A small village in the Indian Nation that is run by a Minister Goodnight and his daughter Eula is overrun by a band of drunken thugs. They kill and rape the people of the village. Miss Goodnight then teams up with the ruthless Marshal Rooster J. Cogburn who goes after them and bring them to justice.
John Wayne ... Rooster Cogburn
Katharine Hepburn ... Eula
Anthony Zerbe ... Breed
Richard Jordan ... Hawk
John McIntire ... Judge Parker
Paul Koslo ... Luke
Jack Colvin ... Red
Jon Lormer ... Rev. Goodnight
Richard Romancito ... Wolf
Lane Smith ... Leroy
Warren Vanders ... Bagby
Jerry Gatlin ... Nose
Strother Martin ... McCoy
Tommy Lee ... Chen Lee
This is one of a few movies that I can watch over and over again and still enjoy. That said, it\'s also my favourite Western. (And I\'m not a big fan of the genre.)
The story is simple. Cogburn (Wayne) is tracking down a load of nitro stolen by Hawk (Jordan)and his gang. As the gang of outlaws bid a hasty retreat, they stumble upon Eula (Hepburn), her minister father, and several Indians including a teen-aged boy named Wolf.
The plot is simple and had their characters been played by any other actors besides Wayne and Hepburn, the film would have been mediocre at best. Their performances make the film shine. Every scene they have together crackles with chemistry. When Wayne says to Hepburn, \"being with you pleases me\", I got the feeling he meant it and that Hepburn received the compliment with genuine pleasure. Well, maybe it\'s just good acting.
In any event, the film is a nice way to pass some time for those unfamiliar with Wayne or Westerns and a must-see for all Wayne and Hepburn fans.
Don\'t get me wrong, True Grit is a good western and worthy of its classic status, but I\'ve always found John Wayne\'s first go round as Rooster Cogburn to be uneven, at times colorfully into character but just as often just playing John Wayne. He won his only Oscar for it of course, but he hadn\'t yet completely found ol\' Rooster\'s voice.
In this sequel co starring Katharine Hepburn, the Duke has every aspect of Rooster down pat. The scenes he and Hepburn share, trading their philosophies and anecdotes while they come to know and admire (and platonically fall in love with) each other is the engine of this film. Forget the plot, it\'s passable enough but very much secondary, this story gets along strictly on the strength of the two lead characters and it\'s worth seeing again and again just to watch these two Hollywood legends banter and spar in their one and only movie together.
This was the first John Wayne film I ever saw in a movie theatre (I was 9 years old in 1975) and it made me a lifelong fan. This is easily one of his most entertaining adventures. Hepburn and Wayne together is even more fun than Bogart and Hepburn in The African Queen. A timeless treasure.
Rooster Cogburn is top of the line entertainment of the \"old school\" of movie making.
Every character, every scene and every piece of dialog is top drawer story telling at it\'s best. Suffice it to say, Rooster Cogburn / The Shootist are fitting movies to end John Wayne\'s career...a career that defined the Western male lead.
Wayne\'s character epitomizes the raw American Individual Spirit that takes on the task because it is noble and right, regardless of the odds.
No other actors other than Wayne and Hepburn could carry this movie...a movie made in the twilight of each of their careers. One can\'t help but put yourself in the movie each time you watch it and wish Wayne & Hepburn were still there...both of them will be greatly missed!
* Jon Lormer, who plays Katharine Hepburn\'s father, was only one year older than her.
* There was supposed to be another film featuring the character Rooster Cogburn, but it was canceled when this movie proved to be only a moderate hit at the box office.
* During filming John Wayne was injured teaching his eight-year-old daughter to play golf, but fortunately his eye patch concealed the mark. He also had great difficulty breathing due to the high altitude, and often needed his oxygen tank.
* This was Katharine Hepburn\'s only Western.
* The official still photographer for this movie was Susie Tracy, daughter of Katharine Hepburn\'s longtime lover Spencer Tracy.
* During location filming, the crew wore printed t-shirts that read \"We love Brother John\" on the front and \"...and Sister Kate, too!\" on the back. John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn were, reportedly, very much amused by this.
* Richard Fleischer was originally offered the director\'s job by the studio and accepted it. John Wayne, however, had director approval and was still irked at Fleischer for having turned down North to Alaska (1960) 15 years previously, and vetoed Fleischer as director. It was eventually given to Stuart Millar.