“The Shootist” is a Western movie released in 1976, directed by Don Siegel and starring John Wayne in his final film role. The movie tells the story of J.B. Books, a famous gunslinger who comes to the town of Carson City, Nevada, in 1901, to seek medical treatment for his terminal cancer. While there, he befriends a widow named Bond Rogers, played by Lauren Bacall, and her son, Gillom, played by Ron Howard. However, Books’ violent past catches up with him, and he finds himself drawn into a final gunfight against three outlaws who want to make a name for themselves by killing him.
The movie was based on the novel of the same name by Glendon Swarthout and was adapted for the screen by Miles Hood Swarthout and Scott Hale. “The Shootist” was well-received by critics and audiences alike and is now considered a classic Western film, notable for being John Wayne’s last movie before his death from cancer in 1979.
“The Shootist” was primarily filmed on location in various parts of Nevada and California, USA. Some of the key filming locations included the town of Carson City, Nevada, which was used to recreate the movie’s main setting, and the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills, California, which served as the location for the final gunfight scene. Other parts of the movie were shot in various locations in California, including the Warner Bros. Burbank Studios and the Sonora area in Tuolumne County. The rugged and scenic landscapes of the American West provided a fitting backdrop for the movie’s themes of redemption, mortality, and the passing of an era.
“The Shootist” has an impressive cast of notable actors and actresses, led by John Wayne in his final film role as J.B. Books. Other key cast members include:
Lauren Bacall as Bond Rogers, a widow who befriends Books
Ron Howard as Gillom Rogers, Bond’s teenage son
James Stewart as Dr. E.W. Hostetler, Books’ physician and friend
Richard Boone as Mike Sweeney, a wealthy businessman and former acquaintance of Books
Hugh O’Brian as Jack Pulford, a marshal who seeks to arrest Books
Harry Morgan as Carson City Marshal Walter Thibido, who tries to keep the peace in town
John Carradine as Hezekiah Beckum, a bookseller and friend of Books
Together, these talented actors brought to life a poignant and powerful story of a legendary gunslinger facing his own mortality and seeking redemption. Their performances helped make “The Shootist” a classic Western film that is still remembered and celebrated today.