The Searchers (1956)

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  • Dang Gorch, just wrote you a long post and went back to see yours and this one disappeared when I came back. Is there any way to keep the other on the same page? Anyway, researching for a book I am writing and trying to get credit for stunt folks and character actors who never received it properly while alive. No good for them, but it will be for their families!
    Frank is sometimes hard to find, but his size helps. Once you find out what he is wearing, you can usually find him in more places. Of course, Terry is huge and has had his white hair for a LONG time. So, if I find him, I search for Frank. Usually, at some time, they end up standing together, as they did at the door in The Searchers when Pat Wayne appeared for the first time. They got a kick out of him as did Ward and Duke as they helped to raise him.
    I read that, once, Duke told Pat if he couldn't ride a horse better than he was, he wouldn't let him play in any westerns. Some of the stunt men got together and gave him lessons....I know Terry and Frank had to be in there but haven't found proof yet. Kind of like Yakima, Harey Carey, Sr. and some of the other stuntmen teaching Duke when he was a kid. Did you pay close attention to his work when shoeing the horses and making the shoes in Hondo. Have you ever seen a farrier, (blacksmith) work or done any of your own? I had a forge and used to make lots of my AMM equipment. Boy, Duke got the details right down to holding one hand with a hammer against the outside of the hoof when hammering....I was surprised at that. But I HAD read that the guys who taught him didn't just teach him to ride. Shoot, in the Cowboys, he even told Mr. Nightlinger, (Roscoe Lee Brown), first off that he was getting down off the wagon improperly. He said it would work, but that isn't the way a cowboy would do it. So Roscoe asked him to show him how. Duke did, and Roscoe did it that way throughout the film. Got off track there, sorry! I tend to be a bit verbose as I live alone and work in my shop alone, LOL. I will probably have to have someone good to severely "trim down" my book.
    As for Roberson's book, I hope to get it and a lot of others when I can afford them. I especially want Dobe's, but it is very expensive even used and in bad shape! I DID hear that Bad Chuck's book was full of great stories. Think I should get his first? I need someone who has read them all to tell me which will have the most of what I am looking for. Does it have a lot of backlot stuff and explain how the stunt guys had to prepare, etc.? I knew that Roberson and Terry were really good friends. I saw somewhere on here someone asking how Good and Bad got their names and believe a wrong answer was given. Probably was corrected....I am still having trouble looking up stuff like that on here. Anyway, it was Pappy Ford who started it. Because Bad was such a troublemaker and womanizer, and Good was rather shy. Speaking of shy, did yall find the place in Horse Soldiers where Fred Kennedy died? If not, I will tell you. Phew, sorry again for my verbosity. Have a good one, it that way to keep from being confused with Ethan!

    God, she reminds me of me! DUKE

    Edited once, last by Hawkswill ().

  • It sure is a pleasure reading your insights, Hawkswill. Don't fret ramblin' on here, we encourage people to participate and share all they want. Plus, we learn more that way!


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • I second Dukefan1's encouragement to write whatever and as long as you like.
    Since you seem more interested in stunt work, I'd recommend Bad Chuck's book first. He tells how he trained Cocaine and his stories are wild and funny. He was quite a hand with the ladies too, but that topic is on a back burner.
    Dobe's book is more focused on Ford and other actors. Both are equally fascinating, but Chuck's is more stuntman oriented.
    According to Chuck himself, Roberson sneaked a woman into the tent late one night, a tent he shared with Hayward, Wilson and McGrath and others. He writes:
    "At one point in the proceedings, I heard somebody say, "Hey! There's a woman in here." I think it was Chuck Hayward. Than Frankie said "Shut up and go back to sleep. We're just dreaming." Terry Wilson just snored on through everything, and nobody else showed any signs of life.
    I had her dressed and home by three a.m., and I was up bright and early with everyone else that morning. But Ford knew. I don't know how, but he knew."

    Ford told Roberson that the next time he should get a quiet girl and started calling him Bad Chuck that day.

    We deal in lead, friend.

  • Thanks to DukeFanI and Gorch. Well, you taught me something. Didn't know exactly why Pappy gave Roberson the name...thanks!

    Anybody know how to keep the other posts on the same page as the one your are commenting on. Sure would be easier to answer everything that way. Also, anyway of just clicking on the new posts and going right to them?

    Changed my profile pic because none of the others seem to keep working. I have an album open to the public. Any of yall have albums? Do many people "friend" others or is this a pretty closed group? No one has checked my profile...don't think anyway.

    Did yall post on Bogdonovich's blog on The Searchers. Don't know why he doesn't get many comments. Oh, I sent him a separate note to correct a glaring error in his post.....hope he got it and has. If not, you will realize what it is right away. Anyway, think folks should comment for him. He has done a lot for Ford and all Western fans. Well, thanks again. You may be sorry that you encouraged me, LOL! KPKEITH

    God, she reminds me of me! DUKE

  • I did notice one gaff ive never seen talked about before. You know the scene where they lifted that large rock off the "dead" indian? Well, as they lifted the rock, you could see the "dead Indian" take a deep breath and hold it. Other than that, I saw no gaffs of anykind. ;-))))

    Ringo, if you check the first post in this thread, it is mentioned, and I think there has probably been other discussion as well.

    Posts 17, 19, and 20 on this page also discuss it. Of course . . . this reference may have been 'before your time' here :wink_smile:.

  • I did notice one gaff ive never seen talked about before. You know the scene where they lifted that large rock off the "dead" indian? Well, as they lifted the rock, you could see the "dead Indian" take a deep breath and hold it. Other than that, I saw no gaffs of anykind. ;-))))

    That's right Jim,
    In fact on the first post, that was only one blooper
    of a whole load that are listed.

    Best Wishes
    London- England

  • Another thing that came up as a point of discussion among our little group, as a result of watching this film on the BIG screen, was about the medal that Ethan gave Debbie. You could really see it on the screen, which made us actually think more about it, and wondering what the medal was.

    From your initial post in this thread -

  • At the viewing at the theater the other day, I picked up on a detail I had never noticed before. When Ethan returns home he enters the cabin and picks Debbie up by holding her elbows and raising her over his head. This is exactly how he lifts her at the end when he says - let's go home.
    That damn Ford was a genius.

    We deal in lead, friend.

  • At the viewing at the theater the other day, I picked up on a detail I had never noticed before. When Ethan returns home he enters the cabin and picks Debbie up by holding her elbows and raising her over his head. This is exactly how he lifts her at the end when he says - let's go home.
    That damn Ford was a genius.

    We deal in lead, friend.

    This film is layered in symbolism, it's fantastic.


  • Yep, it was, my friend. Pappy Ford would NEVER admit to symbolism.....asking about that would cut an interview as short as asking about the darkening of his later pictures. You should listen to Bogdonovich's older commentaries on the DVDs. He makes some superb symbolism points but learned quickly not to question Pappy Ford on actually shows Ford saying "CUT". He always said it was "just a job of 'werk'". Good eyes! But, he WILL admit to having a great eye for composition and that was about all....where he got it, he didn't know. One of the massive understatements in the movie business,LOL!
    Ride hard but don't put him up wet! KPKEITH

    God, she reminds me of me! DUKE

  • Surprise that Ford let that go by.

    In fact Ford let lots go by,
    and to remind everyone, here they are:-

    * Errors in geography: Monument Valley is not in Texas.

    * Anachronisms: As the cavalry approaches and begins to cross the snow-covered river to the left, it becomes obvious that along the river is a road, because a car appears and drives to the right-hand corner of the shot and stops just beyond a tree.

    * Revealing mistakes: Debbie's head is visible at the top of a distant sand dune as she awaits her cue to run over the hill to join Ethan and Martin.

    * Revealing mistakes: When projected or seen in 1:1.33 aspect ratio, when Martin sneaks into Scar's village, we can see spot lights above the top of the painted backdrop. With the correct VistaVision aspect ratio of 1:1.85, that would be out of frame.

    * Continuity: When the Indians charge across the river, Ethan is shooting at them with an octagonal barreled rifle, when the angle changes, he is shooting with a round barreled carbine.

    * Continuity: When the Indians charge across the river toward the reverend's posse, the river changes both direction and color throughout the scene. In some shots, the river is a muddy red, while in others it is clearer and blue. In the shots of Ethan firing his rifle, the river moves from his left to his right. But in the shots of the Indians getting shot and falling from their horses, the river moves from Ethan's (and the viewer's) right to his left. Then, as the Indians retreat, the river switches back to moving left to right.

    * Continuity: When Martin briefly threatens the injured Ethan with a knife, the knife switches from his left hand to his right between shots.

    * Anachronisms: Marty's knife hilt seems to be a Ka-Bar knife, designed in WWII.

    * Crew or equipment visible: After Ethan stokes the campfire and Martin turns in for the night, the camera tilts up to Futterman on a rock. The angle is so high that the top of the studio backdrop and a studio light are visible when the film is projected or seen in 1:1.33 aspect ratio.

    * Anachronisms: Laurie is seen wearing what appear to be riveted blue jeans in Texas around the year 1869 or 1870. Denim pants reinforced with rivets were not patented and mass produced until 1873 (by Levi Strauss in San Francisco), and prior to that were likely unknown outside of Reno, Nevada, where they had been invented by a local tailor.

    * Continuity: Ethan rides his horse into Scar's teepee and scalps his corpse. Afterward, he is riding and shooting with the rest of Capt. Clayton's men outside, before he exits the teepee with Scar's scalp.

    * Continuity: When the Indians chase the Rangers across the river, Capt. Clayton falls off his horse and into the water. When the Rangers regroup on the far bank to shoot back, he is dry.

    * Continuity: At the beginning of the movie, a blanket is draped on the hitching rail. When the shot moves from inside the darkened house to the bright outdoors the blanket is gone.

    * Crew or equipment visible: In the cabin where the cavalry is holding the deranged woman and the two teenage girls, a filming light is visible in the ceiling after the deranged woman screams and grabs the doll. The light is partially hidden behind a horizontal stovepipe and the glare is clearly visible for most of the scene.

    * Plot holes: Ethan and Mose are on horseback and pass Martin who is on foot during the return to Aaron's ranch. Martin arrives at the burning ranch only seconds behind Ethan and Mose, but should have been hours behind.

    * Continuity: When Aaron Edwards is looking around outside to spot Indians, it is dusk. We then see a quick cut away to a bright blue sky when he spots something, and then a cut back to dusk.

    * Anachronisms: The movie begins in 1868; however, all of the guns used are mid 1870s vintage. The pistols used are Colt 1873 Peacemakers and the rifles are Winchester Model 1892. Although both Spencer and Volcanic Repeating Arms both produced cartridge firing repeating rifles, it is more likely that most of the men, not being professional gun hands, would have carried Civil War surplus rifles (muzzleloaders) like Mose.

    * Continuity: When the Aaron's family goes out to welcome Ethan, the dog follows Debbie and stays on her right-hand side. In the next shot the dog is on her left.

    * Continuity: After the children go to sleep, Aaron's pipe disappears from his hand. Afterward, when he is hiding Ethan's money, the pipe reappears in his mouth.

    * Continuity: In the open shot of the funeral scene, Rev. Capt. Clayton has only Ethan and Martin near him. But in the subsequent shot a man appears just behind Ethan.

    * Continuity: While Laurie reads Martin's letter, Charlie stays plucking the guitar. In the next shot he is touching his chin with his left hand.

    * Continuity: During their fight, Martin and Charlie rolled up in a almost completely yellow bedspread. From one shot to another the bedspread changes its color.

    * Continuity: During the battle with the Comanche crossing the river, Mose and Martin seem enveloped in dusk while firing from behind a log, whereas their companions, seen in other shots, are viewed in bright sunlight.

    * Continuity: The horses Ethan and Marty are riding are not in sequence. When Marty rides his horse to death and is seen carrying his saddle, he was riding his buckskin (which is the horse that supposedly died). When he rides out with Ethan to look for the two girls, he is again on the same buckskin horse. Also, when Marty leaves and goes after Ethan, Laurie gives him her blaze-faced sorrel 'Sweet Face'. When Ethan and Marty are riding together after Marty buys 'Look', they are both riding dark faced dark horses and not leading any other horses. Later on, Marty is once again on 'Sweet Face'.

    * Continuity: At the beginning of the film, when the Rangers discover the prize bull and decide that it is a "murder raid", Martin rides off in the same direction as those going to the Jorgensen ranch (west) instead of heading south, towards his family's place.

    * Audio/visual unsynchronized: When the Comanches ride down on Ethan and Marty from the sand dune, one Comanche can be seen and heard firing his rifle. However, he fires his rifle a second time but no gunshot sound effect can be heard.

    * Factual errors: The term 'yatahey' is heard being shouted by an Indian in the background. Yatahey is the Navajo word for hello, and would likely not be used by Comanche Indians.

    * Crew or equipment visible: In the long tracking shot of the calvary riding through the Comanche village near the end of the film, dust kicked up by the dolly riding on its track is visible at the bottom right corner of the screen.

    * Revealing mistakes: In the scene where Lars Jorgensen is trying to stop Ethan and Martin from entering his house just before Laurie's wedding, their shadows can clearly be seen on the painted backdrop behind. A few minutes later, when Martin and Charlie go outside to fight, their shadows are also briefly seen on the backdrop.

    * Continuity: When the fight between Marty and Charlie is broken up by the wedding guest, both men are completely covered in white dust. When they cut to a closer shot of the two men, they are much cleaner with only a small amount of brown dust on them.

    * Continuity: During the final battle, when the Texas Rangers rush the Indian camp, the scene goes from night to broad daylight from that point on.

    * Audio/visual unsynchronized: During the shootout with the Indians at the river, Rev. Capt. Claytons' gun is emptied and Ethan throws him a loaded gun; Clayton throws his hat and hits Ethan. Ethan is moving his lips and saying something but, there is no sound.

    * Continuity: Just after the shooting at the river Ethan is sitting and putting new bullets in his rifle while talking to Clayton, then he walks up to the two by the horses behind with his rifle in his left hand. Just before the cut to a closeup on the three, he shifts the rifle to his right hand. But after the cut to the closeup he is still holding his rifle in his left hand.

    * Continuity: In the scene early in the movie when Ward Bond's Preacher/Texas Rangers Captain is trying to recruit Ethan and his brother, John Wayne puts on his gun belt and in the next shot buckles it again.

    * Continuity: When Brad returns to Ethan and Marty after scouting the Comanche camp, he tells them that they are camped a half mile away. After learning of Lucy's fate, he mounts his horse and rides off towards the camp. About five to seven seconds after his departure, we hear the sounds of gunfire. For a good saddle horse, carrying an average sized man and saddle with gear, to run a half mile at full speed would require roughly 50 to 60 seconds lead time. Brad could not have come remotely close to the Comanches in the time between his leaving and the sounds of gunfire.

    * Continuity: When the Reverend breaks up the fight between Martin and Charlie, a group of men are seen behind the Reverend with Martin and Charlie in front of him however, when the fight resumes, Seth, the violinist, has appeared behind Charlie.

    * Crew or equipment visible: (At 1:10:32) Immediately after John Wayne goes crazy shooting at the buffalo, they hear the Calvary trumpet. It then cuts to the Calvary riding their horses through the snow filled creek. In the background, (to the right in the 1.85 ratio version on Blu-Ray), there is a car driving along a road that is stopped by a crew member.

    * Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Mamasita is using an aluminum pot to cook Frijoles.

    * Continuity: When Martin is taking a bath, Laurie brings in 2 buckets of water and leaves them by the door. Then when the camera cuts to a close up of Martin in the tub, the buckets are next to the tub. When the camera pans back to a full shot, the buckets are by the door again.

    * Continuity: When the reverend's posse is crossing the river, you can clearly see the Indian war party following behind on the river bank. When the posse gets to the other side, the war party is not visible on the opposite bank or in the river.

    * Continuity: When the Reverends' posse is about half way across the river, the scene cuts to a close up of five Indians coming over a dirt bank. Seconds later, a puff of smoke is seen coming from the bottom of the screen when all five Indians fall off their horses and into the water (the ropes used to trip up the horses are visible in the muddied water). The posse is already across the river and too far away to make such a shot; one shot cannot bring down five Indians.

    * Revealing mistakes: Right after he takes the loaded gun from Ethan & throws his hat at Ethan, Clayton's gun goes off unintentionally before he takes his first shot.

    * Revealing mistakes: When the titular searchers find the dead Indian buried under a boulder, the Indian can clearly be seen breathing.

    * Anachronisms: In the scene of the snowy creek crossing, a woman on horseback can clearly be seen wearing sun-glasses.

    * Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Laurie receives the letter from Marty she throws it into the open fire in disgust. It's obviously supposed to catch fire but it doesn't. Her father, Lars, quickly kneels down and can be seen setting light to the paper before dropping it on the hearth and stamping on it to put the flames out.

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited once, last by ethanedwards ().

  • One thing I wondered about was Ethan's reaction to first meeting Marty. At first Ethan doesn't seem to know him when he arrives late for dinner yet Ethan has only been gone for five years. Marty also seems not to recognize Ethan although he must have known him since he was an infant
    Ethan also must have known Marty's family since he recognized his mother's scalp in Scar's tent.

    We deal in lead, friend.

  • I think we can knock that sunglasses error on the head; I just checked the scene and it doesn't exist.

    As for Martin's knife switching hands; that's only apparent in certain versions.


  • * Audio/visual unsynchronized: During the shootout with the Indians at the river, Rev. Capt. Claytons' gun is emptied and Ethan throws him a loaded gun; Clayton throws his hat and hits Ethan. Ethan is moving his lips and saying something but, there is no sound.

    That was one of my questions to see if we have any LIP READERS here, (my Dad was one). Because that was NOT supposed to be in the movie. That was one Duke Wayne furious with his friend Ward Bond for what surely looks like a direct "nipple" shot with a hard brimmed hat, LOL. You notice he drops his rifle and really tells him......could have been "son of a
    .....". Pappy left it in because we all know how he LOVES "accidents".


    God, she reminds me of me! DUKE

  • Wow, that was a lot of mistakes and a very astute Hondo or Keith, whomever it was. I have seen this over a hundred times, some with commentary and about 2/3s without. I missed some of those. One thing not mentioned that greatly POed me, (I thought I had Duke's horse thing all figured out....Colorado Bob is going to help me with it). This concerns the horse that Duke rides when he is near the ranch, (except for the hard snowing scene where he says,"Sure as......the turning of the Earth"), and the one he rides in the charge on Scar's camp and into and out of the lodge...I call him Spot because I don't know his name, and he has a Spot on his blaze. Ethan rides him across the river and they all get ready for the charge by Scar and band. Guess what horse, bigger than life, Scar is sitting on? You got it, SPOT! DANG. Also, the horse Duke rode when Marty was trying to keep him from going to Debbie was NOT Spot, (had FOUR white stockings and didn't have the neck marks). Must have been a Movie Stable horse trained to "lightly spook", but not go into a bucking, sidewinding motion. Because,when Marty raises his hands, the horse begins his "act". Bogdonovich comments that you just can't make a horse do that, (assuming it is the same horse and one of Pappy's beloved accidents). However, it could have had a rather drastic ending with those hooves flying in the air up and down, as the horse had decided to turn toward Jeffrey Hunter. Go frame by frame and watch as Duke leans far to the left in the saddle and severely BIT reins the horse trying to get his head and him pointed left. He finally does and gets him to turn around ensuring Jeffrey Hunter's safety. Not too sure how much Hunter knew about horses, but if he knew much, he would have put a hand on the horse and let the horse "move" him away from other words allowing the shot to go on as begun. Since he just remained where he was, Duke had to do the turn around. I hate to think what would have happened if that horse's hooves had come down on Jeffrey Hunter. The Searchers MAY have ended as the Horse Soldiers did!
    And whomever said Duke really didn't ride that well....excuse me, don't believe that language is allowed here, LOL! Horses are my "thing". KPKEITH

    God, she reminds me of me! DUKE

  • I think we should have another look at these errors, some of them are not genuine and I also have concerns pulling trivia from the IMDB as it's not always reliable.


  • True Robbie. That is why they usually ask you to correct or add things like Wikipedia does. I know after so great many watchings, I just missed a lot of the things reported. KPKEITH

    God, she reminds me of me! DUKE

  • Hondo, I am not sure if I posted this here or not, but I find it funny to see FINALLY after over a hundred watchings, that Frank Mcgrath was a Ranger in the "wedding"scene and the fight scene. But, he was also the bugler that young Patrick Wayne brought back with him before the raid on Scar's camp. In one place you see a Union Soldier, (supposed to be Patrick), on his horse jump a pole in front of a lodge. Then comes another Union trooper. If you frame by frame, you will see that it is Frank McGrath. He takes a good look at the jump and barely corrects his horse. Then, he raises his head straight up and pretends to be blowing the bugle while NEVER looking at the jump his horse was making. His head came down after the front feet of his horse hit the ground. Frank McGrath not an excellent rider........not much, LOL! Know my horses, KPKEITH Wonder if you ever checked my details?

    God, she reminds me of me! DUKE

  • I posted this earlier, but for some reason, it didn't take, so I'l post again.

    I watched The Searchers today and caught something I never noticed before. When Ethan and Martin come back to the Jorgensen's ranch after Brad was killed, they pass a small body of water in front of the house. Later in the film, Ethan and Martin are camped by a small body of water after the Indian woman, Look, caught up with them. The small lake is the same lake in front of the Jorgesen's. The bluffs in the distance are the same in both scenes, but they are supposed to be far away from the Jorgensen's ranch. I went back and forth several times to check. I shocked myself for noticing that, as I am never real observant of these types of things. I've never seen this pointed out in this thread, so I thought I would add it.


    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "