John Wayne makes his entrance in his final film, The Shootist. The script called for "the small distant figure of Books, dwarfed by the snowcapped mountains behind him". However, since he was fighting a number of ailments all at once, not the least being his problems with height due to working with just one lung, the opening was reduced to one long shot. They settled for the terrain six miles southwest of Carson City.
The sequence was shot on Jacks Valley Ranch, at the base of the snow-capped Sierras. Along Jack Valley Road, you can enjoy the fully free view of the position when...
...Books turns his horse towards his destination.
The Krebs-Peterson house at 1900 S. Carson Street was the great period house chosen for Lauren Bacall's guesthouse. Visitors learn about the historic houses in that Carson City disctrict on a "Talking Houses"-self guided tour.
Director Don Siegel used the exterior of the building (as well as the barn for the dialogue scene between Wayne and Ron Howard). However, the filmmakers created not only the whole interior on the Burbank lot but part of the outside porch so well that it is hard to say when the movie cuts effortlessly from the real location to the studio set.
Wayne's buggy ride with Lauren Bacall takes place in Washoe Lake State Park, a few miles from Carson City.
The exact place on Washoe Lake is Willow Beach which is unchanged since the times of The Shootist. During the location shooting in Nevada, Wayne occupied a suite at the Ormsby House in Carson City.
The sequence in which the gunfighter teaches Ron Howard how to handle a gun was filmed in the small town of Genoa, ten miles from Carson City.
If you like this site, you'll like this brandnew book: the first comprehensive guide to the John Wayne Locations, with hundreds of then-and-now photos, unpublished behind-the-scenes-pictures and detailed tour descriptions
Find directions to locations and anecdotes from the set in this new publication from McFarland, available now at bookstores everywhere
All pictures posted on this website are from the collection of the author, unless otherwise noted