Based on the novel written by Alan Le May and set in the backdrop of the Wild West during post Civil War Construction, "The Searchers" presents Ethan Edwards (John Wayne), a former confederate soldier and his quest to find his family who was abducted by the Comanche tribe. As the long search continues, the continuing effects of violence begin to warp Ethan’s once noble quest. The film costars Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles and Natalie Wood as Debbie, the abducted niece with a few surprises of her own.
To commemorate the John Wayne Centennial and the conclusion of the 3rd season of "Literary Cinema" this month, free books will be given away at the free screening. The first 50 people attending “The Searchers” will receive copies of the book, "Sense and Sensibility" written by Jane Austen. These books were donated by the Bonnie Deborah Kafin Literary Fund through the Broward Public Library Foundation.
The first ten people will also receive a free copy of 2007 Pulitzer Award Winning book, "The Road," written by Cormac McCarthy. Like "The Searchers," "The Road" deals with the subject of questing. This time the main protagonists are a father and his son escaping from post apocalyptic America. Despite contaminated food supplies and bandits, the father believes that he can find a better life for his son in the south. Like Ethan Edwards, the father learns important lessons about families and the future.
The depth of art is measured through the ages. When "The Searchers" was released in 1956, it was critically acclaimed, a box office success and was ignored by the academy awards. "The Searchers" grows in statue as great works of art grow through the years; Michelangelo’s "David," Shakespeare’s "As You Like It," or Rogers & Hammerstein’s "The King and I" to site a few examples of the timeless nature of these various performing art forms.
Given that director John Ford was born before the 20th century, "The Searchers" has an authenticity that will never be duplicated on the big screen. Director John Ford reveals starkness of the desert with the beauty of the outdoors. Yet the narrative is never sacrificed for the sake of a pretty picture. The film’s running time is a few minutes short of two hours, yet one walks away feeling like they have seen an epic worthy of Homer or Virgil.
From the Written Word to the Moving Image,” “Literary Cinema” will continue in September with a new slate of movies for the Main Library Auditorium. "The Searchers" begins Saturday – May 19 at 1PM. Stop on by and pick up your free book!