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Sought after motion picture writers of the time decide on their masterpieces and their makers, together with The Searchers, Ugetsu, The 3rd guy, the foundations of the sport, Psycho, Howard Hawks, Madame de ..., 2001, and others.

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That is why I think I~could not get angry over what John Wayne said that day about the Indians, or what Ford says about Indians in his movies. Those things are not unimportant, but they are secondary, and they form the dimensions of the legend. It is not necessary to like or agree with them to understand them or to love the whole of which they are an undeniable part. Several years after I had spoken with Wayne, a friend, a journalist, met with him, and in the course of their conversation asked him about The Searchers.

The Searchers is John Ford's last great western. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance had a complex and promising script, but it was shot too loosely and lazily, lit like a television show and staged on sets that were a disgrace even to the back lot. The Searchers is abundant in landscape and texture. It was shot mostly in Monument 36 JAY COCKS V t l v - t v l I v 1 9 o Valley, Ford's territory. He alone made that blasted, monolithic terrain seem like the true scorched face of the West. The Searchers begins in Texas and spans, in the course of a narrative that encompasses a full decade, Canada and Mexico, as well as tentative niches of civilization all over the Southwest.

Perhaps the most beautiful sequence in the film is that of Montag secretly sitting down in his rocking chair, by the light of the wall television, to begin reading David Coppereld. Pauline Kael has remarked: “One can visualize the scene . . as it might have been done at Warners or MGM in the thirties, how his face would light up and change with the exaltation of the experience--the triumph of man's liberation from darkness . . Truaut is so cautious not to be obvious, the scene isn’t dramatized at all.

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