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Thursday April 18th 2024

The Searchers | 1956

Twelve Dancers, Monument Valley, Arizona
The Searchers location: Finding Scar: Twelve Dancers, Monument Valley, Arizona

Arguably John Wayne’s best role, as the tormented Ethan Edwards, obsessively tracking down the niece abducted by Comanche.

The opening title, ‘Texas 1868’, is blatantly belied by a view of John Ford’s beloved Monument Valley, Arizona, where much of the film was shot. The spectacular columns, by which Ethan Edwards finally catches up with Scar, are the Twelve Dancers.

There's also filming in Utah, on the San Juan River at Mexican Hat, several miles to the north.

Second unit filming, capturing snow scenes and buffalo herds, took place all over the West, including Aspen and southwestern Colorado.

The dusty climax, where Edwards finally meets up, and accepts, with his kidnapped niece Debbie (Natalie Wood), is actually Griffith Park, in Los Angeles.