|Key Cast||John Wayne, James Stewart, Ron Howard, Lauren Bacall, Richard Boone, Hugh O’Brian, Bill McKinney, Harry Morgan, John Carradine, Scatman Crothers|
“The Shootist” was John Wayne’s Goodbye WesternThree years after starring in “The Shootist,” John Wayne passed away from lung and stomach cancer. This movie turned out to be his last film, and it is poignant because it is a story about an aging cowboy who is dying of cancer.
At the time that he made this western, John Wayne had been living cancer-free for ten years. He was diagnosed with the disease in 1964, but recovered and made the classic western “The Sons of Katie Elder” which was released in 1965. After “The Sons of Katie Elder,” John Wayne starred in 17 more movies, including the film “True Grit” for which he won an Academy Award.
In “The Shootist,” John Wayne stars as a legendary old gunfighter named John Bernard Brooks who wants to live the last days of his life peacefully. He visits an old doctor friend, Dr. Hostetler (which was appropriately played by James Stewart) to get a medical diagnosis and is told that he has incurable cancer. Brooks then secures a room at a boarding house that is run by a widow named Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall) and her teenage son Gillom (Ron Howard). The widow has no idea who John Bernard Brooks is until later.
Once Brooks is recognized and word spreads about his cancer, he discovers that he can’t live the remainder of his life as peacefully as he would like. There are people who want to make money selling his life story. And, of course, there are numerous, cocky gunfighters who want to make a name for themselves by killing Brooks with their gun.
Nevertheless, as Brooks’ days near their end, the old gunfighter becomes a hero to the young teenager Gillom and a friend to his mother.
• The horse that John Wayne uses in “The Shootist” was named “ole Dollor.” Wayne purposely had this horse written into the movie, because he had used “ole Dollor” in a number of his westerns and loved the horse. Although no one can definitely say for sure, it is speculated that Wayne’s horse “Ole Dollor” was also used in the western movies “The Undefeated,” “Rio Lobo” and “Chisum.” Wayne had another horse with a similar name “Dollar” that looked different and this other horse is speculated to have been used by Wayne in the movies “Rooster Cogburn”, “Big Jake” ,”The Cowboys”, “The Train Robbers” and “Cahill, U.S. Marshall.”
• The opening scenes of “The Shootist” contains footage from some of John Wayne’s other cowboy westerns. Scenes were used from the movies Hondo, Rio Bravo and El Dorado in order to give a sense of history for his character J. B. Brooks.
• The Shootist by Glendon Swarthout was published in 1975. It was made into this western movie in 1976. Although “The Shootist” is his most famous novel made into a movie, Swarthout had seven other novels and short stories made into motion pictures.
• “The Shootist” was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Set Direction (Robert F. Boyle and Arthur Parker)
• Ron Howard was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actor in a Supporting Role for his role as Gillom Rogers.
The Shootist DVD
“The Shootist” has a special place in western fans’ hearts because it is the last western movie made by John Wayne. The story is appropriate for its place in western film history because it is about an aging gunfighter who knows that he is going to die and wants to do so peaceably. Ron Howard, Lauren Bacall, and James Stewart co-star in this classic western with John Wayne.
DVD Set - John Wayne Western Three-Pack
Instant Download | Streaming
The Shootist Instant Download
Why wait? You can watch this great John Wayne western right now by instantly downloading it to your computer (or other media device). Also, you have your choice of watching this movie in SD or HD video.
Click the Shop Instant button for details.
Join Our Mailing List
We keep your information private and do not sell or share our mailing list with anyone else. Also, you can easily unsubscribe at any time.