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The Shootist (1976)

PG  |   |  Drama, Western  |  20 August 1976 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 16,147 users  
Reviews: 143 user | 46 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)

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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 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 | 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 Scharfsch├╝tze  »

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

When viewing footage of the final gunfight in the bar, John Wayne saw that it was edited to show him shooting a guy in the back. He said, "I've made over 250 pictures and have never shot a guy in the back. Change it." They did. However, Wayne had shot men in the back in several of his movies, including The Searchers (1956). See more »

Goofs

When Books shoots Cobb in the final scene in the bar, Cobb's blood pack is clearly visible beneath his shirt. See more »

Quotes

Gillom Rogers: [Books is giving Gillom a shooting lesson] Mr. Books, How is it you've killed so many men? My spread wasn't much bigger than yours.
John Bernard Books: First of all,friend, there's no one up there shooting back at you. Second, I found most men aren't willing, they bat an eye, or draw a breath before they shoot. I won't.
See more »

Connections

Features Hondo (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Maple Leaf Rag
(uncredited)
Music by Scott Joplin
[Portion whistled by Ron Howard]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
You Really Should See This Film
20 October 2003 | by (El Paso, Texas) – See all my reviews

John Wayne is an icon, and so many viewers seem to use his work as a referendum on the larger geo-political issues of our time. I find that distasteful, as this isn't a political movie, and one that doesn't even have an oppressed indigenous person in it. This is a personal story of a man who "has outlived his time", who is dying of cancer, and yet is determined to die with dignity. John Wayne really was dying of cancer when he made this movie... he gathered old friends around him--the widow of Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, John Carradine, and addressed the topic of how legends die. (Selling the rights for his corpse to be displayed by the undertaker for $50 cash in advance was a particularly interesting idea.) I am viewing this film 27 years after it was made, and there is 'something' it had which is absent from movies today. It is a film addressing mature themes for one thing, but it had a pacing, and made time for it's dialouge--it was never dull, never slow, but proceeded towards it's climax with the sort of gravitas you very rarely see in today's cinematic roller coaster rides, which have become little more than special effects vehicles. There is another reason to see this film--it looks back at 1901 with a loving vision. I was impressed with the historical accuracy in which it was filmed--it was impressive to see the town, from the horsedrawn street car and the Stanley Steamer, to little things like the flour dispenser in the kitchen. (Wondered where it was filmed--perhaps the old Old Tucson Studio before it burned down and was rebuilt to be a tourist attraction?) Anyway, this was a lovingly crafted film--I don't know if Hollywood could still pull this off "as real" in 2003. So, for big reasons and small, "The Shootist" is worth your time. It is deeper than it looks.


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