

    Great cinematoraphy and composition. Poor acting, plot, and dialogue.. Did not really like this one
    4 years 5 months ago
  2. boulderman's avatar

    boulderman

    Watched this got a second time after ten year gap, still didn't find it to be brilliant, too tongue in cheek. 8 years 7 months ago
  3. mussels's avatar

    mussels

    This is one of the only "great" movies whose place in various Top 250 lists I question. There are many well-regarded movies which I don't personally care for while still acknowledging the greatness of the films themselves: their story, acting, production, direction, cinematography, etc.

    But The Searchers?

    The overall story is indeed pretty epic, and it has that going for it, but the details of the story just didn't work. The movie does little to convince me why John Wayne and his sidekick would spend so many . . . not months . . . but YEARS searching for the lost girl. After each "two years later" kind of jump in the story, I kept asking "why?!?"

    Also, the rampant sexism and racism may have been acceptable in 1953, and I can almost always forgive it in other classic movies because those aspects reflected the values at the time the films were made, but I feel like The Searchers takes it one step too far by twisting a lot of the sexist and racist comments and actions into slapstick humour attempts. Okay, so in 1953 many Americans felt that a Comanche woman is a lower life form than a white man -- I get that -- and so the characters are going to treat her in a condescending way. But depicting white men kicking a Comanche woman down a hill while laughing at the situation (and judging by the sound effects and music at that time, expecting me to laugh at it as well) was just shameful, by any standards. It would be as if a sad trombone sound played every time a slave was whipped in a pre-civil war movie. Sure, show it like it is, but don't make a joke out of it. I just can't forgive it. Other attempts at humour in the movie were less offensive, but still tacky, in my opinion.

    And lastly, Monument Valley, Utah, is far too iconic to pass as Texas; it would be like shooting a "New York" movie right next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It may look nice, but it just doesn't fit.

    By all accounts, this isn't a "bad" movie, but I wonder how much of its Top 250 status is due to nostalgia (it's John Wayne's biggest movie!!!) as opposed to true critical opinion.
    8 years 2 months ago
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In 24 official lists

  1. This movie ranks #8 in Sight & Sound's The Greatest Films of All Time
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    Sight & Sound's The Grea…

    8
  2. This movie ranks #9 in TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films
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    TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest F…

    9
  3. This movie ranks #10 in Cahiers du Cinéma's 100 Films for an Ideal Cinematheque
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    Cahiers du Cinéma's 100 …

    10
  4. This movie ranks #12 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
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    AFI's 100 Years...100 Mo…

    12
  5. This movie ranks #16 in Halliwell's Top 1000: The Ultimate Movie Countdown
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    Halliwell's Top 1000: Th…

    16
  6. This movie ranks #17 in A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese
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    A Personal Journey with …

    17
  7. This movie ranks #20 in Library of Congress's National Film Registry
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    Library of Congress's Na…

    20
  8. This movie ranks #22 in IMDb's Western Top 50
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    IMDb's Western Top 50

    22
  9. This movie ranks #40 in Taschen's 100 All-Time Favorite Movies
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    Taschen's 100 All-Time F…

    40
  10. This movie ranks #65 in Leonard Maltin's 100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century
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    Leonard Maltin's 100 Mus…

    65
  11. This movie ranks #71 in BFI's 100 Road Movies
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    BFI's 100 Road Movies

    71
  12. This movie ranks #77 in BFI's 100 Westerns
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    BFI's 100 Westerns

    77
  13. This movie ranks #144 in Roger Ebert's Great Movies
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    Roger Ebert's Great Movi…

    144
  14. This movie ranks #164 in Empire's The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time
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    Empire's The 500 Greates…

    164
  15. This movie ranks #212 in Mark Cousins's The Story of Film: An Odyssey
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    Mark Cousins's The Story…

    212
  16. This movie ranks #248 in BFI's 360 Classic Feature Films Project
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    BFI's 360 Classic Featur…

    248
  17. This movie ranks #303 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
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    1001 Movies You Must See…

    303
  18. This movie ranks #411 in Jonathan Rosenbaum's Essential Cinema
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    Jonathan Rosenbaum's Ess…

    411
  19. This movie ranks #441 in Jennifer Eiss's 500 Essential Cult Movies
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    Jennifer Eiss's 500 Esse…

    441
  20. This movie ranks #466 in Emma Beare's 501 Must-See Movies
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    Emma Beare's 501 Must-Se…

    466
  21. This movie ranks #530 in David Thomson's Have You Seen?
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    David Thomson's Have You…

    530
  22. This movie ranks #754 in The New York Times's Book of Movies
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    The New York Times's Boo…

    754
  23. This movie ranks #789 in The Guardian's 1000 Films to See Before You Die
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    The Guardian's 1000 Film…

    789
  24. This movie ranks #810 in Time Out's 1000 Films to Change Your Life
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    Time Out's 1000 Films to…

    810
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