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The Shootist (1976) Poster

(1976)

Quotes

Gillom Rogers: [Books has just given Gillom a shooting lesson] But how could you get into so many fights and always come out on top? I nearly tied you shooting.

John Bernard Books: Friend, there's nobody up there shooting back at you. It isn't always being fast or even accurate that counts. It's being willing. I found out early that most men, regardless of cause or need, aren't willing. They blink an eye or draw a breath before they pull the trigger. I won't.

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Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: The day they lay you away, what I'll do on your grave won't pass for flowers.

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John Bernard Books: Damn.

Bond Rogers: John Bernard, you swear too much.

John Bernard Books: The hell I do.

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Dr. E.W. Hostetler: There - there's one more thing I'd say. Both of us have had a lot to do with death. I'm not a brave man, but you must be. Now, now, now, this is not advice. It's not even a suggestion. It's just something for you to reflect on while your mind's still clear.

John Bernard Books: What?

Dr. E.W. Hostetler: I would not die a death like I just described.

John Bernard Books: No?

Dr. E.W. Hostetler: Not if I had your courage.

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John Bernard Books: Mike Sweeney?

Mike Sweeney: John Bernard Books, now I'm flattered that you remembered me.

John Bernard Books: Well, you look just how I remembered the Sweeneys - mean and ugly.

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[Books has just had a conversation with Mike Sweeney]

Mrs. Rogers: How do you know him?

John Bernard Books: I don't. I had some dealings with his brother Albert once.

Mrs. Rogers: What happened?

[Books looks at her]

Mrs. Rogers: Oh.

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Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: Now, I checked my bulletins before I come over and didn't find nothing I can hold you for, but I want you out of town - directly, today.

John Bernard Books: Maybe I'm not so inclined.

Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: The, by God, I will incline you. I can badge as many men as I need. We'll smoke you out or carry you out feet first, so you say which, Mr. Gunman. It's your funeral.

John Bernard Books: Soon, yes.

Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: Huh?

John Bernard Books: I can't go.

Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: Can't?

John Bernard Books: I'm going to die right here in this room.

Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: Heh! That's too thin.

John Bernard Books: I wish you were right. Would you believe Doc Hostetler? That's his verdict.

Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: You don't say? You don't sa - goddamn! Whoo! Whooee! I tell you the damn truth, when I come through that door, I was scared. 'Cause I know what a man like you is capable of. I wondered who'd get my job, if the council would give my wife a pension and if it would snow the day they put me under. Whooee! Excuse me if I don't pull a long face. I can't.

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Pulford confidante: Pulford, J.B. Books over at Mrs. Rogers'...

Jack Pulford:

  • is yesterday's news.


Pulford confidante: Yeah, but I just heard he's dyin'.

Jack Pulford: Dyin'?

Pulford confidante: A friend a' mine got it from Marshal Thibido himself. Ol' Books is cashin' in.

Jack Pulford: That's hard news. That's a man I coulda taken.

Gambler: [laughs] My ass.

Jack Pulford: You have two ways of leaving this establishment, my friend. Immediately or dead.

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Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: To put it in a nutshell, you've plum wore us out.

John Bernard Books: Put it in a nutshell? You couldn't put it in a barrel without a bottom. You're the longest winded bastard I've ever known.

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John Bernard Books: [to the bumbling bandit who attempts to rob him in the first scene] Friend, you better get another line of work; this one sure don't fit your pistol.

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

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Moses Brown: Mr. Books, you're the most famous man I ever knew, and the second bes' haggler.

John Bernard Books: Who's the best?

Moses Brown: [smiling broadly] Here I stand.

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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?

Dr. E.W. Hostetler: There's... just, uh... very little I can do. Uh, if... when the pain gets too bad, I can give you something.

John Bernard Books: What you're trying to tell me is that I...

Dr. E.W. Hostetler: Yeah.

John Bernard Books: Damn.

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Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: Did you read about the shooting the night before last at the Metropole?

John Bernard Books: No.

Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: Whoee! That was some shooting. Pulford, he's the faro dealer, got off one round under fire. Straight through the heart., and it measured 84 feet 3 inches. Maybe I'll just send him here, let him deal you a little faro.

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Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: How are you feeling? A little more poorly everyday?

John Bernard Books: You have a streak of kindness a mile wide.

Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: That I do.

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John Bernard Books: I'm a dying man, scared of the dark.

Mrs. Rogers: Damn you! Damn you for the pain you brought into this house.

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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.

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Mike Sweeney: [after shooting Books] I'll tell you, that was for Albert!

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John Bernard Books: [after Gillom tells him that Pulford and Cobb will be at the Metropole the next day] What about the other one, Mike Sweeney?

Gillom Rogers: Now you watch out for him, Mr. Books. He's mean, and he hates you.

John Bernard Books: Well, we'll see if we can't clear that up tomorrow.

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Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido: You wouldn't gun down a police officer.

John Bernard Books: What'd stop me? Fear of dying?

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John Bernard Books: Bond, I don't believe I ever killed a man that didn't deserve it.

Bond Rogers: Surely only the Lord can judge that.

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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: [smiling] Stole it from a whore house in Creed.

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Moses Brown: [haggling over the price of Books' horse] $295... $296... $297... $298...

John Bernard Books: Whoa.

Moses Brown: Two ninety - you mean I can - why Mr. Books, that makes me the bes' haggler!

John Bernard Books: Best in the world, Moses.

[Moses laughs]

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John Bernard Books: First things, first, Doc. I almost forgot to ask you. How much do I owe you?

Dr. E.W. Hostetler: You're a man after my own heart, Books. Most of them ask that last, if at all. Well, let's see. We'll make it four dollars for the two visits plus one dollar for that.

John Bernard Books: What's that.?

Dr. E.W. Hostetler: They call that laudanum, a solution of opium and alcohol.

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John Bernard Books: [Clearly depressed when Hostetler tells him his cancer is fatal] You told me I was strong as an ox!

Dr. E.W. Hostetler: Well, even an ox dies.

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John Bernard Books: [addressing the barman after entering the bar where his last gunfight will take place] Mister, this is my birthday. Gimme the best in the house.

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Gillom Rogers: [Gillom is dusting off a carriage as Books and Mrs. Rogers prepare for a drive to Lake Tahoe] Moses says he don't rent out this buggy too often.

Mrs. Rogers: Doesn't.

Gillom Rogers: 'Doesn't'... except for funerals.

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John Bernard Books: Where's Gillom?

Bond Rogers: In the woodshed.

John Bernard Books: That's appropriate.

Bond Rogers: Why?

John Bernard Books: You stay outta this.

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Bond Rogers: Where are you from, Mr. Hickock?

John Bernard Books: Abilene, Texas

Bond Rogers: And what do you do there?

John Bernard Books: United States Marshall

Bond Rogers: That's nice.

John Bernard Books: No it isn't.

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John Bernard Books: [to Gillam] Would you tell Mrs. Rogers that a tuckered out old man would like a room?

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[last lines]

Gillom Rogers: LOOK OUT!

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Gillom Rogers: [first lines, voiceover] His name was J.B. Books, and he had a matching pair of 45's with antique ivory grips that were something to behold. He wasn't an outlaw. The fact is for a while he was a lawman. Long before I met Mr. Books, he was a famous man. I guess his fame was why somebody or other was always after him. The wild country had taught him to survive. He lived his life and herded by himself. He had a credo that went:

John Bernard Books: I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.

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See also

Trivia | Goofs | Crazy Credits | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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