"In ''The Searchers'' I think Ford was trying, imperfectly, even nervously, to depict racism that justified genocide; the comic relief may be an unconscious attempt to soften the message. Many members of the original audience probably missed his purpose; Ethan's racism was invisible to them, because they bought into his view of Indians. Eight years later, in ''Cheyenne Autumn,'' his last film, Ford was more clear. But in the flawed vision of ''The Searchers'' we can see Ford, Wayne and the Western itself, awkwardly learning that a man who hates Indians can no longer be an uncomplicated hero."Ebert points out something I never thought of, which is that The Searchers is one of the first movies to make the racial subtext of the Western part of the text. It's an interesting review.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Further to our discussion, here's Roger Ebert on The Searchers:
Posted by Rufus at 8:14 PM