The Searchers (AFI #12)

“Really hungry and on a tight movie watching schedule for today, so this’ll likely be on the consise side of things.

Would ya believe that I’d never seen a John Wayne movie before? Well I guess if you know that Im not too well versed on older films (at least not before this project) and that westerns aren’t typically my thing (though I LOVED the 3:10 to Yuma remake with Christian Bale and Russell Crow) then I guess its not that much of a stretch. But it does still strike me as odd.

Yeah I never understood the whole cowboy and indian fascination. While that is prolly because Im not a ten year old boy, I do have a remarkable tendancy to like most other things a ten year old boy would. Case in point, I have Superman sheets on my bed. So how did I feel about The Searchers? My enjoyment of it kinda went up and down throughout the whole thing.

It took me a while to get into it. There was a lot of sub-par acting. Yeah I hate being so hypercritical of such an acclaimed movie, but it really brought it down for me. Also had some confusion about a third of the way in when I couldnt quite tell how much time was passing between events. Felt like it also dragged in the middle. It did pick up by the end and I found myself on the edge of my seat for a moment there.

I can see where John Wayne gets his bad ass cowboy reputation. He was very larger than life and in control. However, my fave was Jeffrey Hunter as Martin. Big surprised that I’d prefer the sympathetic pretty boy, huh? Failed to recognize Natalie Wood, which makes me lose some musical points there.

I can also see why its considered the best western of all time. Everything that has since become a cliche in the genre was there. I get why its the best, and maybe if I had a greater appreciation for westerns in general, I woulda thought a lot more of it.”

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