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The Shootist [VHS] [1976]

John Wayne , Lauren Bacall , Don Siegel    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Price: £14.99
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Product details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard, James Stewart, Richard Boone
  • Directors: Don Siegel
  • Writers: Glendon Swarthout, Miles Hood Swarthout, Scott Hale
  • Producers: M.J. Frankovich, William Self
  • Language: English
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Paramount
  • VHS Release Date: 1 Jan 1996
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CLAM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 220,625 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Ageing gunfighter John Bernard Brooks (John Wayne, in his last role) rides into Carson City in 1901. His old friend Dr Hostleter (James Stewart) confirms that he is dying of cancer, and Brooks takes refuge in a boarding house, fending off people who either want to kill him or write his life story.

From Amazon.co.uk

The last film of John Wayne, The Shootist, could not have been more fitting, full of details that can't help but make one reflect upon his legacy in the movies and his life as a star. Wayne plays a career gunfighter in the autumn of his life, trying to hang up his pistols after he discovers he's dying of cancer. Boarding in the house of an attractive widow (Lauren Bacall) and her son (Ron Howard), Wayne's character opts for peace in his final days but is dogged by his reputation when a handful of killers seeks him out for a final fight. Howard is fine as a fatherless boy who needs the strong mentor the hero represents, and James Stewart--who costarred with Wayne in the great Man Who Shot Liberty Valance--plays the doctor who gives the big man the bad news. Don Siegel (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) thoughtfully directs a very special and sensitive production. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
It is totally fitting that John Wayne's last film is an obvious eulogy for his legendary career as the greatest Western star of them all. Like many others, I have always thought the Duke need this when he made "The Shootist." This 1976 film, directed by Don Siegel, begins with a montage of gunfights from Wayne's career, thereby establishing the reputation of his character, J. B. Books. It is 1901 and Books rides into Carson City to visit his old friend, Doctor E.W. Hostetler (Jimmy Stewart). The doctor's verdict is that Books is dying of cancer and does not have long to live. Books knows the rightness of this, because in an age of automobiles and electricity there is no place for an old gunfighter. But his reputation means Books will be denied a quiet death: the barber saves clippings of his hair to sell and the undertaker plans to exhibit his corpse. Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall), the widow who runs the boarding house where he is staying, wants to send him packing, not only because of all the men he has killed but because her son Gillom (Ron Howard) thinks Books is a hero. Books tries to explain the code by which he has lived, but the boy cannot understand. Meanwhile, several gunfighters who would love to be the one to gun down the famous Books have arrived in town. Books sees an opportunity to die on his own terms, in one last epic gunfight.
"The Shootist" is a film of remarkable restraint, that achieves a wonderful eloquence. Wayne and Bacall have some nice scenes together as the widow becomes fond of the dying gunman. But it is the dynamic between Wayne and Howard that drives the film, as the gunman tries to explain to the hero worshipping boy that killing men is not a heroic enterprise.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Duke died with his boots on. 1 Oct 2002
Format:VHS Tape
John Wayne's last film? ... Yes. John Wayne's best film? ... YES! This is not my 'token' tip-of-the-hat to John Wayne - I really do hold this to be his best film.
The sepia-toned opening sequence is a brief collage of scenes from several of the Duke's past films ... for by 1976 John Wayne - the American Western incarnate - was dying of cancer: he had to be hoisted onto/off his horse, and most of his wincing was that of genuine pain. But did he ever complain? "The hell, you say ...!" Staunch right-winger he may have been (he was President of the American Legion), but he also lived his life as many a character of his many films: decent, upright and honest - one of America's greatest cultural exports. And this credo is summed-up during the film:
"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."
Wayne is, of course, the star of the film, but he is magnificently accompanied by grande dame Lauren Bacall (in my view still the most elegant lady in Hollywood - bar none), along with such stalwarts of the Hollywood Western as James Stewart, Richard Boone, John Carradine, Scatman Crothers, Henry Morgan, and Clintwood regular Bill McKinney. The younger generation is represented by Ritchie Cunningh ... sorry, Ron Howard.
Legendary part-time lawman and full-time gunman John Bernard Books rides into Carson City on the day of Queen Victoria's death in January 1901, and both Books and the viewer are immediately assaulted by the city's outward display of the New Century and Modern Times: the tram, 'horseless carriages,' telephones and electricity. Books already knows what Doc Hostetler (Stewart) tells him: that Books is both out of place in the changing world ... and dying of cancer.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Duke says godbye 21 May 2004
The simple fact that this is the last film of the long and amazing carrer of America's most beloved actor, John Wayne, would make this an historic film. However "The Shootist" is more than that, it is in fact a very good western. Director Don Siegel author of such classics like "Dirty Harry" and "Escape from Alcatraz" gives Wayne a chance to once more prove how mutch of an actor he was. Portraing a dyng gunfigther who his a living legend in a West that as already changed (the film is set in 1901)Wayne's caracther represents the pain of a man that has outlived his time and has no place in the future, and so in his last film Wayne represents all the things that has changed in America by 1976, including the western genre itself.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars John Wayne going out fighting 19 Feb 2007
This has to be 5 stars. John Wayne was dying of cancer at the time the film was being made. He plays an aging gunfighter who is dying of cancer. In the wrong hands this could be a disaster, but it isn't and its a great film.

This has a fantastic cast: As well as John Wayne there is also Lauren Bacall, James Stewart a young Ron Howard (then famous for Happy Days) and a few other well known faces.

The director is Don Siegel, one of the very best from the 70's. Elegiac is a word that has been used a lot to sum up this film and I think this comes from Siegels direction and a marvellous script, both of which brilliantly portray the end of an era (the old west), and of course the last film from an iconic American film star.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 7 Jan 2004
If you have a Western heart see this movie. It is a timeless classic featuring 3 of the greatest actors. Not a classic shoot-out but a well crafted film. You will not be disappointed.
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