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The Searchers (1956)

by on 2011/06/21

“I don’t believe in surrenders. Nope, I’ve still got my saber, Reverend. Didn’t beat it into no plowshare, neither.”

* * *

Why is everyone shouting? WHAT?!

Why is everyone shouting? WHAT?!

While I watched this western classic I was forced to assume that the director John Ford whipped everyone into such a foaming, psychotic frenzy that the female actors actually quivered like terrified bees.

Everyone yells their lines. Yells.

When I wasn’t worried about ALL THE YELLING I worried about everyone’s’ tans. These tans made George Hamilton look like an basement-dwelling, albino Dungeon Master.

Then the worries continued. I second Hacker Renders assessment that John Wayne plays a violent prick. His character Ethan, a post-traumatic stress disordered solider, has a sense of frontier morality that needs a bit more moral in it. Heck, any basic humanity in it.

The idea that a female kidnap victim is better off shot through the head than to live as the wife of a First Nations chief is a layer cake of wrong. Wrong.

It is a beautiful film. Gorgeous. But it is like watching a beautiful woman reciting, in a lovely voice, a blank verse poem about the merits of bigotry, shame and fear.

* * *

Rated G …um, wow. I still can’t believe it.

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