Today I have a real treat for you that is also a bit of a heartbreaker. One of the great films of Legendary western star, John Wayne, which also happened to be his last. To shake things up a bit, I did not add the normal movie trailer. The clip below is a behind the scenes reel filmed during the making of The Shootist. It gives you a great look at the man behind the movies.
The Shootist is a star studded American western. Besides staring John Wayne in his final screen role, the supporting cast includes: Lauren Bacall, James Stewart, John Carradine, Scatman Crothers, Ron Howard, Richard Boone, Hugh O'Brian, Harry Morgan, Sheree North, and Rick Lenz.
It was released in 1976 by Paramount Pictures. It was directed be Don Siegel and was a modest success earning just a little over $13.4 million worldwide. This film is based on the 1975 book of the same name by Glendon Swarthout and was adapted into a screenplay by the author's son, Miles Hood Swarthout and co-writer Scott Hale.
This film received tremendous critical praise as well as several award nominations including an Oscar nomination in 1977 for Best Art Direction (Robert F. Boyle, Arthur Jeph Parker) and the National Board of Review Award as one of the Top Ten Films of 1976. Individual actors were also recognized for their work in this film. Lauren Bacall was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award for Best Actress, and Ron Howard was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. The film has even earned a 90% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
The story follows an ageing gunfighter, John Bernard "J.B." Books (Wayne) who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer by "Doc" Hostetler (Stewart). Doc sends Books to spend his last days in a boarding house run by Bond Rogers (Bacall). She is a widow who lives with her son, Gillom (Howard).
Books tries to stay out of the public eye but fails. Bond does not want him around her or her son after learning who he is and calls for Marshal Thibido (Morgan). Thibido is determined to make Books to leave town until he learns Books is dying. The marshal relents and allows him to stay; hoping death comes quickly for Books before trouble finds their town.
Unfortunately, news about Books spreads fast and many men head to the town to earn fame and fortune for killing the infamous Books. Doc give Books some heavy narcotics to ease his pain and suggests Books should choose his own death over letting the cancer slowly take him. In preparation, Books makes arrangements with the local undertaker (Carradine), but turns down his offer to provide all the services for free. Books assumes the undertaker would sell admissions to view his corpse and that is not something he wants.
As numerous men come to try to kill Books, he starts to form a relationship with Gillom that his mother is not too happy about. When Books is ready to meet his end, he asks Gillom to tell three men where to find him on January 29th, Books' birthday. On that day, Books enters a saloon and toasts his birthday and the three guests he invited. The three men all try to kill Books for various reasons. He manages to shoot and kill all three, but is wounded in the melee. Gillom walks into the saloon just as Books turns to leave. What happens next makes the whole movie worth watching.
Today's movie snack suggestion is another recipe from Taste of Home. It's a recipe that is said to have been a favorite of John Wayne and he gave a similar recipe to actress Linda Evans (of Dynast Fame). Go to my Facebook page (<--- click here) for this "copycat" recipe or for the actual recipe, you can check out Linda Evans Cookbook, Recipes for Life.
It's time to get your snacks and settle in for another great western!!