The Searchers (1956) Movie Review

Director: John Ford

Writer: Frank S Nugent (Screenplay) Alan Le May (Novel)

Starring: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Natalie Wood, John Qualen, Olive Carey, Henry Brandon

Plot: An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.


Tagline – He had to find her… he had to find her.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Typical Wayne Western

Story: The Searchers starts Civil War soldier Ethan Edwards (Wayne) visits his brother in a small Texan house, when he goes to investigate a local incident his family is butchered by Comanches, with them kidnapping the 9-year niece.

Ethan is joined by Martin Pawley (Hunter), Rev Samuel Johnstone (Bond) and other men looking to revenge, who are tracking down the Indians that butchered the family in search of their lost relative

Thoughts on The Searchers

Characters – Ethan Edwards is a celebrated Civil War Solider that after the war ends still holds a grudge against the Native Americans, when his family is butchered, he leads the hunting party towards them, determined to find the remaining family members, which will take him years. Martin Pawley is the young man that wants to help Ethan, despite the fact he doesn’t want help, he will leave the love that is under his nose to go on this risky business. Laurie Jorgensen is the love of Martin’s, she has always waited for him, supported him and wants him to stay back and not go on the rescue adventure.

PerformancesJohn Wayne is the lead in the film and did what he always did, dominated the screen with his performance that you will know it is him. Jeffrey Hunter is the supporting role does well without getting too much time to outshine Wayne, while Vera Miles does perform well when she gets the screen time.

StoryThe story here follows a former civil war solider that goes on the hunt for his enemies that have butchered his family and kidnapped his niece, an adventure that will take years for him to recover the truth. When it comes to the western story, we get a pretty typical idea for a story, the heroic cowboy needing to fight the ‘evil’ Indians or now Native Americans, this does everything that idea has given us without do much more around it. We really don’t get overly tested, but this formula was what worked for the release era, but just isn’t edgy enough for the modern audience.

WesternThis is everything you would imagine a western to be, it would be listed under most searches and shows just how the battle between cowboys and Indians was perceived.

SettingsThe film does bring us a couple of the most iconic movie sets of all time, with the mountain range always being something people will known.


Scene of the Movie – Over the ridge.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Just way the cowboys look at the Native Americans.

Final Thoughts This is everything you could imagine from a western, without testing the audience along the way.

Overall: By the book Western.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – O – The Kid (2019) Movie Review

This is going under O because of the director Vincent D’Onofrio, clutching at straws again here.

Director: Vincent D’Onofrio

Writer: Andrew Lanham (Screenplay)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Dane DeHaan, Jake Schur, Chris Pratt, Leila George, Adam Baldwin,

Plot: The story of a young boy who witnesses Billy the Kid’s encounter with Sheriff Pat Garrett.


Tagline – An Outlaw. A Lawmen. A Boy Caught In The Crossfire.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Typical Western

Story: The Kid starts when Rio (Schur) and Leila Cutler (George) must go on the run after killing an abusive parent, with Grant (Pratt) the brother of the victim chasing them down, the pair meet Billy The Kid (DeHaan), while he is getting chased down by Pat Garrett (Hawke), finding themselves caught in the middle of their battle.

Once Grant catches up with the siblings, Rio must look to break Billy out to learn where his sister has been taken, showing that he has learnt a lot from his limited time with the famous outlaw.

Thoughts on The Kid

Characters – Rio Cutler is a young teenage boy that defended his sister, forcing them to go on the run from their Uncle. He learns a lot from Billy The Kid, wanting to be like him, fighting for the people who get walked over. He must learn to break the law to save his sister, joining forces with the most notorious outlaw in America. Billy The Kid is the outlaw we know, he will always look to escape from Garrett and isn’t afraid to kill, he isn’t as friendly as the other films portray him. Pat Garrett is the Sheriff that has been hunting down Billy and his men, he wants to claim the rewards, which does make him enemies on both sides of the law, he is just as heartless as any bounty hunter. Grant Cutler is the Uncle that wants his Rio and Sara to pay for the death of his brother, he will do horrible things to them if he catches them, forcing Rio to new limits to stop him.

PerformancesEthan Hawke and Dane DeHaan are both strong with the iconic names from history, being the cold heart figures. Jake Schur is great in his role for such a young actor, while Chris Pratt surprises us all with his truly disturbing performance.

StoryThe story here follows a couple of siblings that get caught up in the middle of the battle between Billy The Kid and Pat Garrett, with their own battle, putting them in a position of not knowing which one they could trust to help them. This does bring a slightly new twist to the Billy The Kid story, where this one stands out more is by showing both the positives and negatives in both Billy and Pat, with a young teenage boy needing to decide which would be able to help him through his own struggles. By doing this we get to see how the people could saw the two men, how they would have been judge while the chases were on. How everything plays out though, is nothing fresh, we have been seeing this style of story for years and you know exactly what is going to happen before we get to the end.

WesternThe western themes are here and strong throughout, using two iconic names from the history does help, with the stand offs, towns and mentalities all being shown through here.

SettingsThe film does keep the settings making us feel like we are part of the old west, the small towns with dust running through, it all works for the film.


Scene of the Movie – Showdown with Grant.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could have spent more time with the Grant, Rio story, instead of just following how Billy and Pat are doing.

Final Thoughts This is a typical western that doesn’t do too much to break the genre trends, the performances are strong throughout, which is the highlight of the film.

Overall: Strong Performances.

Eminence Hill (2019) Movie Review

Director: Robert Conway

Writer: Robert Conway, Owen Conway (Screenplay)

Starring: Barry Corbin, Dominique Swain, Lance Henriksen, Clint James, Owen Conway, Anna Harr, Charlie Motley

Plot: A trail of revenge leads a notorious killer and a lawman to a town of fanatics. Blood will flow.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Real Red Dead Redemption Chapter

Story: Eminence Hill starts when Royce Tullis (James) and his gang of outlaws including Gretchen (Swain) kill a couple for their land, kidnapping their daughter Ruth (Harr) to trade down the road, Quincy (Conway) a lawman talks Carson (Motley) into joining him hunt down the Tullis Gang after their latest killing spree.

As Royce and the gang are looking to escape, they stumbling upon Eminence Hill, where Noah (Corbin) runs a community that play by strict rules, which sees the gang being put through their own test, giving Quincy his chance to catch up with them, before a final showdown.

Thoughts on Eminence Hill

Characters – Noah is the leader of a religious group, he takes it into his own hands to play judge jury and executioner in his community and doesn’t take to lightly towards the Tullis Gang coming into his territory. Royce Tullis is the leader of the gang with his love Gretchen, they have been targeting jurors who sentenced his brother to death and now finishing their killing spree, they look to escape, only they both find themselves questioning their actions while being held captive by Noah. Quincy is the lawman that is trying to track down the Tullis Gang, he is uses his gun skills when needed and can read a person through any conversation.

PerformancesBarry Corbin does bring his character to life in this film to change the tone of what we had seen. Clint James and Dominique Swain are both strong as the outlaw figures, not being full blown crazy evil like members of their gang. Owen Conway is the star of the show with his calm calculated character.

StoryThe story here follows an US Marshall tracking down a group of outlaws, who have fallen into the hands of a religion community that want to make them pay for their sins. We do follow three different sides of the stories unfold, we get the outlaws planning their escape, they have US Marshall planning his way of capturing them and the religious group wanting to stay out of world’s view. We do get to see each side develop and with secrets behind certain ones being held back long enough. We do get to see just how every does feel like a chapter in a Red Dead Redemption chapter, where the outlaws meet a random group which will be the problem they need to overcome, while avoiding a fate coming for them.

WesternThe western side of the film is well designed, showing us the outlaws, bounty hunter and strange groups that could have been built up not knowing too much more outside their comfort zones.

SettingsThe settings are well crafted sets for the town, while the open plains represent the world in the era the film would be set in.


Scene of the Movie – Noah’s dinner offer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could have spent more time on the Royce hunting down jurors.

Final Thoughts This is a western that plays everything out well, without being as edgy as the subject matter wants to be, the religious group could have gone a lot darker, with plenty of signs of this, while the Marshall is the most interesting characters of the whole cast.

Overall: Western by the book.