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The searchers : the making of an American legend

Call Number

  • 791.4372 S4392F (CEN)

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1st U.S. ed.

Publication Information

New York : Bloomsbury, 2013.

Physical Description

x, 405 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.


In 1836 in East Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanches, raised by the tribe, and eventually became the wife of a warrior. Twenty-four years after her capture, she was reclaimed by the U.S. cavalry and Texas Rangers and restored to her white family, to die in misery and obscurity. Cynthia Ann's story has been told over generations to become a foundational American tale. The myth gave rise to operas and one-act plays, and in the 1950s to a novel by Alan LeMay, which would be adapted into one of Hollywood's most legendary films, The Searchers, directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne. Frankel explores the true-story-become-legend underpinning John Ford's film, and the making of the film itself.


  • Pappy (Hollywood, 1954)
  • Cynthia Ann. The girl (Parker's Fort, 1836) ; The captives (Comancheria, 1836) ; The uncle (Texas, 1837-1852) ; The rescue (Pease River, 1860) ; The prisoner (Texas, 1861-1871)
  • Quanah. The warrior (Comancheria, 1865-1871) ; The surrender (Comancheria, 1874-1875) ; The go-between (Fort Sill, 1875-1886) ; The chief (Fort Sill, Oklahoma, 1887-1892) ; Mother and son (Cache, Oklahoma, 1892-1911) ; The legend (Oklahoma and Texas, 1911-1952)
  • Alan Lemay. The author (Hollywood, 1952) ; The novel (Pacific Palisades, California, 1953)
  • Pappy and the Duke. The director (Hollywood, 1954) ; The actor (Hollywood, 1954) ; The production (Hollywood, 1955) ; The Valley, part one (Monument Valley, June, 1955) ; The Valley, part two (Monument Valley, June-July, 1955) ; The studio (Hollywood, July-August, 1955) ; The movie (Hollywood, 1956) ; The legacy (Hollywood, 1956-2010)
  • Quanah (Texas, June, 2011).

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