The Searchers

The Searchers

The Making of An American Legend

eBook - 2013
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In 1836 in East Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanches, raised by the tribe, and eventually became the wife of a warrior. Twenty-four years after her capture, she was reclaimed by the U.S. cavalry and Texas Rangers and restored to her white family, to die in misery and obscurity. Cynthia Ann's story has been told over generations to become a foundational American tale. The myth gave rise to operas and one-act plays, and in the 1950s to a novel by Alan LeMay, which would be adapted into one of Hollywood's most legendary films, The Searchers, directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. Frankel explores the true-story-become-legend underpinning John Ford's film, and the making of the film itself.
Published: New York, NY : Bloomsbury USA, 2013.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9781620400647
Characteristics: 1 online resource (x, 405 p.) :,ill.


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Nov 22, 2016

Quite a well researched telling of the background for the book. I saw the movie when I was a young John Wayne fan. It was a different world back then. This movie showed that a man could hate, yet still love family. Family was more important then than it seems to be today. I think it is the greatest western ever made, and I am a fan of westerns. I enjoyed this book.

Oct 18, 2016

Exhaustive is right. This book plods along, but there is an occasional bright spot. Far too historical (and I'm a fan of history if it's well-written!). It took me about 2 months, constant renewals and even a re-check-out to finish it. I usually read before going to bed and after 10 pages a night I was out like a light. The first half is especially plodding (the story of the Parkers, Cynthia Ann & Quanah).

May 28, 2013

This is two books in a sense. The first part is an exhaustive, detailed history of Cynthia Ann Parker's 1836 abduction by the Comanche and rescue in 1860, followed by the story of her son who became a prominent Comanche chief. It was hard to follow and I resorted to skimming. The second part is an equally detailed recounting of the making of the movie and of the main parties involved. I found it a lot of fun, sadly marred by many silly errors. For example, Monument Valley is placed near the boundary between Southeast Utah and Northwest Arizona. Of course, that should be Northeast Arizona. Later, he calls "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" the last John Ford-John Wayne film. What happened to "Donovan's Reef"? Considering these and other errors I noticed, I end by questioning nearly everything. So my three star rating is an average for the entire book.


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