This paper looks into two films individually: The Searcher, directed by John Ford (1956), and Once upon a time in the west, directed by Sergio Leone (1968). It describes their mise-en scene and beyond, introduced first by their corresponding synopsis. A comparison is made at the end.
Synopsis. Although filmed on Navajo land in northern Arizona, The Searchers, begins in 1868 Texas. Ethan Edwards (played by John Wayne), a soldier, returns to his brother's farm after the end of the Civil War where he fought for the Confederacy. It has taken Ethan three years to come home, after fighting on the losing side of the Civil War. Ethan is in love with his brother's wife, Martha, but unlike his brother, he is not the man to settle down and raise a family.
In this film, Ethan Edwards is seeking the two nieces who were abducted during a Comanche raid, in which his brother's family is murdered. Finding the mutilated bodies of his family, Ethan is guilt-ridden, feeling he was not there when he was needed. He thus becomes obsessed with recovering his two nieces and seeking revenge on the Comanche. This fanatic search provides the only rationale for Ethan's life, and he is determined to succeed. "We'll fin'em just as sure as the turning of the earth," he says.
Ethan is a bitter and lo ...