Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Restoration of John Wayne’s Iconic Western ‘The Searchers’ Premiering at TCM Classic Film Festival

Restoration of John Wayne’s Iconic Western ‘The Searchers’ Premiering at TCM Classic Film Festival

A new restoration of John Wayne’s iconic 1956 Western, The Searchers, is set to kick off 2024’s TCM Classic Film Festival. The network’s Classic Film Festival is set to return to Hollywood on April 18-21 for its 15th edition. The theme, “Most Wanted: Crime and Justice in Film,” promises an intriguing exploration of the captivating world of crime and justice on the big screen.

In The Searchers, John Wayne plays a Civil War veteran who returns to Texas to find his family murdered and his niece (Natalie Wood) taken by a defiant group of Comanche Indians. This John Ford Western highlights a man’s resilience and determination as he seeks revenge and redemption in the Wild West.

The film went on to be a box office and critical success. It boasts a 94% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes. Filmmakers like Martin Scorsese and George Lucas cite the film as an influence. In 1989, the United States Library of Congress acknowledged the cultural, historical, and aesthetic importance of The Searchers. As a result, this iconic film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry’s inaugural 25.

Other Iconics Films Join John Wayne’s ‘The Searchers’ at The TCM Classic Film Festival

In addition to The Searchers, TCM has revealed that they will be showcasing other iconic films during the four-day festival in April. Among them are Frank Capra’s 1934 classic It Happened One Night and Elia Kazan’s masterpiece On the Waterfront. The 1974 musical documentary That’s Entertainment!, featuring Gene Kelly will also be screened.

John Wayne fans might recall that this isn’t the first time the festival featured one of his restored films. The opening night feature last year showcased a 4K restoration of The Duke’s 1959 masterpiece, Rio Bravo.

It remains uncertain if The Searchers will be the opening night movie at the event. However, it would be logical for Warner Bros. to continue the tradition of debuting new 4K prints of their films. They did with the restoration of Rio Bravo last year.

The historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, host of the first Academy Awards in 1929, will once again serve as the official hotel and central hub for the upcoming ceremony. Passes will be available for purchase in December, with an early bird discount.

Next year will also mark the 30th anniversary of TCM, which premiered on April 14, 1994. Host Robert Osborne kicked off the proceeding with 1939’s Gone with the Wind.