The Searchers

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The Searchers is a 1956 film about a Civil War veteran who sets out with his nephew on a quest to rescue his niece from Indians.

Directed by John Ford. Written by Frank Nugent.
He had to find her...he had to find her... taglines
"Well, Reverend, looks like you've got yourself surrounded."
"Yeah, and I figure on getting myself unsurrounded."
I figure a man's only good for one oath at a time. I gave mine to the Confederate States of America.
It just so happens we be Texicans. Texican is nothin' but a human man way out on a limb, this year and next. Maybe for a hundred more. But I don't think it'll be forever. Some day, this country's gonna be a fine good place to be. Maybe it needs our bones in the ground before that time can come.

Ethan Edwards[edit]

  • Our turnin' back don't mean nothin', not in the long run. She's alive, she's safe for a while. They'll keep her and raise her as one of their own til, until she's of an age to... Injun will chase a thing till he thinks he's chased it enough. Then, he quits. Same way when he runs. Seems like he never learns there's such a thing as a critter that'll just keep comin' on. So we'll find 'em in the end, I promise you. We'll find 'em. Just as sure as a turnin' of the earth.
  • I figure a man's only good for one oath at a time. I gave mine to the Confederate States of America.
  • Well, Reverend, that tears it! From now on, you stay out of this. All of ya. I don't want you with me. I don't need ya for what I got to do.
  • Let's go home, Debbie.
  • [repeated line] That'll be the day.

Mrs. Jorgensen[edit]

  • It just so happens we be Texicans. Texican is nothin' but a human man way out on a limb, this year and next. Maybe for a hundred more. But I don't think it'll be forever. Some day, this country's gonna be a fine good place to be. Maybe it needs our bones in the ground before that time can come.

Dialogue[edit]

Ethan Edwards: Well, Reverend, looks like you've got yourself surrounded.
Reverend Clayton: Yeah, and I figure on getting myself unsurrounded.

Reverend Clayton: I say we do it my way. That's an order!
Ethan: Yessir. But if you're wrong don't ever give me another.

Reverend Clayton: You wanna quit Ethan?
Ethan: That'll be the day.

Cavalry soldier: It's hard to believe they're white.
Ethan: They ain't white, not anymore. They're Comanche.

Ethan: What you saw wasn't Lucy... What you saw was a buck wearin' Lucy's dress. I found Lucy back in the canyon. Wrapped her in my coat, buried her with my own hands, I thought it best to keep it from ya.
Brad Jorgensen: Did they...? Was she...?
Ethan: What do you want me to do? Draw you a picture? Spell it out? Don't ever ask me! Long as you live, don't ever ask me more.

Reverend Clayton: Well, the prodigal brother. Ain't seen you since the surrender. Come to think of it, I didn't see you at the surrender.
Ethan: I don't believe in surrenders.

Brad: There's only one way you can stop me from looking for Lucy, mister, and that's kill me!
Ethan: Alright, but I'm giving the orders, hear. I'm giving the orders or we're splitting up right here and now!
Martin Pawley: Well sure Ethan. The only real reason were here ain't it - is to find Debbie and Lucy?
Ethan: If they're still alive.

[Brad Jorgenson takes a small boulder and attempts to crush the skull of a dead Comanche warrior]
Reverend Clayton: Jorgenson!
Ethan: Why don't you finish the job?
[Ethan shoots out the eyes of the Comanche warrior]
Reverend Clayton: What good did that do ya?
Ethan: By what you preach... none. But, what that Comanch believes - ain't got no eyes... can't enter the spirit land... has to wander forever between the winds. You get it Reverend.

Martin: You know, Laurie, I was just thinking that maybe it's about time you and me started going steady, huh?
Laurie Jorgensen: Why Martin Pawley, you and me been going steady since we was three years old!
Martin: We have?
Laurie: 'Bout time you found out about it.

Laurie: [Martin is preparing to join a raid against the Indians and rescue Debbie] You're not goin', not this time.
Martin: Are you crazy?
Laurie: It's too late. She's a woman grown now.
Martin: But I gotta go, Laurie, I gotta fetch her home.
Laurie: Fetch what home? The leavings a Comanche buck sold time and again to the highest bidder, with savage brats of her own?
Martin: [upset] Laurie, shut your mouth.
Laurie: Do you know what Ethan will do if he has a chance? He'll put a bullet in her brain.
[pause]
Laurie: I tell you, Martha would want him to.
Martin: Only if I'm dead.

Martin: [speaking to Debbie for the first time in five years] Debbie... Debbie, Debbie, don't you remember? I'm Martin, I'm Martin, your brother, remember? Debbie, remember back.
[pause]
Martin: Do you remember how I used to let you ride my horse? And tell you stories?
[desperate]
Martin: Oh don't you remember me, Debbie?
Debbie Edwards: [sad] I remember, from always. At first I prayed to you to come and get me, take me home. You didn't come.
Martin: But I've come now, Debbie.
Debbie: These are my people... Go. Go, Martin, please!

Quotes about The Searchers[edit]

  • Another speaker, Amanda Milius, is the daughter of John Milius, who was the screenwriter for the first two Dirty Harry films and Apocalypse Now. She grew up in L.A. and wound up in the Trump administration. She argued that America needs to get back to making self-confident movies like The Searchers, the 1956 John Ford Western. This was an unapologetic movie, she asserted, about how Americans tamed the West and how Christian values got brought to “savage, undeveloped land.”
    This is about as dumb a reading of The Searchers as it’s possible to imagine. The movie is actually the modern analogue to the Oresteia, by Aeschylus. The complex lead figure, played by John Wayne, is rendered barbaric and racist while fighting on behalf of westward pioneers. By the end, he is unfit to live in civilized society.
    But we don’t exactly live in an age that acknowledges nuance. Milius distorts the movie into a brave manifesto of anti-woke truths—and that sort of distortion has a lot of buyers among this crowd.

Taglines[edit]

  • He had to find her... he had to find her...
  • The Biggest, Roughest, Toughest ...and Most Beautiful Picture Ever Made!

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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