Rooster Cogburn (1999)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

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
PG (violence)
Action & Adventure , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
MCA Universal Home Video

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John Wayne
as Rooster Cogburn
Katharine Hepburn
as Eula Goodnight
John McIntire
as Judge Parker
Tommy H. Lee
as Chen Lee
Jon Lormer
as Rev. Goodnight
Paul Koslo
as Luke
Lane Smith
as Leroy
Mickey Gilbert (II)
as Hawk's Gang
Chuck Hayward
as Hawk's Gang
Gary McLarty
as Hawk's Gang
Richard Farnsworth
as Rooster's deputy
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Critic Reviews for Rooster Cogburn

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

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.

Full Review… | April 20, 2014

A sort of controlled experiment in what happens when two completely incompatible movie stars occupy the same physical space.

Full Review… | September 14, 2007
Antagony & Ecstasy

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

Full Review… | March 15, 2007

Not much to crow about.

Full Review… | August 5, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Quote not available.

October 8, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Quote not available.

June 23, 2005
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Audience Reviews for Rooster Cogburn

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.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Kate and Duke are surprisingly well matched in this unexceptional western elevated by their presence.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer


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.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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