Classic Cinema: The Searchers Cactus Theater 1812 Buddy Holly Avenue Tuesday, September 13th 7:15pm
Classic Cinema: The Searchers
1812 Buddy Holly Avenue
Tuesday, September 13th
“The Searchers” – (No Rating)
Cast: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles, Ward Bond, Natalie Wood
Year originally released: 1956 Running time: 1 hr, 59 minutes
The Searchers is a 1956 American epic Western film directed by the legendary John Ford and written by Frank S. Nugent, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May. It is set during the Texas-Native American wars, and stars John Wayne as a middle-aged Civil War veteran who spends years looking for his abducted niece (Natalie Wood), accompanied by his adopted nephew Martin (Jeffrey Hunter). Of the dozens of westerns Wayne made during his half-century career, his role as Ethan in The Searchers is considered his greatest acting triumph.
Since its release, it has come to be considered a masterpiece and one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. It was named the greatest American western by the American Film Institute in 2008, and it placed 12th on the same organization’s 2007 list of the all-inclusive, 100 greatest American movies of all time.
Local note of particular interest:
Fans of Lubbock’s legendary rock ‘n’ roll group, The Crickets, know that the title for the band’s only #1 single “That’ll Be the Day” was taken directly from John Wayne’s utterance of that phrase on numerous occasions in this film. Frontman Buddy Holly and drummer Jerry (J.I.) Allison – very recently deceased – went to see The Searchers at the State Theater (just a few blocks around the corner from the Cactus Theater on Texas Avenue) and were later inspired to write a song using that famous Wayne phrase. The song was composed at Jerry Allison’s house, which now sits adjacent to the Buddy Holly Center, one block east of the Cactus. In observance of Buddy’s birthday on September 7 and the recent passing of J.I. Allison – the Cactus Theater pays tribute to all four original members of The Crickets with this special, single screening and hope you’ll join us!