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The Shootist (1976)

 -  Drama | Western  -  20 August 1976 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 15,268 users  
Reviews: 141 user | 41 critic

A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Shootist (1976)

The Shootist (1976) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Bill McKinney ...
Cobb
...
Marshall Thibido
...
Beckum
...
Serepta
...
Dobkins (as Richard Lenz)
...
Moses
Gregg Palmer ...
Burly Man
Alfred Dennis ...
Barber
Dick Winslow ...
Streetcar Driver
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Storyline

John Books an aging gunfighter goes to see a doctor he knows for a second opinion after another doctor told him he has a cancer which is terminal. The doctor confirms what the other said. He says Books has a month maybe two left. He takes a room in the boarding house and the son of the woman who runs it recognizes him and tells his mother who he is. She doesn't like his kind but he tells her of his condition she empathizes. Her son wants him to teach him how to use a gun. Books tries to tell him that killing is not something he wants to live with. Books not wanting to go through the agony of dying from cancer tries to find a quicker way to go. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's got to face a gunfight once more to live up to his legend once more. To win just one more time.

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Scharfschütze  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,987,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Stewart only agreed to play a cameo role in the film because John Wayne had specifically requested him. His short time on the film proved to be trying. The bad acoustics of the huge, hollow sound stages worsened his hearing difficulties, and he stayed by himself most of the time. He and Wayne muffed their lines so often in the main scene between them that director Don Siegel accused them of not trying hard enough. Wayne's reply was a variation on an old John Ford line, advising the director, "If you'd like the scene done better, you'd better get a couple of better actors." Later on, the star told friends that Stewart had known his lines, but hadn't been able to hear his cues, and that in turn had caused his own fumbling. Because Stewart's movie career had ended several years before, he was only paid $50,000 for his part. See more »

Goofs

In the final shooting when the bartender shoots Mr. Books, the squib detonation wires are visible on the ground and leading up each man's leg. See more »

Quotes

Gillom Rogers: Bat Masterson told Cobb...
John Bernard Books: [Interrupts] Bat Masterson?
Gillom Rogers: Yeah, he said that a man has to have guts, deliberation and a proficiency with fire arms.
John Bernard Books: Did he mention that third eye you better have?
Gillom Rogers: Third eye?
John Bernard Books: For that dumbass amateur. There's always some six-fingered bustard that couldn't hit a cow in the tit with a tin cup. That's the one who usually does you in. But Masterson always was full of... sheep-dip.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The John Wayne Anthology (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Willow, Tit Willow
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by William S. Gilbert
Performed by John Wayne & Lauren Bacall
See more »

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User Reviews

A ( Late ) Discovery
28 November 2004 | by (Ile-de-France / Paris Region, France) – See all my reviews

I have always admired John Wayne, the man the actor, his politics, films and the rest. However I did not know about this film ! I discovered it on a DVD recently and bought it straight off. I was certainly not disappointed. Sound and vision had been restored and the picture quality was awesome, as though it had been made yesterday. The theme music was both haunting and catching ! But above all the ACTING in this film was really FIRST RATE ! One of his best performances but also an EXCELLENT performance from Lauren Bacall and Ron Howard.

Although I knew JW was taken off to heaven by cancer, I read that he actually was in its throes when the film was made. Whether this is true or just legendary, I don't know but it's pretty ironic all the same !! The film is sad, funny, tender, witty, beautiful all in one go. Some of the dialogues are just out of this world. I was so happy to have discovered it. It's less a typical western than a man's reflection upon the end of his life.

To me, John Wayne will always represent what true American values are all about, and this film, on all levels is the most fitting end to his career that anyone could have dreamed of.


35 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who else thinks Books went way overboard with Dobkins the reporter star_in_the_zenith_79
Why did he instigate the final shoot-out? hatr
Question about a line... samwise_fan1965
help please! final shot circleofstars2
I can't figure the ages of the characters. hightp
A very ominous film driver_8
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