The Searchers

Year: 1956
Director: John Ford
Cast: John Wayne, Vera Miles, Natalie Wood
This Iconic western was apparently another remake of a Kurosawa film (like so many Westerns seem to be), and then was remade again as 2003's The Missing.

Returning confederate soldier Ethan (Wayne), war weary and just wanting to return to the fold of hi extended family, is just settling in when filthy Comanche injuns ride in during the night and steal the two daughters of the family.

Ethan, with his young cousin in tow, follows their trail over the next handful of years until he finally catches up with the younger of the two, now hardly remembering her heritage and part of the Comanche tribe.

There are shades of the sort of cultural sensitivity that would exist in a comparable movie today, but it's a cowboys and Indians movie, that means lots of inferred scalpings and lots of shootouts with the nasty redskins.

Wayne was a dreadful ham, and whether he really spoke like that or not is too long ago in history for me to have seen, but every angle, costume, and cool slur of his voice was designed so you didn't forget who the hero was rather than present any sort of authenticity.

If you like westerns it's pretty much a given that you have to have seen it, but if not, the stunning cinematography of Utah's Monument Valley that John Ford loved so much will entrance you.

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