7.7/10
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150 user 57 critic

The Shootist (1976)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cobb
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Marshall Thibido
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Beckum
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Serepta
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Dobkins (as Richard Lenz)
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Moses
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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 when 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 | Romance | 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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In addition to heart and lung problems, John Wayne was also suffering from an enlarged prostate during filming, although this would not be operated on until December 1976. See more »

Goofs

As Gillom walks to the door when leaving the bar after covering Books, his shirt is buttoned to the neck. When he is next seen after exiting the bar outside, the top of his shirt is clearly unbuttoned. See more »

Quotes

Dr. E.W. Hostetler: Books, every few days I have to tell a man or a woman something I don't want to. I've been practicing medicine for 29 years, and I still don't know how to do it well.
John Bernard Books: Why don't you just say it flat out?
Dr. E.W. Hostetler: All right. You have a cancer - advanced. Is that what that fella up in Creed told you?
John Bernard Books: Yeah.
Dr. E.W. Hostetler: And you didn't believe him.
John Bernard Books: No.
Dr. E.W. Hostetler: Do you believe me?
John Bernard Books: Can't you cut it out, Doc?
Dr. E.W. Hostetler: I'd have to gut you like a fish.
John Bernard Books: Well, what *can* you do?
[...]
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Connections

Features Hondo (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Willow, Tit Willow
Music by Arthur Sullivan
Lyrics by W.S. Gilbert
Performed by John Wayne & Lauren Bacall
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User Reviews

 
The Duke says Goodbye.
21 December 2004 | by (the Greater Southwest) – See all my reviews

All of the credit in the world goes to John Wayne for making this film. Here you have the biggest star in Hollywood history, making a film that symbolizes his life. You have an aging actor, whose best days were past him, portraying an aging gunfighter, whose best days were behind him. You have a character trying to fit into a world that had changed too much. Much like Wayne was trying to fit into a changing America. Lastly, you had a character, dying of cancer, trying to accomplish one last thing. Wayne, who was also dying of cancer, like the character, was trying to accomplish one last thing, a great film. To me, this film is special, because you are seeing in real life, a dying icon make his farewell. Like the character JB Books, Wayne was trying to put a brave face on his final days. He was vulnerable and uncertain about what awaited him, but he sought to accomplish one last goal. I don't care if you like Wayne or not, but how someone could not be emotionally effected by seeing this legend on screen for his last time, well, I feel sorry for you. This film is very special to me.


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