Rooster Cogburn (1999)
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John Wayne returned to the role that won him an Oscar in this sequel to the western classic True Grit. Rooster Cogburn (Wayne) has once again been stripped of his badge after some questionable behavior with his gun, but he's given the chance to earn it back after an especially appalling crime demands an experienced lawman. A gang of violent and ruthless criminals, led by Hawk (Richard Jordan) and Breed (Anthony Zerbe), have stolen a shipment of explosive nitroglycerine and cut a swath through a village led by a preacher and his flock. The preacher died, along with many others, and his daughter, Eula Goodnight (Katharine Hepburn), is determined that the outlaws will be brought to justice. Cogburn is given the task of tracking down the criminals, but he's less than enthusiastic about the fact Goodnight insists on tagging along. Rooster Cogburn marked the first (and last) time John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn would work together on screen; it was also the final film from noted producer Hal Wallis. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Rooster Cogburn
For those on the hunt for something agreeable, feature two acting legends, there are worse ways to spend 108 minutes. After all it's not every day one gets to see Katharine Hepburn man a Gatling gun.
A sort of controlled experiment in what happens when two completely incompatible movie stars occupy the same physical space.
A tired, formualic Western that reahashes elements of True Grit, John Wayne's Oscar-winning film, and The African Queen (Hepburn and Bogey), but it's the only teaming of the iconic Duke and Hepburn, so you may want to see it as a tribute to aging stars
Audience Reviews for Rooster Cogburn
I liked Rooster Cogburn very much. It's a different type of film to True Grit but The Duke is on just as good form as he was and here you get a equally great performance from Katharine Hepburn. Watching the pair act off one another is an absolute joy, it may not be an amazing story but the performances more than make up for it. It's one of those films that, unlike True Grit, can never be remade, it's a classic.More
The star and main character of True Grit meets the star and character of The African Queen, and together, they pursue bad guys in the old west.
This film is problematic on several levels. First, I've never been a fan of Katharine Hepburn. Her voice sounds like a car that fails to turn over, and there isn't much variety - especially in this role - going on in her characters or how she embodies them. I know that Hepburn fans will bring up her classic roles in protest and say that I shouldn't blithely dismiss a so-called "screen legend," but I don't give a fuck. Here, she's annoying, and the film sympathizes with her character enough that I don't think the annoyance her character produces is always intentional.
Second, as in most westerns, Native Americans and women are portrayed in uniformly subservient terms. Yes, Hepburn's character is occasionally put in a position of power and strength, but she is also de-sexualized - beyond childbearing age and constantly spouting pious jibber jabber. And of course, there is a Native boy whose only dream is to be a Marshall, but he fears that his Native-ness will get in the way, ignorant that a part of his job would be to "civilize" the "savages."
Finally, the plot is basic and predictable. Eula and Rooster exchange barbs, and each gains a respect for the other in the end, and then bad guys are killed. Everything you thought would happen does. But what's at issue is the fact that we never think that either of the characters could be substantively changed by their interactions with each other. Rather, the dialogue becomes an exercise in vocalizing and characterization without real human interaction.
Overall, I think if you enjoyed the characters in African Queen and True Grit, then you might enjoy seeing them again, like meeting old friends, but don't expect much in the way of a real, character-driven story.
Kate and Duke are surprisingly well matched in this unexceptional western elevated by their presence.More
A nice follow-up to the original True Grit, although it didn't feel quite as gritty. Rooster Cogburn as a character is a lot softer and more humane than he was he was in the first film, but the film is a lot of fun and, again, more akin to a road movie.More
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