The Searchers. 1956. USA. Directed by John Ford. 119 min.
Screenplay by Frank Nugent. With John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Harry Carey, Jr. Luigi Martinati’s poster for the Italian release of The Searchers is a stirring evocation of Ford’s classic Western, nodding to the dramatic vistas of Monument Valley and capturing the lonely, tortured spirit of John Wayne’s character, Ethan Edwards. The film, about one man’s obsessive quest to find his niece after she’s taken captive by Comanches, is a touchstone for Scorsese. “You’re left with a mystery,” the filmmaker once wrote of the movie’s famous closer, “In this case, the mystery of a man who spends 10 years of his life searching for someone, realizes his goal, brings her back and then walks away. Only an artist as great as John Ford would dare to end a film on such a note.”