Ouch, Chester. That stings. As a card-carrying member of the Liberal party I'm proud to be a fan of John Wayne. I make no secret of it and I'm certainly not ashamed of it. There's plenty of room in the world for all of us to respect one another.
While I'd never read that particular review before I knew that there were many undeserved slings and arrows aimed at The Shootist when it premiered. At this point one must wonder whether the Western genre was being punished for its demise rather than the film itself at that moment. Family Westerns were dead and buried by 1976. Unless a Western showed blood and brains squirting from bullet wounds, few would attend the film.
In my humble opinion, few critics understood The Shootist when it premiered. Pat Berman missed it by a mile. She evidently confused it with a sequel to everything else Mr Wayne made.
John Wayne himself had intended to go on filming more movies. From what I have read, Mr Wayne had great difficulty in making that film. I believe it was Maureen O'Hara (please, do correct me if I'm wrong) who wrote Lauren Bacall said that Mr Wayne was coughing up blood during filming and was on O2 at all times when he wasn't on camera. Still, it was never meant to be his swan song.
My uncle lost a lung to lung cancer and he lived a very long 20 years on a single lung, suffering all that time. It was not pleasant nor was it a happy life for him. He had to retire immediately and he never worked on anything again. I can only imagine how it was for Mr Wayne. I have the greatest respect for him that he not only completed the film after being hospitalised but that he intended to go on making more films. John Wayne was truly an inspiration to us all.
Now I've battled cancer myself I understand what a real hero John Wayne truly was to us all. I wouldn't usually write about my personal life when I've been a member such a short time on a board, but I feel this is relevant.
Name-calling is never helpful, Chester. During the time this film premiered, remember that violence in America was increasing and people were wondering if it was connected to violence on television and in films. The Vietnam War was fresh in memory. My brother, a Marine Ranger, was still MIA.
I came here to talk about The Shootist with friends. If Liberals aren't welcome here then never mind.