The Searchers ★★★★

I grew up on westerns, but I never loved or revered John Ford the way so many people did. In Danny Peary's Cult Movies book, which was my bible when I was 14-15, he talked about seeing The Searchers over and over and over, along with Land of the Pharaohs and Rebel Without a Cause, and I didn't get it.

To be honest, I still don't totally get it, but seeing this movie in a beautiful print and proper aspect ratio was certainly more satisfying than watching it on VHS, and I can see why it had such a huge impact on young filmgoers in the '50s.

However, the emotional punch of the first half just doesn't carry through the movie, and John Ford's sentimentality and love of corny humor can be exhausting (although Ward Bond getting bullet fragments plucked out of his ass IS pretty funny).

Anyway, I watched this with my 6-year-old daughter, and she was quite involved for the first half, but then lost interest toward the end. She got up to do something else and I said, "Don't you want to see them get Debbie back?" and she said "Yes. But also no. And it's mostly no!" and I laughed out loud.

Adam liked this review