MovieChat Forums > The Shootist (1976) Discussion > Interesting legal point *spoiler*

Interesting legal point *spoiler*


At the end, Gillum shoots the bartender with Book's gun, and then throws it across the barroom. Books then dies, having been shot in the back by the bartender's shotgun.

Think about this: The townspeople saw Gillum go into the bar, and then walk out. If Marshall Thibideau investigated, he'd probably notice that Books was shot in the back by the bartender's shotgun. If Thibideau cared to investigate, he would probably conclude that Gillum shot the bartender, ostensibly an innocent man defending himself and his bar from a notorious, armed gunman. No way Books could have done it, not with his gun all the way across the room, right?

So Gillum COULD have been arrested for murder, if the town decided to prosecute him.

Just an interesting loose end that occurred to me.

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"shot in the back by the bartender's shotgun" does not make the bartender an innocent man. Also Book could have lived long enough to kill the bartender after he was shot.

..........................
Celebrate diversity .22, .223, .25, 9mm, .32 .357, 10mm, .44, .45, .500

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I don't think the Marshal would have ever prosecuted Gillum because he was glad all the gunfighters were dead.

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Silver, you forgot .17, .38, .380, .40, .41, .38-40, .44-40, .32-20, .30-40 krag, .45-70, .30-30, .30-06, .25-20, .25-35, .38-55, 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, 30 WCF.

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Silver, you forgot .17, .38, .380, .40, .41, .38-40, .44-40, .32-20, .30-40 krag, .45-70, .30-30, .30-06, .25-20, .25-35, .38-55, 7mm Rem Mag, 300 Win Mag, 30 WCF.
And a few others.

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It would be hard to prosecute because he was shot in a room full of dead guys and fired a gun in the general direction of Gillum. Plus, no living witnesses besides Gillum. Sure, today Gillum would probably do some time, no question, but in the Wild West, it was more or less legal to shoot a man in the street.

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"The Trial of Gillum Rodgers"

That would make an excellent sequel. It would be interesting to see a well done legal drama regarding the actions at the saloon that day.

I love this film for a couple of reasons. First it is well done, and knowing it is Wayne's last along with his personal parallels to Books make it even more compelling. Also, to me, this movie bridges a gap between movie history(Wayne) and movie future(Howard). You can make a lot of six degree connections through the two of them. When you through Lauren Becall in and you have quite a trio.


Best Wishes,

Fitz

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Don't forget, "Murray" the bartender was reloading his shotgun as Gillum picked up Books' gun, and he knew that Gillum had seen him shoot Books in the back. It would not have been hard to convince a jury that Gillum was defending himself.

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Marshall Thibideau was an idiot.



"To love another person is to see the face of God"

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Marshall Thibideau was an idiot.
I don't know about 'idiot', but he was a pompous ass.

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While Gillom would have been seen walking out of the saloon, and the gun used to kill the bartender was flung half way across the room, there was a lack of living witnesses who could have proved that Gillom did any killing...and no one would have been concerned enough about any of the dead (except maybe the bartender) to ask too many questions. Even Books had an unsavory reputation.

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I rather wish Books had shot him too!

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"If Marshall Thibideau investigated"

^ He wasn't portrayed as that sort of marshall, who performs his job admirably and thoroughly.

Gillum could make a case for self-defense. The bartender was reloading his weapon, and Gillum moments before had shouted "Look out" to attempt to save Book. Hence, there is a case that the bartender had thoughts of killing Gillum? There are no witnesses to refute.

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