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The Searchers

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JackFavell
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Re: The Searchers

Postby JackFavell » July 15th, 2013, 8:42 am

Thanks Chris! I do know that when I first watched The Searchers, I didn't see what the big deal was about. It seemed OK, quite a good western, but the layers definitely didn't hit me until I started reading on the boards either and I gave it another try. Then it was like that opening shot - the doors on my brain literally opened outward and I started to see more and more. The 'colors' of the film started to reveal themselves to me.

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movieman1957
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Re: The Searchers

Postby movieman1957 » July 15th, 2013, 9:03 am

You're welcome. You are one of the reasons so much is different with the way I see them now.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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JackFavell
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Re: The Searchers

Postby JackFavell » July 15th, 2013, 9:20 am

Oh no! I think others had far more to contribute than I did. I just jumped on the bandwagon. :oops:

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knitwit45
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Re: The Searchers

Postby knitwit45 » July 15th, 2013, 9:58 am

I won't hijack this thread, but another example of seeing a movie with "new" eyes is Kings Row. wowsa! :shock: :shock:
So many things I never saw when I first watched this on 'Million Dollar Movie' 3 or 4 lifetimes ago......

I saw The Searchers at the local movie house when I was about 11. Thought it was 'really neat', couldn't understand why John Wayne was such a sourpuss, loved Natalie Wood, ADORED Jeff Hunter, thought Harry Carey Jr was a looney bin....
all the typical reactions of a silly little girl. :)
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

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JackFavell
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Re: The Searchers

Postby JackFavell » July 15th, 2013, 10:20 am

And how about now, knitty?

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knitwit45
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Re: The Searchers

Postby knitwit45 » July 15th, 2013, 10:53 am

Such a rich, multilayered film. It differs sharply from the original source in several major points, but it is powerful in its take on the story.

I always watch for the scenes between Martha and Ethan, her longing and regret are painful to see, but only for Ethan's eyes. Even her husband seems to be clueless...Dobe moves me to tears, his initiation into the harsh facts of life in Indian country is devasting. Ethan becomes more and more complex, I have never seen anything but dislike, bordering on hatred, for Marty. The recent discussion of him actually being fond of Marty is one I'm still not sure of...guess I'll have to watch it again...oh, darn. :)

The Marty/Look story always makes me sad, he was so very cruel to her, more, I think because of Ethan's digging at him.

I will, on next viewing, watch for the rocking chair and porch scenes. That porch takes on so much meaning now, the image that just popped into my mind is that of Ethan standing there, looking in, then sagging, when he goes back and finds them all dead. Heart ripper.
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

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JackFavell
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Re: The Searchers

Postby JackFavell » July 15th, 2013, 11:43 am

I find the Marty Look scenes awful too. I used to wonder why he put in that kick down the slope and the cruelty, but now I think it's integral to the story - it brings us up short - first we find her funny, then it's not so funny when she's found murdered, and by the cavalry - aren't they supposed to save the day?

Watching the Martha and Ethan scenes again this last time, I don't think Aaron is clueless. I think he might be willfully blind. I also think his lines could be taken in a couple of different ways. The actor plays him quite simple and unknowing, but I wonder if the character as written in the script might actually have been more antagonistic to Ethan and that the actor just didn't really jump on that part of a sibling relationship? In some ways, I think Ethan is totally off base when he gets all mad at Aaron for asking about the money, or why he's come back now. It feels like he is defensive out of guilt. But I would have loved to see a little more back and forth between the brothers, maybe a little more from Aaron to propel Ethan into his antagonism - since most siblings do have some rivalry at some point.

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Re: The Searchers

Postby mrsl » July 15th, 2013, 12:43 pm

,
Knitty:

You can delete the word silly from your line, and make it just a typical little girl. It was years and many, many viewings before I understood all the intrigues and innuendos of The Searchers. Today's movies just don't have those meaningful hidden idiosyncrasies.
Anne


***********************************************************************
* * * * * * * * What is past is prologue. * * * * * * * *

]***********************************************************************

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knitwit45
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Re: The Searchers

Postby knitwit45 » July 15th, 2013, 2:08 pm

thank ya, mam! :D
"Life is not the way it's supposed to be.. It's the way it is..
The way we cope with it, is what makes the difference." ~ Virginia Satir
""Most people pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it." ~ Soren Kierkegaard

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movieman1957
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Re: The Searchers

Postby movieman1957 » July 15th, 2013, 2:35 pm

As far as Aaron goes it may depend on whether you think Martha and Ethan actually had a relationship. There is some tension between the brothers. My thought is there was something with Martha and Ethan but something kept them apart. Aaron isn't the man that Ethan is and Martha knows it. That doesn't mean she doesn't love Aaron but it may have more to do with a stable life. I doubt Ethan could give her that and he likely is the one that decided against anything more.

But I thinks she might wonder what could have been. That look when Ethan kisses her on the head tells me there's a hint of regret.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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JackFavell
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Re: The Searchers

Postby JackFavell » July 15th, 2013, 3:26 pm

Thanks for weighing in on the question, guys.

I agree, Chris, that there is some tension there, and the more I watch it the more I want to know what it was that happened, but of course we are left with questions which just keep bringing me back to the movie over and over again. :D

I suspect it was Ethan's choice mostly, as well, Chris. Maybe that Ethan couldn't settle, and Martha couldn't follow. I don't necessarily think this has come between the brothers, in fact, I'd say it could have even been settled somewhat amicably back in the day, with Ethan giving tacit approval to Aaron to marry Martha, ad Martha figuring if she couldn't have Ethan, Aaron was the next best man for her. Aaron and Martha have a good relationship. However, like in all families, there can be hidden resentments and smolderings for years that flare up on contact, despite the best intentions of all the parties. I think this is what Ford wanted us to see. That complex familial relationship with all it's baggage.

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tinker
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Re: The Searchers

Postby tinker » July 15th, 2013, 6:44 pm

The Marty/Look story always makes me sad, he was so very cruel to her, more, I think because of Ethan's digging at him.


One of the features of Ford to em is that he is very good at showing one point of view as valid, when he means to prove it is not. Like in Fort Apache and Liberty Valance about believing myths. It is often pointed out how much the audience is brought in to The Searchers, involved in it by not showing the awful things,just letting you imagine them, which is what I think happens with Look and maybe even when Laurie says Ethan should shot Debbie. I suspect Ford is confronting the audience with their own prejudices. I think this was around the time Ford was getting some heat about his depiction of Indians.


I always suspect that there is a one frame subliminal message buried in The Searchers just as Ethan puts the hat on the dead Look. Its Ford shaking his finger at the audience and it has a a message "When you call me a racist just remember you laughed at her"

I suspect Ford may be saying "I may have showed the cavalry shooting the Indians but you cheered them"

Realization came with maturity but real depth came when I got on the boards. Talking to people who know a great deal more than me has really opened things up. I watch them differently now. I see more. I notice more. I understand more.


I know what you mean. I always loved westerns even if I am Australian but its reading what other people say about them that has opened up the whole mythology, philosophy behind what are often simple stories.

dee
But I, being poor, have only my dreams; I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. (William Butler Yeats )
How did I get to Hollywood? By train. (John Ford)

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JackFavell
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Re: The Searchers

Postby JackFavell » July 16th, 2013, 12:04 pm

That seems very true to me, tinker, that he points up things just to disprove them. I also see the Ford finger shake in the scenes with Look and the cavalry. It's very effective, when used sparingly, which he did.

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movieman1957
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Re: The Searchers

Postby movieman1957 » July 16th, 2013, 3:26 pm

As a small aside. Winton Hoch, who was the cinematographer on "The Searchers" I saw on an episode of "Time Tunnel." IT's amazing what watching credits will do for you. Turns out he did a lot of TV.

Not back to our regularly scheduled discussion.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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JackFavell
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Re: The Searchers

Postby JackFavell » July 16th, 2013, 3:28 pm

I've been noticing cameramen on tv as well. We think of them as such masters, and yet they worked where they could get it.


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