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The John Wayne western movie
- Adaptation Displacement: There was a novel?
- Alas, Poor Scrappy: Look (Martin's homely Comanche trophy wife) is cringe-inducing in her Modern Minstrelsy....but you will feel bad when you see her corpse after she's massacred during a cavalry raid.
- Award Snub: Received no nominations at the Oscars. Rather ironic, considering how the film is now viewed as a masterpiece by John Ford, who was otherwise the most rewarded director in the Oscar's history. Of course this was a time when westerns were generally regarded as disposable entertainment and none of Ford's westerns won him an Oscar.
- Crowning Music of Awesome: The song The Searchers, by the Sons of the Pioneers (it starts at 0:19).
- Draco in Leather Pants: Henry Brandon's handsome features and brooding performance as Scar has won him a lot of fans. They also note that the film presents Scar as Ethan's doppelganger and that the Comanches have justifiable Freudian Excuse for attacking settlers what with the whole encroachment on the land, racism and passive genocide.
- Evil Is Cool: The Comanches in the film (as played by the Navajo) and Scar are pretty awesome and cool foes. John Milius (screenwriter of Apocalypse Now, director of The Wind and the Lion) admitted on seeing the film that he totally rooted for the Comanches, saying they were badass awesome warriors ("These are not jackals but Lions!"). He also admits "I wanted to be Scar".
- Harsher in Hindsight: While the racism is meant to make the viewer uncomfortable, modern viewers are still going to be put off far more than the 1950s audience.
- Hype Backlash: Inevitable due to being held up as the greatest western ever.
- Seinfeld Is Unfunny: It's a Western about racism; so what's the big deal? Well, the "big deal" is that it was the genre-buster for the older, shiny-white-good-guys version of The Western, and was so powerful that virtually every Western, and a huge number of films in general that followed, felt compelled either try to respond to it in some way to avoid being tacky, or to at least homage and acknowledge it. Also, it must be noted that in the classic era, there were very few movies that actually deal with settler/native relations with the same kind of honesty and lack of Black and White Morality, as noted by author Sherman Alexie.
- Moral Event Horizon: Ethan attempts to cross it when he almost kills his niece for marrying a Comanche; he doesn't follow through when he's hit with an arrow.
- Narm: Oh, Lord. Let us count the ways....
- The atrocious way Lucy Edwards sets her jaw before screaming bloody murder when she realizes that Comanches are approaching the homestead (when a simple Oh Crap! expression would have been much more effective).
- The first time we see Henry Brandon as Scar. He is obviously wearing make-up.
- The actor playing the Indian corpse early on picked a quite unfortunate moment to take a deep breath.
- Special Effects Failure: A bunch, but most prominently, the "dead" Comanches who are clearly breathing.
- Vindicated by History: The film was a box-office hit in its day but not regarded as anything more than a typical John Wayne potboiler, at least in America (the French, especially Jean-Luc Godard, really liked it). Even Ford fans like Lindsay Anderson were skeptical about it. It was only in the 70s that its reputation grew. It was a major cult film for the New Hollywood with Paul Schrader, John Milius, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese spearheading the revival of its reputation and talking of its influence.
The British 1960s band
- Creator Backlash: When the band was given "Sugar and Spice", drummer Chris Curtis allegedly hated the song, but eventually agreed to sing the countertenor backing vocables.
- Poor Man's Substitute: The band were often accused of being copies of The Beatles, although, due to the large amount of British boy bands that were part of the British Invasion, every band that was not The Beatles were accused of trying to be The Beatles.