The Searchers (film)
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Searchers is a 1956 epic Western film directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, which tells the story of Ethan Edwards, a bitter, middle-aged loner and Civil War veteran played by John Wayne, who spends years looking for his abducted niece.
While a modest commercial success upon its 1956 release, The Searchers received no Academy Award nominations and was certainly not regarded by then-contemporary reviewers as a potential classic. In recent years, however, the film's prestige has risen and it is now widely acknowledged as one of the best Westerns ever made, being named the Greatest Western of all time by the American Film Institute in 2008. It also placed 12th on the American Film Institute's 2007 list of the top 100 greatest movies of all time.
In 1989, the United States National Film Registry's first year of selecting films for preservation, The Searchers was one of the twenty-five films to be deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". Now a highly influential film, it has inspired other Westerns as well as dramas, and science fiction films.