The Searchers script
The Searchers (1956)
Synopsis: The Searchers is a 1956 American Technicolor VistaVision Western film directed by John Ford, based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May, set during the Texas–Indian Wars, and starring John Wayne as a middle-aged Civil War veteran who spends years looking for his abducted niece (Natalie Wood), accompanied by his adoptive nephew (Jeffrey Hunter). Critic Roger Ebert found Wayne's character, Ethan Edwards, "one of the most compelling characters Ford and Wayne ever created".

Along the side of the house comes BEN EDWARDS, 14, with a

man-sized armload of chunkwood clutched to his chest. He,

too, has spotted the stranger and is all attention. So much

so that he trips, but recovers his footing. He pauses to

dump the wood into a woodbox by the door -- his eyes always

riveted on the oncoming rider -- and then he moves toward

the others, biting a splinter out of a finger. Beyond Ben,

MARTIN PAULEY emerges from the barn and crosses the open

ground heading toward CAMERA. Martin is somewhat under

20, a lithe, perfectly coordinated male animal, with

Indian-straight hair and a white man's eyes. He is carrying

bridle or other horse-gear. He looks to the family on

the porch -- to see if they recognize the stranger -- then

out again. He continues, followed by Ben, toward where

Debbie crouches over her dog.

8EXT. PLAINS COUNTRY - LONG SHOT - ETHAN - LATE AFTERNOON

As he rides downslope toward the house.

THE CREDITS END.

9EXT. THE EDWARDS RANCH - MED. CLOSE SHOT - MARTHA, LUCY,

AND AARON - LATE AFTERNOON

Suddenly, Martha's eyes widen as she -- even before Aaron --

recognizes the distant rider. Her hand goes to her mouth

to check the name that trembles on her lips...An instant

later Aaron, too, identifies the oncoming horseman.

AARON:

(incredulous)

Ethan?

He looks at her, frowning, then slowly steps out onto the

hard ground. Martha hands the bowl back to Lucy and follows

Aaron.

10EXT. THE YARD OF THE EDWARDS HOUSE - FULL SHOT - THE GROUP

as Ethan rides in and sits his horse, looking down at them.

There is a noticeable constraint on all of them. Finally:

ETHAN:

Hello, Aaron...

His eyes shift to Martha and hold. Ethan is, and always has

been, in love with his brother's wife and she with him.

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Frank Nugent

Frank Stanley Nugent (May 27, 1908 – December 29, 1965) was an American journalist, film reviewer, script doctor, and screenwriter who wrote 21 film scripts, 11 for director John Ford. He wrote almost a thousand reviews for The New York Times before leaving journalism for Hollywood. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1953 and twice won the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Comedy. The Writers Guild of America, West ranks his screenplay for The Searchers (1956) among the top 101 screenplays of all time. more…

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"The Searchers" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 22 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/the_searchers_974>.

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