The Shootist vs. Sands of Iwo Jima



Two of the Duke's more important roles here. His first Oscar nomination vs. his final film. Sands of Iwo Jima is a good movie, but it's a pretty standard war film in a lot of ways, although there is a really beautiful scene between Wayne's character and a girl he meets at a bar. But The Shootist is, to me, a perfect film. J.B. Books, Wayne's character, parallels Wayne's own life in so many ways, as both are coming to grips with their final days. It's poignant, heartbreaking and yet uplifting at the same time. It also has some wonderful supporting work from Lauren Bacall and Jimmy Stewart. This matchup isn't really close.