It tells the story of a battle hardened Confederate soldier Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) who embarks on a five Year search for his niece who has been kidnapped by Commanches. He is a man who believes more in bullets than words. He won't surrender to hunger, thirst or loneliness. And in his obsessive quest, Ethan encounters something he did not expect to find: his own humanity
This film was John Wayne favorite role and it shows, he is absolutely brilliant, and deserved an Oscar. In the author opinion it is by far his greatest performance
At the time of its release however, it was look upon as a run of the mill western. It was totally overlooked by the Academy (much to the infamy of their name) and did not receive a single Oscar nomination.
The Searchers is a complex story of self discovery, racial prejudice, and in the end forgiveness and redemption. It examines the Wild West for what it was, a bleak, barren and unforgiving place where everyday life was a challenge. There are no hero's here, just ordinary people trying to survive.