My Thoughts On… The Searchers

Just a quick reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, it may be best to move on!


As a Civil War veteran spends years searching for a young niece captured by Indians, his motivation becomes increasingly questionable. (from IMDb)

What I Liked

  • I had never really watched a John Wayne film before I watched The Searchers. I wouldn’t say I didn’t like him, I just didn’t really know an awful lot about him other than the fact he was a Western actor. Anyway, now that I have watched him, I can safely say that he is a great actor, putting in a great performance here. And doing so in a slightly attractive way, I have to say.
  • It’s always interesting to watch a film with an anti-hero at its heart, and that’s what we have with The Searchers. John Wayne’s Ethan is willing to kill his niece to ensure that she doesn’t live as a Comanche Indian.
  • It actually took me two attempts to watch this film, as I found it a bit slow-going to begin with. But as things moved forward, I really appreciated the pace of it. It takes place over many years, without ever feeling slow or plodding.
  • I loved the scenery; it was filmed in Monument Valley in Utah, and that’s a particularly spectacular backdrop.
  • Again, as with Unforgiven, I’m never happier than when I’m indulging my inner history geek, and a Western lets me do that.

What I Didn’t Like

  • It’s been a while since I watched this film, and I have to apologise for what feels like a terrible and very brief review (though by now you should know that I do not consider these film posts ‘reviews’). Anyway, as I said, I found the start a bit slow-going, but it’s a very minor criticism. This film is considered by many to be the greatest Western of all time, and it holds a 100% rating in Rotten Tomatoes. It’s pretty darn great.

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