Richard Schickel’s comments about The Searchers are quite accurate but over-look the primary reason why many of us enjoy the film. At several key points John Wayne makes the sarcastic comment “That’ll be the day.”
As the story goes, Buddy Holly saw the movie and wrote his famous song that same evening. Many of us teenagers immediately became fans, thus assuring Holly a place in history. The song, which is still popular after 47 years, was even used as a demo by the Beatles.
So when many of us see the movie, we don’t worry about the plot. We think of Buddy Holly.