John Wayne. The man sure can do a western.
“The Searchers” is an interesting one because it jumped from #96 to #12 on the top 100 between 1997 and 2007. The only reason I can think of for this jump is perhaps people realised its message of anti-racism, where as before they just thought it was a great western. Funnily enough, the way it creates this message of anti-racism is by having John Wayne’s character “Ethan” be as racist as possible towards the Native Americans within the film. It is everyone else who disagrees with his ways of doing things that creates the anti-racist message. It is an interesting tactic for a film from 1956, as it allows for the racism that would have still be prevalent within American society at the time, while also subtly allowing for progressive ideals. On another note, John Wayne is of course the perfect Western lead. It is no surprise that he mainly did westerns within his lifetime.
Verdict: Great western, interesting anti-racist message subtly peppered through
Worthy of the Top 100: Yes
Next Film: “The Wild Bunch”, directed by Sam Peckinpah, 1969