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lzcutter

The Searchers

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Loved the opening of "Directed by John Ford" tonight on TCM.

 

The opening scene from "The Searchers" is one of my favorites. So much emotion passes over Martha's face before Ethan even gets to the house. And then when he does get there, he dismounts and kisses her forehead.

 

Sets up the whole reason for Ethan to spend the next seven years searching for Debbie without a single word being said.

 

Wonderful.

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I always thought it interesting that when Ethan comes back to the house after the raid he yells for Martha. I also think some of Wayne's finest work is when he tells Harry Carey, Jr. about finding Lucy back in the canyon. It's all great work.

 

If you get a chance you should check out the commentary on the DVD by Bogdonavich. I found it very interesting and informative.

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I have not seen the Searchers in a few years ,watching The Ford Documentary last night makes me want to go out and rent it so my husband can see it too . He has not seen a lot of Wayne's movies. Its time to educate him LOL Inglis

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Movieman,

 

When you say the commentary by Bogdanovich, is that the newly released DVD restoration of The Searchers?

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Word is that Warner's is going to be re-restoring/remastering THE SEARCHERS again, due to all the complaints about the way the new DVD looks -- and it looks awful. If you still have your old DVDs of the film, hang onto them, because, for all of its color-registration problems and lack of resolution (the old, old laserdisc looks and sounded far better), it still looks better than the contrasty, off-color disc that hit the stores three months ago.

 

When I first saw the DVD master digitally projected at the Motion Picture Academy this past summer, my first reaction was 'Uh-oh.'

 

Uh-oh, indeed.

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Cinesage,

 

Any ideas what went wrong with the restoration? Why it looks so bad?

 

WBros usually does very good work but I have heard other complaints about The Searchers as well so now I am curious.

 

Is this restored print the one used in the John Wayne/John Ford boxed set or was it only for the stand alone?

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It's the same transfer for both, as far as I know. A friend who worked on the disc told me that there's been a lot of dissatisfaction with it, and I concurred when I saw it.

 

Settling on color timing and contrast values are a subjective matter, in making theatrical prints as well as DVDs, and whoever was given the task on THE SEARCHERS didn't have a firm grasp on what the film is supposed to look like (in my opinion, of course). That's not so surprising; what is is that the film had to pass through many more hands, and one would think that someone along the line would've said, "Hey, this just isn't right."

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I heard there is to be a hight-def dvd version of this movie. Has anyone heard about this? Many who saw it in originial Vista-Vision say nothing compares to that experience---but maybe an HD version would??

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I've seen an original Technicolor print of the film (with the late Hank Worden -- "Old Mose Harper" -- whom I'd arranged to attend, there to regale us with tales of the film's production) and, though it was scratched and splicey, it's hard to imagine any electronic version of the film as breathtaking as that experience.

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CSJ,

 

The screening with Hank Worden, where was it? I ask because years ago I attended a screening of The Searchers and Hank Worden spoke about the making of the film.

 

Was wondering if it was the same screening you were referring to.

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It was for James Hosney's film-study class in the Mark Goodson Screening Room on the campus of the American Film Institute in L.A. I can't recall exactly when it took place, but it was probably in the late 1980s or 1990.

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> I've seen an original Technicolor print of the film

> (with the late Hank Worden -- "Old Mose Harper" --

> whom I'd arranged to attend, there to regale us with

> tales of the film's production)

 

Golly, that must have been fun. I think Hank Worden is one of the most interesting and unusual character actors I ever saw. How grand that you knew him. He had an equally interesting background, too, from tidbits I've read over the years.

> though it was

> scratched and splicey, it's hard to imagine any

> electronic version of the film as breathtaking as

> that experience.

 

Martin Scorcese commented in a documentary about seeing THE SEARCHERS in original Vista-Vision---and how nothing can compare with that experience. Personally, I am looking forward just to seeing it in a theater at all---this week in Brooklyn as part of their film series on John Ford. :)

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Old Hank held forth for the better part of an hour, telling us of all his work for Ford, as well as with Howard Hawks and others. Oddly, it never occurred to me to ask him for an autograph.

 

PS: It's still Scorsese.

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MissGoddess I hate youLOL and do you have to rub it in that you can trot down to the theater to see the Seachers oh lucky you...hope you enjoy the show....... I wish when I came upon something I was looking for that the Seachers music when that pivotal moment happens would just play...hey they are my keys cue the music.....boy what a good movie makes me want to see it again.

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Miss G - have you ever read the novel "The Searchers" that the movie was adapted from? It's quite good, although it's really told from the viewpoint of the young man - - Martin Pawley -- than from Amos's (who became Ethan in the movie). It's one of the closest movie adaptations that I've seen.

 

Hope you'll let us know what it was like on the big screen.

 

Jule

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Reading the book and seeing the movie give an incomplete view of the transition from one medium to the other. One really needs to also read Frank Nugent's screenplay. As great as the film is, there are places in the film where one wishes that Ford had filmed things just the way Nugent wrote them.

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Well, no need for anyone to hate me because I hate myself (kidding): I became really sick just hours before I was to go to the screening and was in bed for the better part of two days. I missed both The Searchers and Liberty Valance and I'm so disappointed. I just have to hope these movies show up again in either Brooklyn or even better, Manhattan. Tomorrow night BAM is airing "The Sun Shines Bright", which I have never seen at all, but I may have another engagement so there it goes!

 

:(

 

P.S. I would adore to have The Searchers soundtrack---I gained new appreciation for how moving it is from watching Bogdanovich's documentary.

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Miss G - I feel your pain. You must have been *really* sick. If there was a good turnout, maybe there will be another showing.

 

Cinesage -- thanks for pointing me to ebay - I should have guessed that they would have some.

 

Julie

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Lynn,

Hope you won't mind my bringing up this old thread. I've recently bought *The Searchers* on Blu-Ray and would love to hear from those who like this great Ford western, whether they've watched it on DVD, blu-ray or in a theatrical presentation. (Like you and CineSage at the JW retrospective).

 

searchers-the-blu-ray.jpg

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FF,

 

I have no problem with bumping the thread back up but it's been a few months since the last time I watched the film.

 

I've created a couple of threads over the years here on the subject and we had an extensive talk about it earlier this summer.

 

I also posted after seeing it again in September at the USC tribute to John Wayne.

 

At this point, I have nothing new to add to what I've said before about the film but if you want to continue the discussion please feel free to.

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