* AdaptationDisplacement: There was a novel?
* AlasPoorScrappy: Look (Martin's homely Comanche trophy wife) is cringe-inducing in her ModernMinstrelsy....but you ''will'' feel bad when you see her corpse after she's massacred during a cavalry raid.
* AwardSnub: Received no nominations at the Oscars. Rather ironic, considering how the film is now viewed as a MagnumOpus for JohnFord, who was otherwise the most rewarded director in the Oscar's history.
* CrowningMusicOfAwesome: The song ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS-KeikPmFg The Searchers,]]'' by the Sons of the Pioneers (it starts at 0:19).
* HarsherInHindsight: 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.
* HypeBacklash: Inevitable due to being held up as the greatest western ever.
** SeinfeldIsUnfunny: It's a racist Western; 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 TheWestern, 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 BlackAndWhiteMorality, as noted by author Sherman Alexie.
* MoralEventHorizon: [[spoiler: 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.]]
* MagnumOpus: For both John Wayne and John Ford.
* {{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 OhCrap expression would have been much more effective).
** The first time we see Henry Brandon as Scar. He is ''obviously'' wearing makeup.
** The actor playing the Indian corpse early on picked a quite unfortunate moment to take a deep breath.
* SpecialEffectsFailure: A bunch, but most prominently, the "dead" Comanches who are clearly breathing.
* VindicatedByHistory: 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 Creator/JeanLucGodard, 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 NewHollywood with Creator/PaulSchrader, Creator/JohnMilius, Creator/GeorgeLucas and Creator/MartinScorsese spearheading the revival of its reputation and talking of its influence.