The Shootist (1976)
John Wayne Lauren Bacall Ron Howard James Stewart
As I watched this film, I felt sorry for John Books (John Wayne). He’s an aging gunfighter and I think, his reputation is bigger than the man. He visits, a friend and a physician, Dr. Hostetler (James Stewart) for a second opinion as to his condition. The doctor informs John Books he has a cancer. He only has a few weeks to live and it’s going to be painful ~ very painful. So, he rents a room at a boarding house owned by a widow, Bond Rogers (Lauren Bacall). He wants to live his remaining days in peace and he doesn’t want anyone in town to know who he is. Of course, the citizens of the community discover John’s identity and there is trouble. And! Several people are trying to make money off his impending death.
The people in this community were so insensitive to John Book. Bond Rogers and her son, Gillom Rogers (Ron Howard) spent time with John and got to know the man behind the gun and the reputation. They discovered something more than a gunslinger.
In the beginning, I didn’t like Ron Howard’s character in this film, however, he did grow on me and in the end he was a good kid.
I thought this was a sad and tragic film. I do recommend it for adults. There is some profanity in the film and the gun fights are graphic.