The Searchers  

He had to find her... he had to find her...

The Searchers (1956)

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The Searchers Movie Overview

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

Director: John Ford
Writer: Frank S. Nugent

Release Date: 1956-03-13
Status: Released
Run time: 119 min / 1:59
Budget: $3,750,000
Production Companies : C.V. Whitney Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures
Production Country: United States of America
Release Date: 1956-03-13
Status: Released
Run time: 119 min / 1:59
Budget: $3,750,000

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John Wayne
as Ethan Edwards
Jeffrey Hunter
as Martin Pawley
Vera Miles
as Laurie Jorgensen
Natalie Wood
as Debbie Edwards (older)
Ward Bond
as Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton
John Qualen
as Lars Jorgensen
Olive Carey
as Mrs. Jorgensen
Henry Brandon
as Chief Cicatrice (Scar)
Ken Curtis
as Charlie McCorry
Harry Carey, Jr.
as Brad Jorgensen
Antonio Moreno
as Emilio Gabriel Fernandez y Figueroa
Hank Worden
as Mose Harper
Beulah Archuletta
as Wild Goose Flying in the Night Sky (Look)
Walter Coy
as Aaron Edwards
Dorothy Jordan
as Martha Edwards
Pippa Scott
as Lucy Edwards
Patrick Wayne
as Lt. Greenhill
Lana Wood
as Debbie Edwards (younger)
Mae Marsh
as Dark Cloaked Woman at Fort Guarding Deranged Woman (uncredited)
Ruth Clifford
as Deranged Woman at Fort (uncredited)


Directing John Ford Director
Writing Alan Le May Novel
Writing Frank S. Nugent Screenplay
Production C.V. Whitney Producer
Production Merian C. Cooper Executive Producer
Production Patrick Ford Producer
Sound Max Steiner Original Music Composer
Camera Winton C. Hoch Director of Photography
Editing Jack Murray Editor

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  • There are a few Hollywood movies so thematically rich and so historically resonant they may be considered part of American literature. “The Searchers” is one. In his vivid, revelatory account of John Ford’s 1956 masterpiece, Glenn Frankel, whose reporting from the Middle East for The ...

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  • The Searchers is a 1956 American Technicolor VistaVision Western film directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, set during the Texas–Indian Wars, and starring John Wayne as a middle-aged Civil War veteran who spends years looking for his abducted niece (Natalie Wood), accompanied by his adoptive nephew (Jeffrey Hunter).Critic Roger Ebert found Wayne's character, Ethan ...

  • The Searchers Blu-ray (1956): Starring John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter and Vera Miles. Working together for the 12th time, John Wayne and director John Ford forged The Searchers into a landmark Western offering an indelible image of the frontier...

  • Directed by Dean White. With Jeanine Mason, Marc Blucas, Chris Browning, Zane Holtz. Ten years after the death of their parents, a pragmatic brother and free-spirited sister are forced to team up when they learn that their mother's terrifying and bizarre stories might be a road map to discovering the great legends, myths and unexplainable mysteries of the world.

  • Complete your The Searchers record collection. Discover The Searchers's full discography. Shop new and used Vinyl and CDs.

  • About halfway through John Ford’s The Searchers, there’s a scene in which Ethan Edwards, in his quest to find his kidnapped niece Debbie, is taken to a white woman and two girls who have been recovered from Indian captivity.The screenplay describes these women variously as ‘mad’, ‘frightened’, wild-eyed’ and as making ‘animal noises’ (Nugent 74-5) and the scene, as filmed ...

  • Are you going in or are you staying out? In the world of John Ford’s The Searchers you must choose. You can’t have both. The Searchers takes place on the threshold of that choice, in the abyss of various borderlands, external and internal. And for some of the characters, going in or staying out isn’t a choice at all, it’s just the way things work.

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