November 25th, 2011: The Searchers (1956)

Cast and Crew: Frank S. Nugent (Screenplay); Alan Le May (Novel); Merian C. Cooper (Producer); Max Steiner (Score); Vera Miles, Ward Bond, John Qualen, Harry Carey Jr., Hank Worden, Patrick Wayne

What It’s About: Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) and Martin Pawley (Jeffrey Hunter) search for Ethan’s niece Debbie (Natalie Wood) after her family is massacred by Comanches led by Scar (Henry Brandon).

Why Watch it Today?:    Co-star Jeffrey Hunter was born today in 1926.  To modern nerds Hunter is perhaps best known for starring in Gene Roddenberry’s original Star Trek pilot as Captain Pike, but his big break was in today’s film, playing sidekick and conscience to John Wayne’s driven, haunted, hate filled Ethan.  The Searchers is one of Wayne and director John Ford’s best pictures and one of the greatest Westerns of all time.

Where to Get It: Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, Netflix (Rental) or Libraries

Mo Rating for Movember: Once again there is a serious lack of Mo among the principle characters, but the ever reliable Ward Bond earns the film 3 out of 5 Mos for his big ‘stache, which complements his top hat nicely.

Ward Bond contemplates just how long his "flavor saver" will keep him caffinated on the trail.

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