There are no credits incorporated into this short, so the omniscient narrator remains--perhaps forever--unknown. Who directed this piece? Anonymous #2. Ditto the rest of the crew. In addition to Wayne, Bacall, and Howard, archival footage from THE SHOOTIST used in this "making of" includes scenes with Richard Boone (Sweeney), Bill McKinney (Cobb), and Detroit-born Harry Morgan nee Bratsburg (Thibido, on break from playing Col. Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H). Screenwriter Miles Hood Swarthout says his novelist dad Glendon got the original idea for this story from learning about the high incidence of prostate cancer among truckers who sit all the time, and realizing that this also struck horse-sitting cowboys disproportionately in the Old West. He also notes that USA newspapers never used the term "gunfighter" in the 1800s. Instead, they called people such as Billy the Kid or John Wesley Hardin "gunmen, man-killers, assassins, or shootists." SHOOTIST co-producer William Self notes that John Wayne initially was passed over for the title role because of The Duke's declining health (Wayne would later miss a week of shooting, and then demand expensive retakes because he thought the crew got things "wrong" during his absence). However, while Self was signing up George C. Scott for the title role, co-producer Mike Frankovich went behind his back and served the part up to JW after all. This, of course, required the soul of the source novel to be corrupted from a hard-hitting realistic climax to a saccharin fairy-tale close featuring lots of fakey ketchup "blood" (unlike other westerns of its time) and J.B.'s protégé kissing him to death instead of gunning him down as the REAL ending demands. When it is all said and done, this "extra" deserves high marks for knocking some of the wool off America's eyes.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?