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
He's got to face a gunfight once more to live up to his legend once more. To win just one more time.
Did You Know?
Although now widely regarded as one of the finest final movies of any star, along with The Misfits
(1961) starring Clark Gable
and On Golden Pond
(1981) starring Henry Fonda
, this was never actually intended as John Wayne
's last movie, particularly since it was not until January 1979 - three years after filming had begun - that he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. In July 1978, after recovering from open heart surgery, he announced that he was intending to make a movie called "Beau John" with Ron Howard
, but for some reason it never happened. Wayne was ill throughout "The Shootist," and his generally poor health made it difficult for him to get insurance for additional film projects. See more
Pulford kills the gambler with a shot through the heart that covers the length of the saloon. Such a wound should have only resulted in a relatively small amount of blood. Yet, when he hits the floor, he is literally covered with blood down to his legs. See more
Dr. E.W. Hostetler
[pointing to Books' pillow
Well if I wanted to go around town unnoticed, I wouldn't carry *that* around with me.
John Bernard Books
Stole it from a whore house in Creed.
Features Red River
Maple Leaf Rag
Music by Scott Joplin
[Portion whistled by Ron Howard
] See more