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The Shootist [DVD] [1976]

4.8 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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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
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Jun. 2005
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009PBRO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,670 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

In his last and most poignant film, John Wayne plays an ailing legendary gunslinger looking for a place to die in peace, but everywh ere he goes, his violent reputation precedes him.

From Amazon.co.uk

John Wayne's last film The Shootist could not have been more fitting; it's 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

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Feb. 2009
Format: DVD
How fitting that the Duke should go out of films on a high note. He had gone through a long period of making mediocre films. Almost as if he were on auto pilot. "Cahill United States Marshall", "The Train Robbers" and "Rio Lobo" spring to mind amongst others. But here the director Don Siegal takes him out of his comfort zone. Apart from James Stewart there are not the familiar faces the Duke was used to. Perhaps he felt this role was just too good to turn down. Interesting to note he had turned down the role of Pike Bishop in "The Wild Bunch", which would have meant working with the Peckinpah regulars. But just as we got with Mark Rydells "The Cowboys", unfamiliar territory coaxes out a good performance from the Duke.

The film is based on the downbeat story of the same title by Glendon Swarthout who also wrote "They came to Cordura" being a study of heroism. This film is more a study of maintaining dignity in desperate circumstances. J B Books is a legendary gunfighter dying of cancer. He aims to quietly see out what time he has left in the little town of Creed in Colorado. But of course this does not happen and we head towards a showdown. There is a moving relationship between Books and a widow played by Lauren Bacall and a cameo from Jimmy Stewart as the Doctor diagnosing terminal cancer. Wayne had already had part on a lung removed due to cancer back in the early sixties. The disease was finally to kill him in 1979 shortly after his emotional appearence at the oscars. Nobody else should have been allowed to take this role. It is fitting that like Books, Wayne went out with a fitting finale to his career.

To make a film about a man dying of cancer was a brave decision by someone, but justified by the result. This is an unusually sober Western but also a very good one.
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