The Searchers (1956) "Why It Wasn't Nominated: The Searchers was an epic example of a movie in a beloved Hollywood genre (the Western), created by a bigger-than-life Hollywood director (John Ford), and starring an undisputed cinematic titan (John Wayne). It was also a huge box office success. So how was it completely overlooked at the Oscars that year? Well, for one thing, it was a big year for epics, and The King and I, The Ten Commandments, and the horrible eventual winner Around the World in Eighty Days all outgrossed The Searchers. More importantly, The Searchers was actually an independent production ? the first film from Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney's short-lived production company ? in a time when studio product still reigned supreme. Why It Should've Been Nominated: With a bleak plot and a dark turn by Wayne, The Searchers is simultaneously the pinnacle of the Hollywood Western form and a deconstruction of the genre ? it paved the way for the great anti-Westerns of the 1960s and 1970s. Even better: it's 100 percent Yul Brynner-free!" There were other reasons: Neither Ford nor Wayne were *that* popular with their confreres, especially given the (political) times.