Peter Bogdanovich’s audio commentary on ‘The Searchers’ Blu-Ray is an enlightening insight by a man who became good friends with director John Ford, and who wrote his biography.

Here are 5 revelations in ‘The Searchers’ as seen through the eyes, mind and heart of Peter Bogdanovich.

‘Wayne picks up Lana Wood playing the young Debbie (at the start of the film).  This is something that is echoed at the end of the picture in one of the great moments (when Wayne finds the grown up Debbie).


‘Ward Bond sees Wayne’s brother’s wife stroking the coat, and pretends he didn’t see it. She comes out. Now he is thinking. It’s a typical Ford moment. One man standing, thinking about what he has just seen.  It’s just pure Ford at his best, not a word said. ‘

‘The final resolution is done in Ford’s brilliant way, starting with a night scene and building to sun.’

‘It’s unusual for Ford to move the camera, people say.  But if you watch carefully he moves it quite often, but it usually when someone is moving, so you don’t notice it.

‘You have to remember this is a film by an American artist who began in the silent era when the image was everything, there was no dialogue.  When directors didn’t want to go to a title if they didn’t have to.   As a silent film director you see it in the work of a man like Ford. How much he tells you silently.’
‘While Wayne was talking you notice he cut to Hank Warden who pointed to his eyes. Again a silent movie moment to explain dialogue.  It’s exciting to notice how much a director gives you in silent moments.’