John Wayne's last feature film appropriately revolved around the death of an iconic gunfighter and the end of the Old West itself. Like The Searchers (1956) before it, The Shootist explores the burdens of being a legend, a topic undoubtedly close to the actor. Director Don Siegel gives the film a gentle, sentimental touch -- somewhat surprising, given that he made his reputation on such violent, subversive films as Dirty Harry (1971) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Siegel downplays the film's potentially maudlin scenario, instead focusing on the strengths of the stellar cast, including Lauren Bacall, James Stewart, and Ron Howard. Despite Wayne's strong work in The Shootist, he and Siegel reportedly did not get along during the production.