7.7/10
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153 user 55 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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...
...
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...
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Cobb
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Marshall Thibido
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Beckum
...
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

George C. Scott was originally offered the role of Books, and accepted it on the condition that not one word of the script be changed. However, the role was given to John Wayne after he expressed interest. The producers claim they had wanted him all along, but did not believe he would be interested in the film. See more »

Goofs

In the movie, a trolley car is seen (and used) several times. In each scene the street name of the car changes, yet the car number itself is always '16'. See more »

Quotes

John Bernard Books: [putting his gun to Dobkins's mouth] Make like that's a nipple.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Chase Australia: Episode #2.61 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

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


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