The Shootist | Chicago Reader

The Shootist

Don Siegel's reflection on the life, art, and cultural significance of John Wayne (1978) may not be the great film some have claimed it to be, but it is a brilliantly crafted work and a remarkably moving experience. It could be the first “chamber western”—structured as a series of one-on-one encounters as a gunfighter dying of cancer moves through the community in which he has chosen to end his days. Both Wayne and Lauren Bacall are profoundly eloquent in Siegel's silent close-ups; James Stewart as the town doctor completes the mythic balance of natural and civilized man.

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