Director: John Ford
Starring: John Wayne * Jeffery Hunter * Vera Miles * Natalie Wood
Ethan Edwards (John Wayne) returns home to his brothers ranch after the civil war hoping to settle down a raise a family.
There are Comanche uprisings taking place where they live and whilst the men are away their ranch is raided by an Indian Chief called Scar the family is slaughtered except for the youngest girl Debbie.
Ethan makes a vow not only to find Debbie but to kill any or all Indians that cross his path. He sets out on an epic journey with his part Indian nephew Martin (Hunter) tracking every clue looking for this tribe.
As their five-year search takes its toll on all Martin (Hunter) begins to realise that Ethan not only bitter for the loss and death of his family that there is something more sinister in his motives for catching up with chief Scar and that he plans to kill Debbie also, fearing that she has become assimilated to the Comanche way of life and would no longer fit in.
They do find Debbie Natalie Wood) and she recognises them but also tries to warn them away but Martin won’t give up but also knowing of Ethan’s true intentions, she tries to run away and is caught by Ethan and his sense of decency prevails when he sees she’s just a frightened girl.
This film was a departure for Wayne know for his knock about westerns which he excels at, I think this is better than True Grit for which he won his only Oscar.
It’s a long film but I think it does explore the effects of war no matter which side and what you have to do to survive and Debbie had to survive in her captivity and probably gave up hope of being rescued where as Ethan was seeking revenge for his loss not only his family but his way of life.