The Shootist (1976)

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  • i loved this film. i loved the black and white beginning and the quiet dignity and courage he showed throughout, particularly on his last day when he got dressed to go and do what he had to do

    "Sorry don t get it done, Dude" (Rio Bravo)


    Hooked on The Duke

  • I have to say something that saddens me to say.

    Of all the John Wayne films out there, this one is not for children. The cursing is over the top. I can not recall another John Wayne film in which there is so much swearing.

    I enjoyed the intro with the clips from Dukes old films, but as we were watching this film last night, I had to turn it off. It was scandalizing my children.

    I don't understand why Duke allowed the script to be this coarse.

    It could have accomplished everything it set out to be without the language.

    Does anyone else have the same reaction to this film?

    Tbone



    "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."

  • I'll have to admit, Tbone, that I was puzzled by this post. I don't remember any vulgar language in The Shootist. Maybe I'm desensitized by the cussing in so many movies of today that I don't notice it in older films. I'll have to watch The Shootist again to see what you mean.


    I know that he addressed the use of profanity in his Playboy interview when asked:

    Quote


    Playboy: Audiences may like your kind of violence on the screen, but they'd never heard profanity in a John Wayne movie until "True Grit". Why did you finally decide to use such earthly language in a film?

    Wayne: In my other pictures, we've had an explosion or something go off when a bad word was said. This time we didn't. It's profanity, all right, but I doubt if there's anybody in the United States who hasn't heard the expression son of a bitch or bastard. We felt it was acceptable in this instance, At the emotional high point in that particular picture, I felt it was ok to use it. It would have been pretty hard to say, "you illegitimate sons of so-and-so! "

    So, I guess he may have felt that it was appropriate for the scenes in The Shootist. I've never read anywhere about him having an issue with it. He just disagreed on how the movie should end and they rewrote it to end in a way that pleased Duke.



    Mark

    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • Mark,

    I had forgotten myself until we turned it on. I haven't seen the Shootest in probably 5 years. Between him, Ron Howard and Harry Morgan, they say about everything except the "F" bomb. Lot's of taking Our Lord's Name in vain there. That's when I finally had to say "enough".

    Tbone



    "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."

  • I watched this movie again. I admit I have to be in a certain mood to watch it because it really does haunt you.


    Its a beautiful movie and I guess no actor ever had a better send off role. I know John Wayne always acted with his eyes but in this one it just hurts looking at the pain. A couple of things.


    Has anyone else noted that for a man who couldn't sing, John Wayne sang in an awful lot of his movies. I can think of the Quiet Man, McLintock, 3 Godfathers. Hatari. John Wayne singing Gilbert and Sullivan in the Shootist must have been a first.


    I am not to sure if this was intended or not but notice when John Wayne gets off Dollar in front of the doctor's he steps onto a mounting block, maybe it was meant to indicate Books was in pain or maybe Wayne really needed it.


    When he rides up to the boarding house, and goes to get off, the last time he ever will get off horse in the movies, there is a mounting block just in front of the house and presumably it is there for him to use to dismount. However the Duke pulls up just in front and gets off without using the mounting block.


    I watched the documentary on the DVD and it seemed to me that the producers were a bit annoyed with Wayne for stopping them using the ending in the book because the ending used made the story about the end of an era not the start of a new one and therefore 'Hollywood'. I also chose to see the taking out the three men is Books symbolically ending his era. Carson City is changing and no longer a town where people should kill each other in saloons and streets. He takes out the remnants of his own era before he goes. Anyway that is my interpretation.


    All I can say is that I am glad the Duke stuck to his guns about the ending. I never can understand why film makers have to make non-Hollywood endings which seems to me to be an ego trip at the expense of their audience. It shows a total disrespect for the audience which the Duke didn't do. I don't think audiences mind sad endings but they resent futile one which non Hollywood endings usually are. And the book one would have destroyed all the dignity of the character.


    One of the producers claims the 'Hollywood" ending weakened the film but I personally think the book ending would have destroyed it. There is something noble about J.B Books dignity and shooting a man in the back and destroying Gillam's life as he died would have made a mockery of when he tells Mrs Rogers he is maybe a better man than she thinks which the way the character is played is easy to believe.


    Anyway I think this is a beautiful film and I am glad that it was John Wayne who made it because I suspect with any of the other actors who were considered, it would have been about the violent ending of the last of the Wild Bunch and not the ending of John T. Chance.


    dee

    Edited once, last by tinker ().

  • THE SHOOTIST is a great film, in fact even the critics liked it when it came out, very rare for Duke in his last films. There was even talk of Duke getting the nod for a second Oscar. I think he new his health was becoming an issue, I am sure he did not have cancer at the time, but he knew inside he was not the same ol' JW.:teeth_smile:

    :film: " When the legend becomes fact print the legend"

  • Great story Bill, The shootist is my favorite movie, I thought Dukes acting was second to none in this movie. I also beleive in real liofe if he could have he would have wanted to go out this way instead of the slowness of cancer.

    Mister you better find yourself another line of work, cause this one sure DON"T fit your PISTOL!

  • I also must say it took me many years before i could watch this film because i couln't stand the thought of duke being killed. thats the kind of impact the duke had on me.

    Mister you better find yourself another line of work, cause this one sure DON"T fit your PISTOL!

  • One of the all time greatest films.
    Two very small character touches really elevate Duke's character for me.
    The first is when he tells Doc that the ornate pillow he stole from a whorehouse in Creed. The smile on Duke's face is priceless and reminds me of his younger self.
    The second moment is the look of satisfaction on his face when Gillem flings the gun away in the bar. It's a look that says he accomplished steering a boy on the right path. No words could have done better.




    We deal in lead, friend.

  • This one of my all time great wayne films. the acting by all is second to none. last year i was given a personal tour of warner brothers back lot were most of this film was made. the scene when he first rode into town,doc hostetlers house the street where he first meets richard boone and the acme saloon which was a police station at the time i was there.

    ''baby sister i was born game and intend to go out that way.''

  • That must have been really cool, Bill. Did you take any pictures? Has it changed much? It has been 30 years or so. I envy you all the same.


    Mark

    "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "

  • That must have been really cool, Bill. Did you take any pictures? Has it changed much? It has been 30 years or so. I envy you all the same.

    Mark


    Yes I did take pictures but not with a digital.I,am still a bit of a dinosaur.I was amazed at how much stood right out at you,like Dr.Hoetetlers house the gazebo in the center of town. The tour was given to myself and Joe Zuke by a fine gentelmen and Duke collector by the name of Foster Dennis. Also saw the outside set for the show ER. This was in sept. of last year in the 80s and fake snow everywhere to make it look like the dead of winter in Chicago. Buy the way the el tracks they drove under was about 40 feet long.

    ''baby sister i was born game and intend to go out that way.''

  • Was watching the Shootist this weekend and I was wondering about the scene where Duke gives Ron the shooting lesson. Does anyone know if JW actually did his own shooting when that tight group hits the left fork of the tree?

    Tbone



    "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."

  • Tbone,


    I'd guess that was special effects and not real shooting.


    On a different note, I was watching Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino the other day. Anyone notice toward the end of the movie as Eastwood was preparing to visit the street gang's house? The sets he was taking, preparing for the visit? Look awful familiar.


    ET


  • Good point ET, but it seems all of Clint's location work
    was centered around Michigan,
    whereas The Shootist was filmed in Nevada
    and the studios in California

    Best Wishes
    Keith
    London- England

  • Good point ET, but it seems all of Clint's location work
    was centered around Michigan,
    whereas The Shootist was filmed in Nevada
    and the studios in California


    Whoops. I need to do more proof reading. Not "sets" he was taking. But STEPS he was taking, as he was preparing to die. I told me wife at the time, this is just like the Shootist, Eastwood's preparation and the Duke's (in the Shootist) were very similar.


    ET