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".

ETHAN:

Martha...

MARTHA:

(a bit shakily)

Hello, Ethan.

Ethan slowly, stiffly swings out of the saddle. Aaron and

Martha exchange quick glances...troubled, puzzled. Aaron

pastes on an uncertain smile as Ethan comes around his horse

toward their side.

AARON:

How's California?

ETHAN:

How should I know?

AARON:

But Mose Harper said...

ETHAN:

That old goat still creakin'

around?...Whyn't someone bury him?

He goes to his saddle pack, begins unlacing it. Ben and

Debbie have inched closer -- half-shy, half-curious.

Debbie's dog begins sniffing at his heels. Ethan looks

down at them - not unfriendly, just a man not used to

children.

ETHAN:

Ben, ain't you?

Ben nods.

ETHAN:

(frowning at Debbie)

Lucy, you ain't much bigger than

when I saw you last.

DEBBIE:

I'm Deborah!

(pointing)

She's Lucy.

Ethan looks in the direction of the pointing finger.

11EXT. YARD - ANOTHER ANGLE

as Lucy steps down from the porch and approaches.

MARTHA:

Lucy's going on seventeen now...

BEN:

An' she's got a beau! Kisses him,

too!

MARTHA:

That's enough...Go on inside and

help Lucy set the table...You, too,

Deborah!

12EXT. YARD - FULL SHOT - ANOTHER ANGLE

as Martin -- with slightly averted face -- crosses to take

the bridle of Ethan's horse and lead him away.

ETHAN:

(wheeling on him)

MOMENTO!

Martin checks his stride, stares in surprise.

MARTHA:

(contritely)

Martin!...Here we've been stand-

ing...Ethan, you haven't forgotten

Martin?

ETHAN:

Oh...Mistook you for a half-breed.

MARTIN:

(levelly)

Not quite...Quarter Cherokee. The

rest is Welsh...So they tell me.

ETHAN:

You've done a lot of growin'...

AARON:

It was Ethan found you squallin' in

a sage clump after your folks was

massacred...

ETHAN:

(bluntly)

It just happened to be me...No need

to make any more of it...

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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. 24 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/the_searchers_974>.

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