“That’ll be the day…” This line should be all it takes for diehard John Wayne fans to name this absolute classic of a Western. Know it?
Whether it’s their astronomical earnings or the sheer volume of his Hollywood filmography, The Duke will forever stand as one of the most prolific actors of all time. This is in no small part due to his one-of-a-kind swagger and charisma, too. Film historians know it, movie buffs love it, and for John Wayne fans – his films are a way of life.
So are they for American cinema, as well. Celebrating this, the icon’s estate has a Tuesday challenge for fans – and it all boils down to a single, iconic line:
“”That’ll be the day.” 💪🏼 Name that movie!” the John Wayne Estate posts to their official Instagram.
Chances are, if you’re here, then you knew the film the moment you clicked on the article. So which Duke classic are we looking at, here? If you need a bit of extra help, check out the accompanying image below:
Know it? Top commenter Katie nails it right off the bat with “The Searchers….my absolute favorite movie!!! My sons middle name Ethan came from this movie!!!”
Such a classic! The Searchers, released in 1956, sees John Wayne as the iconic Ethan Edwards, an American Civil War veteran who embarks on a harrowing journey to rescue his nieces, Debbie and Lucy, from the Native Comanches.
“I named my son after this character,” echoes follower Johnnie. That’s two testaments to the impact of Wayne’s Ethan right off the bat!
John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ Continues to Define Westerns to this Day
Duke fan W. Terrie adds that “The Searchers one of my all time favorite John Wayne movies!!!! I have always thought that John Wayne should have won the Academy award for this movie!”
While the film wouldn’t win an Oscar, it would go on to become one of the most prolific and influential Westerns ever made. So much so, in fact, that the American Film Institute would name it the “Greatest American Western” in 2008. The Searchers would also place 12th on their “100 Greatest American Movies of All Time,” as well.
Even before this, the United States Library of Congress would deem the John Wayne epic as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant,” preserving it in the National Film Registry in 1989 for all time. It was one of the first 25 films to receive this honor.
If you aren’t hankering to watch (or-re-watch) The Searchers by now, you will be after giving the trailer a spin below.
“Adventure… From the sand-choked desert of Arizona – To the snow-swept plains of Canada!” decrees The Searcher‘s trailer. Directed by six-time Oscar winning Western legend John Ford, this sprawling cinematic masterpiece is based on the novel of the same name by Alan Le May.
The Searchers (1956) Official Trailer – John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter.Classic Trailers