John Wayne’s The Shootist

John Wayne’s last movie was an odd sort of western set at the end of the old west era. John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Lauren Bacall star as a group of washed up has beens, played aptly by a bunch of washed up has beens. Ron Howard, Richard Boone and Harry Morgan also make appearances. There is the standard train coming in at high noon with a group of bad men on it. There will be a bloody gun battle, as the days of John Wayne just grabbing his side when he is shot are gone and blood packs explode like volcanoes.
I feel about The Shootist much the way I feel about Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider. I didn’t like it. I grew up watching John Wayne movies. The Quiet Man was great. The Alamo was over the top, but still great. I even loved The War Wagon which co-starred Dean Martin, not known for his great acting abilities.
The difference between Pale Rider and The Shootist is that everyone seemed to think Pale Rider was a modern masterpiece, while The Shootist was just John Wayne having one last shot at making a western.
It was a sad movie, like all big stars last movies. We just want them to stay thirty forever. And so we keep John Wayne young. All we have to do is watch McLintock, Hatari, and The Searchers. If we want to see an old John Wayne, there is always True Grit to fall back on.
But damn, The Shootist one sheet was pretty, wasn’t it?

Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

Latest posts by Jon Herrera (see all)

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

Posted in john wayne, john wayne movie, the shootist, western

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