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).
In 1868, Ethan Edwards returns after an eight-year absence to the home of his brother Aaron in the wilderness of West Texas. Ethan fought in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy, and in the three years since that war ended, he apparently fought in the Mexican revolutionary war, as well. He has a large quantity of gold coins of uncertain origin in his possession, and a medal from the Mexican campaign that he gives to his eight-year-old niece, Debbie. As a former Confederate soldier, he is asked to take an oath of allegiance to the Texas Rangers; he refuses. As Rev. Captain Samuel Clayton remarks, Ethan "fits a lot of descriptions" (in reference to whether he may be wanted for any crime).
|author||Frank S. Nugent|
|award||National Film Registry|
|keywords||abduct adopted brother american civil war belong burial ground civil war comanche confederacy confederate soldier confederate states of america court french intervention in mexico gold coin homestead homestead act kill mexican revolution mexican revolutionary war military fort morning murder nawyecka new mexico older sister read return home revolutionary war texas ranger texas ranger division texas rangers trading post wait want wed west texas|
|productionCompany||Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney|
|recordedAt||Arizona California Colorado Utah|
|theme||epic missing people|