‘The Searchers’ at 60: Circle Cinema screens John Wayne classic, panel discusses impact

A 60th anniversary screening of “The Searchers” is set for Nov. 20 at Circle Cinema, presented in conjunction with the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle.
That’s right, pilgrim, we’re talking about arguably the best movie in the long career of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in John Wayne, and we’re searching for those who have never seen the 1956 masterpiece on the big screen.
The screening will begin at 1 p.m. on Nov. 20 at Circle Cinema, 10 S. Lewis Ave., and it will feature a post-film panel talk among Oklahoma Film Critics Circle members Jeff Huston, Adam Chitwood, Joe O’Shansky and myself.
John Ford’s film stars Wayne as a Civil War veteran returning to family in Texas, only to become destined to spend years looking for his niece who is kidnapped by Comanche Indians. Filmed in Monument Valley, Utah, and with a story touching on themes including race relations, the movie remains one of the filmmaker’s greatest achievements.
In 1989, “The Searchers” was in the inaugural class of films voted into the National Film Registry along with “Gone With the Wind,” “Citizen Kane” and “The Wizard of Oz.”
The American Film Institute has voted “The Searchers” the No. 12 movie of all time and the No. 1 Western film, and film critic Richard Corliss has described it as a “darkly profound study of obsession, racism and heroic solitude.”
Tickets are available at circlecinema.com. More information can be found on the Circle’s Facebook page.
“The Searchers” is the latest in the Circle’s and OFCC’s anniversary screenings/panel discussions, following “Fargo,” “Taxi Driver” and “Citizen Kane” earlier this year.

By Michael Smith Tulsa World