Journalism
5:00 am
Wed February 27, 2013

UT Journalist Searches for the Story Behind 'The Searchers'

KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with Glenn Frankel about his search for the stories behind "The Searchers."

It's John Wayne at his John-Waynest. In the film "The Searchers," Wayne plays Ethan Edwards, who relentlessly pursues his niece Debbie after her abduction by Comanche Indians in Texas.  The film's story is based in the life of Cynthia Ann Parker, a nine-year-old girl kidnapped by Comanches from her family's East Texas settlement in 1836. End of story, right? Wrong.

Glenn Frankel directs the Journalism School at the University of Texas at Austin and has always loved the film. He originally set out to write a book just about the making of the movie. But when he started digging into the history of the film, the themes that started gushing out demanded more. 

Frankel's book "The Searchers: The Making of An American Legend" looks at the themes of myth, hero, race, and gender identity that he says make the film richer than originally realized.

Click on the player above to hear more from Frankel about "The Searchers."