This movie was recently shown (aug. 14) on Danish television after True Grit was sent a month earlier. It is very fine, but while True Grit is a sure 5 star, this is a 4/4,5 star. Nevertheless this 2nd-final JW-movie surprises (with the respect to the rather old age of Wayne and Hepburn) and shows that good westerns still were made in the mid 70s like "Josie Wales". In fact this is perhaps that movie, where I like K. Hepburn most - great acting.
Did anyone notice that here is the same confrontation between the "Holy Spirit and the Down to earth" way of behaving like in: Two mules for Sister Sara?
Sometimes a multitude of wrongs can come out right. Hollywood has a penchant for making sequels to successful films, so when John Wayne finally won an Oscar for his performance in "True Grit." Wayne played Rooster Cogburn, a fearless, one-eyed U.S. marshal who never knew a dry day in his life. Fortunately Hollywood waited six years before making this 1975 sequel. However, at that point they not only hired a novice screenwriter, actress Martha Hyer ("First Men in the Moon"), they let her rip off "The African Queen" and turn it into a western. Fortunately, they hired Katharine Hepburn to play opposite the Duke. That is what "Rooster Cogburn" comes down to, the chance for John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn to do scenes together; it also explains why the film is also known as "Rooster Cogburn and the Lady." Hepburn plays Rose Sayer, no, wait, I mean Eula Goodnight, who is the daughter of a minister (Jon Lormer) instead of the brother of a missionary. The gospel is still being brought to the natives, except this time we are set in the Cascades of Oregon rather than the jungles of Africa. The bad guys are now a gang of thieves led by Breed (Anthony Zerbe) and Hawk (Richard Jordan), instead of Nazis, and this time they gun down the minister. So when Rooster comes along to track them down and bring them to his brand of justice, Eula insists on going along. The plot is predictable in terms of the outcome and familiar when Kate and the Duke end up on the water. But there is fun to be had in these two standing toe to toe, but not jaw to jaw, and going at it. "To whom do you think you are speaking," she intones frostily. "You is to whom I think I am speaking, sister," he shoots back. She allows that he is bigger than she is, but only physically. He observes in this situation that should be enough and they continue to have great fun with the dialogue. Wayne has great fun hamming it up and Hepburn enjoys having an actor big enough to stand up to her assault. The stories from the set were that the two great stars had great fun making this movie. Their politics were at opposite ends of the spectrum so they just avoid the topics and enjoyed being in each other's company. Wayne was playing a character he had done before in a movie, but then Hepburn's character is instantly recognizable as well, even if the name is different. The names do not matter. They can call them "Rooster Cogburn and the Lady," but it is the Duke and Kate, and their fans will not be disappointed by their time together.
"Rooster Cogburn and the Lady" ist a Western movie. So far, so good. Lots of Western movies have been shot. But what makes this one a special movie is the fact that here you have two Stars who fill their parts with so much life and energy that you just don't care about the story - you just sit and feel the joy, fun and pleasure that John Wayne and Catherine Hepburn must have felt. Just their presence on the screen is worth the movie: Two old Stars doing what they're best at - and radiating it to the audience. You will enjoy them teasing each other, showing respect for each other - do I repeat myself? It's heartwarming, enjoyable, "acting" at its best: you just don't get the impression that they are acting. And that's what I like about this movie. You don't get this very often. A movie like this is like a pearl in the ocean: it is deeply hidden, you find it by accident - and once you have discovered it you'll never give it away.
Also, it arrived before the estimated delivery date in perfect condition. Seeing this on bluray is just wonderful. The colours and details suddenly visible is fantastic. If you love this film and have a bluray player, get it on bluray.
In 1975 Duke Wayne was having serious health problems and is advanced age was getting too obvious. The Western genre itself was far from the moviegoers first option, in fact the Duke's films were not doing very well at the Box-office. Trying to recapture the public attention Wayne returned to his most sucessuful caracther in late years, that of Rooster Coburn, the amiable self-parody of an old cowboy that had transformed 1969's True Grit into a huge hit and ultimatly offered him a mutch deserved Oscar. This time with Katherine Hepburn as co-star, Wayne delivers another amusing performance and truly shows how mutch of an actor he really was.In fact the Wayne/Hepburn warm performances are the strongest argument of this picture, together with the beautiful photography and autumnal landscapes that fit so weel the story and the actors mood. Essential for John Wayne fans, the Duke would only do two more films after this one, Brannigan and The Shootist...
I'VE WAITED ALONG TIME FOR THIS FILM TO BE RELEASED ON BLU RAY, AND I WAS NT DISSAPPOINTED, VERY GOOD CLEANED UP PICTURE QUALITY, ALITTLE LET DOWN WITH ONLY A D.T.S MONO SOUNDTRACK, SHAME THERE'S NO 5.1. THE MOVIE ITSELF IS PURE GOLD, I'VE ALWAYS LOVED JOHN WAYNE MOVIES BUT THIS ONE SHOWS A GREATMAN WITH A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOUR. THE CHEMISTRY BETWEEN WAYNE AND HEPBURN IS STILL UNMATCHED IN A MOVIE TODAY.I PRAY THE HOLLYWOOD MONEY MAKERS DON'T REMAKE THIS ONE AFTER THE AWFULL REMAKE OF TRUE GRIT. FOR THOSE THAT DIDN'T KNOW, THIS IS A FOLLOW ON FROM TRUE GRIT, NOT THE SAME STORY BUT WAYNE CONTINUING THE CHARACTER. CANNOT RECOMMEND ENOUGH.
Enjoyable western. An ageing John Wayne gives an entertaining performance as law man Rooster Cogburn in this follow up to True Grit. Here, Cogburn teams up with preecher's daughter Katharine Hepburn to avenge the death of her father. This is by no means as brilliant as True Grit (which won Wayne his only oscar) but there are some decent action scenes although most of the film's appeal lies in the brilliant chemistry between Wayne and Hepburn.
I watched 'True Grit' recently, so I had to watch the follow up 'Rooster Cogburn' again. I had no difficulty giving 'True Grit' 5 stars and I have reserved one star from 'Rooster Cogburn' simply because as a follow up it is not as good as the first film. But, that said it is a good watch. Most memorable bit for me is the character 'Shanghai McCoy'. Played by Strother Martin, who played a different character in 'True Grit'. 'I've sailed the seven seas' he says to Rooster, ' I've been everywhere, seen everything'. I laughed out loud, classic. A good film treat yourself.