History Film / TheSearchers

20th Jun '16 11:00:14 AM hullflyer
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** TaxiDriver is one as well, also about a bigoted anti-hero trying to rescue a young girl from a situation she doesn't entirely want to be rescued from.
20th Jun '16 10:55:15 AM hullflyer
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* NiceHat: Reverend Clayton is very fond of his top hat. When getting ready to gallop the horses to escape the Comanche ambush, he makes sure to tie it down with a handkerchief. When he's yelling at Greenhill, he almost throws it down in the dirt, an stops himself at the last moment.

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* NiceHat: Reverend Clayton is very fond of his top hat. When getting ready to gallop the horses to escape the Comanche ambush, he makes sure to tie it down with a handkerchief. When he's yelling at Greenhill, he almost throws it down in the dirt, an but stops himself at the last moment.
20th Jun '16 10:11:20 AM hullflyer
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* BarredFromTheAfterlife / DesecratingTheDead: A group chasing an Comanche war party finds the grave of a dead Comanche. One man angrily smashes him with a rock but Ethan pulls out his gun and shoots out the corpse's eyes. When asked by a Texas Ranger/Preacher what good that did, Ethan answers that by what the preacher believes, nothing, but the Indians believe that if he has no eyes he can't enter the afterlife and just has to wander "between the winds". Ironically the final shot, [[spoiler:implies heavily that this is Ethan Edwards' fate as well]].

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* BarredFromTheAfterlife / DesecratingTheDead: A group chasing an a Comanche war party finds the grave of a dead Comanche. One man angrily smashes him with a rock but Ethan pulls out his gun and shoots out the corpse's eyes. When asked by a Texas Ranger/Preacher what good that did, Ethan answers that by what the preacher believes, nothing, but the Indians believe that if he has no eyes he can't enter the afterlife and just has to wander "between the winds". Ironically the final shot, [[spoiler:implies heavily that this is Ethan Edwards' fate as well]].
20th Jun '16 10:10:05 AM hullflyer
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* AccidentalMarriage: Martin Pawley thinks he's buying a blanket from some Indians. Turns out he's married one of them instead, "Look". Ethan Edwards thinks its hilarious. He is also rather nicer to the unexpected bride than her 'husband' despite the fact she's a Comanche.

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* AccidentalMarriage: Martin Pawley thinks he's buying a blanket from some Indians. Turns out he's married one of them instead, "Look". Ethan Edwards thinks its it's hilarious. He is also rather nicer to the unexpected bride than her 'husband' "husband", despite the fact that she's a Comanche.
3rd May '16 3:29:08 PM eroock
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* OffIntoTheDistanceEnding: The last shot from inside the house, showing the hero walk away into the distance, then [[DoorClosesEnding the door closes]].
2nd Mar '16 12:19:08 AM JulianLapostat
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* HollywoodAtheist: Ethan Edwards frequently makes disdainful comments about religion throughout the film. At one point he describes Christianity to a reverend as "by what you preach", rather than "we preach" which suggests that he doesn't consider himself Christian anymore.
2nd Mar '16 12:13:19 AM JulianLapostat
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* GrayAndGreyMorality: One of the grayest westerns of the "classic era" in terms of dealing with the psychology and cultural attitudes in the Frontier in a way that is highly accurate and free of sentiment.

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* GrayAndGreyMorality: One of the grayest westerns of the "classic era" (and any other era) in terms of dealing with the psychology and cultural attitudes in the Frontier in a way that is highly accurate and free of sentiment.



* HiddenDepths: For a bigot, Ethan certainly speaks "good Comanche", knows a lot about different Native Tribes, understands nuances and communicates with them. He's even more knowledgable than Martin Pawley, the liberal AudienceSurrogate.



* {{Irony}}: Despite opposing Ethan's quest for revenge, and calling him out on his crazy violence, it's finally Martin Pawley, the relatively pacifistic part-Cherokee sidekick [[spoiler:who kills Scar, when he comes and rescues Debbie]].



* NotSoDifferent: Ethan and Scar.

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* NotSoDifferent: Ethan and Scar. Scar speaks "good American" for a Comanche, Ethan speaks "good Comanche" for an American. Likewise both of them fought the United States, Ethan Edwards as a Confederate, and Scar as a Comanche, and are out of place in the expansionist Union. Ethan became a mercenary after the South Lost, while Scar works as a freelance bandit and Indian raider for Mexicans on the Border.



* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: They stumble across some of this done by the Comanches early in the film as well as a random Indian woman killed by the cavalry later in the movie. The general point is that on both sides, some HumansAreBastards.

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* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: They stumble across some of this done by the Comanches early in the film as well as a random Indian woman killed by the cavalry later in the movie. The general point is that on both sides, some HumansAreBastards.sides there is GrayAndGreyMorality and innocents, both settlers and natives, truly suffer in this crossfire and there's blood on everyone's hands.



* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: Ethan hates Indians, and he's not shy about expressing it.

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* PoliticallyIncorrectHero: Ethan hates Indians, and he's not shy about expressing it.it, which oddly makes him more honest than the other settlers who behind closed doors, share his extreme views about captive women and miscegenation.
* PrivateMilitaryContractors: Ethan became a mercenary after the defeat of the Confederacy. Ford suggested in an interview, that he might have fought for either Benito Juarez or the Emperor Maximilian, though Ford leans towards the latter on account of the shiny gold coins.



* SidekickGraduationsStick: While Martin Pawley starts as Ethan's sidekick and ButtMonkey, he gradually becomes TheHero in the film's final half, [[spoiler:winning the support and admiration of the Jorgensen family and settler community, succeeding in securing Laurie where Ethan lost Martha, and ironically being the man who killed Scar even if he was Ethan's ArchEnemy, Ethan even comes around to naming Martin Pawley his heir. Critics suggest that Ford considered Pawley to represent America's future, being multi-cultural (part Cherokee), protective and less masculine than Wayne, and this is the positive kernel in the overall BittersweetEnding]].



* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler: Ethan dies in the book.]]

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* SurprisinglySuddenDeath: After an entire film of buildup, [[spoiler:Scar gets killed unceremoniously when he sneaks behind Martin Pawley, Pawley wasn't even aware that it was Scar when he shot him, and the film emphasizes the suddenness by refusing to linger on Scar's body. It's only when Ethan comes into the tent and sees the body that you realize it was Scar, and the quick cut implies that Ethan scalped his old foe]].
* SparedByTheAdaptation: [[spoiler: Ethan dies in the book.]] In the film, the final shot implies that he is "doomed to wander between the winds forever" or that he's going to step out and commit suicide off-screen]].
28th Feb '16 11:53:33 AM JulianLapostat
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* {{Jerkass}} / JerkassFacade: Ethan is genuinely a Jerkass, but he can't quite abandon his humanity like he wants to.

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* {{Jerkass}} / JerkassFacade: Ethan is genuinely a Jerkass, but he can't quite abandon his humanity like he wants to.



* ShellShockedVeteran: Ethan Edwards fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War (and its implied he worked as a mercenary in Mexico after the war), its possible that one reason for his crustiness is that he hasn't entirely recovered from war and service.

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* ShellShockedVeteran: Ethan Edwards fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War (and its implied he worked as a mercenary in Mexico after the war), war)[[note]]In an interview with Bogdanovich, Creator/JohnFord suggested he fought for the Emperor Maximilian against Benito Juarez[[/note]], its possible that one reason for his crustiness is that he hasn't entirely recovered from war and service.
6th Jan '16 4:29:52 AM Menshevik
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* VictoryByEndurance: As the page quote demonstrates, Ethan lives this trope.
14th Dec '15 10:53:40 AM Discar
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* HostageMacGuffin: John Wayne & Co. spend years searching for his niece, abducted by [[OnceAcceptableTargets Injuns]].
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