The Searchers Is An American Western Film Film Studies Essay

The movie is non notable for its historical truth, but for the manner it presents the frontier myth. To some extent, that myth accepts force as feature of development, and takes it for granted that the conquering of land and people is critical to national individuality. That myth seems to prove national individuality. By picturing barbarian and coldblooded Indians, The Searchers illustrates Cold War frights of a brutal, awful “ Other ” with whom even the baronial adult male may happen it difficult to keep his aristocracy. Repeating the Cold War context in which The Searchers was made, most of the white work forces in the movie agree with Ethan that it ‘s better to be “ dead than ruddy. ” In contrast, Martin Pawley, Edwards ‘ half-Cherokee, half-white and entirely unwelcome comrade does non see things so harshly. Any witness, who may hold ab initio sympathized with Ethan, feels uneasy about his motivations. Is the cowpuncher hero led by the will to repatriate his family, or merely by the desire of slaughter? Why are at that place so many similarities between Ethan and his arch-enemy Scar? Why, when they meet, do they look to understand so good one another? It is this confusion that makes the movie so ambitious. This is what makes the movie deserving observation.

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The Searchers, while apparently lodging to the Western stereotypes, undermines them as the movie develops. John Wayne ‘s character presents a arresting portrayal of the darker side of the cowpuncher. In his onslaught on the frontier myth, Ford uses all the traits of the classical Western — the Monument Valley, the straightforward, brusque hero, the annoyed colonists endangered by Indian foraies to overthrow the evident power of racial hatred. Alternatively of accepting racism, the movie inquiries it as a right motivation for constructing civilisation. Edwards is non a hero, but a racialist and psychologically-unstable adult male who will ever be the castaway of the society. The true hero is Martin Pawley, a baronial immature adult male, put on the lining his ain life to support a white adult female. While portraying a conventionally-decent cowpuncher hero as a dogmatic racialist, the movie sends a message to the American society of that clip. While contending against racial unfairness had a serious discovery, in world racism was still a serious job in the United States for decennaries.

The Searchers, I think, is possibly one of the greatest Westerns I have of all time seen. With its complex and contrasting characters, full of deepness and enigma, the Searchers is genuinely a great film to watch. Some say this film is racist and depict Indians harmonizing to commonplace stereotypes. I disagree. I think this film is non racist, but it is about racism. Both races are barbarous and barbarous in this film. We can look closer:

The military personnels of white work forces massacre an Indian small town.

Ethan is a hermit, unwelcome and feared by his ain people.

Ethan shoots Indians in the dorsum while they are withdrawing. I do n’t believe that ‘s really baronial. Besides, Edwards shoots three white work forces in the dorsum every bit good. We can presume he can handle white people in the same pitiless manner.

After seeing the white adult females who were tortured by the Indians, Ethan fears Lucy shared their destiny. But when he eventually meets Lucy, Ethan gets upset with the unexpected result – she looks really good taken attention of. In his choler, he tries to kill Lucy merely because she has turned ‘injun. ‘

Marty by chance buys an Indian married woman. Although mocked by Edwards, the Indian adult female is depicted as a sort, warmhearted adult female throughout the movie.

When Ethan and Marty meet with the Indian head Scar, he recognizes them but lets them travel, because it is a Commanche codification of award non to kill person if it is non a just battle.

Ford does non look biased about any race in the film. He presents the good and the evil sides of both races every bit.

There are many grounds why I loved The Searchers. It is a really simple narrative, yet says a batch. It is really entertaining and ne’er drilling, genuinely one of the greatest classics of all clip. It is a movie that is first-class in every manner: superb playing, glorious picture taking, great storytelling, fantastic composing ; the list is endless. This movie is decidedly non merely for the fans of the western genre – it presents so much more and introduces you to the admirations and treasures great film-making has to show.


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