The Searchers'sacrifice For Hollywood's

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Before the 1940s the western genera was not respected enough to be considered fare for Hollywood’s A list. John Ford is responsible for a number of successful and notable westerns such as Stagecoach and The Searchers, both staring John Wayne and both cited as being responsible for bringing the western genera into Hollywood’s mainstream. Using the breathtaking landscapes of America’s Monument Valley, Ford showcased to audiences the visual capacity of the western while also using the genre to show off the natural beauty of the United States evoking a timely desired sense of patriotism. However, the sensational visuals and patriotic evocations mask many of the negative identity issues and cultural anxieties that American audience would have grappled with during this period that many consider to be the pinnacle of positive American identity. The Searchers speaks to the American postwar sense of exceptionalism while also outlining American anxieties surrounding concepts such as national cultural identity and race relations. The film speaks to those anxieties through the victimization of whites at the hands of brutal Native Americans. John Ford depicts the Comanche as bloodthirsty savages…show more content…
Even so, The Searchers provides certain moments of Native American cunning, adding to the audience’s fear and thusly their respect for Comanche as a threat worth taking seriously. The scene where the band of men who are searching for Debby are ambushed by Native American’s shows just how little control over the situation the band of white men actually have while traveling through the classical American wilderness. Two streams of Comanche begin closing in on the searchers, one band riding along the horizon to their left and the other beside the sandy, red mountainside to their right. This scene acts as one of the highest points of tension in the film, visually conveying the power of the
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