You can't say I'm not an equal opportunity blog. A few days ago Slate's Stephen Metcalf wrote a piece entitled "The Worst Best Movie Ever: Why on Earth did The Searchers get canonized?" It's essentially a rebuttal to the recent burst of Searchers activity due to the films re-release on DVD. Besides finding the film to be fundamentally flawed, Metcalf blames its ascendance into the pantheon of great films as a result of the rise of academic film studies and more specifically film school generation of the 70's (Coppola, Scorsese, Lucas) and critics. And Metcalf makes some good points. However, I wonder if Metcalf's negative reaction actually results from the film itself or from the exultation surrounding the film? Were he to sit down and watch the film like a moviegoer in 1956 or like a child discovering it on TCM (ie. Without academia surrounding it), his reaction would most likely be very different.