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the shootist The Shootist
Directed By:
Don Siegel
Cast: John Wayne, Lauren Bacall, Ron Howard, James Stewart, Richard Boone

Written by:
Matt Booth

June 25, 2007

Timeless. That is the best adjective I can think of to describe the great American actor John Wayne. The popularity of his movies and image are still very prevalent in our society today and I am very proud to review sadly, one of his last and best roles.


In the "The Shootist" the Duke plays an aging Gunfighter in the early 1900's who has out lived his time. His character John Bernard Books is one of the last old fashion Gunslingers still alive, who never killed a man that didn't deserve it. Books learns from his Saw Bones, Doc Hostetler played by another icon, Jimmy Stewart, that he has terminal cancer.

Not very happy about the prospect of dying, Books decides live out his last days in style and takes up residence at a boarding house run by the widow Rogers and her son. These characters are played by the great Lauren Bacall and Ronny Howard from the "Andy Griffith Show" and now an accomplished director of film himself. This movie is a classic Western, as Books is forced to fight one more battle before his impending death to prove he is the bravest and greatest Gunfighter of all time. There are many other famous actors and actresses that play key roles and make this a very enjoyable movie to watch, of course more than once. They include Richard Boone, John Carradine, Scatman Crothers, Richard Lenz, Harry Morgan, Shree North, and Hugh O'Brien. The movie was produced by Paramount Studios and the music is by Elmer Bernstein. My favorite quote from the movie deals with a code Books lived his life by “I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on". Books and the widow Rogers character become close and the Duke gets her with lines like “I’ll bet there's plenty of starch in your corset". I give this film starstarstarstarout of 4 stars.

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