The Searchers: The Making of an American Legend

Following a screening of the great, John Ford-directed Hollywood Western The Searchers, Pulitzer Prize winner Glenn Frankel discusses the true-life story behind it – a saga that started with the Comanche kidnapping of a 9-year-old white girl in 1836.
Glenn Frankel
Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Film Screening: 4 p.m.   Program 6:30 p.m.

The John Ford-John Wayne film, The Searchers, is one of the great Hollywood Westerns. But the movie was only a late entry in a real-life saga stretching back to 1830s Texas.

In a discussion of his book, Glenn Frankel traces the story from the 1836 kidnapping of a white girl by Comanche Indians to her “rescue” almost 25 years later, her subsequent unhappy life, and the various retellings of the epic tale in fiction, theater, and opera leading up to Alan LeMay’s 1954 novel and Ford’s 1956 film.

The talk by Frankel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning former reporter, editor and foreign bureau chief for The Washington Post who now heads the University of Texas’ School of Journalism, is preceded by a screening of The Searchers at 4 p.m.