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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 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.
A reading of the other reviews of Rooster Cogburn indicate that only
fans of the two stars should look at this film. That's not saying a
whole lot since this was a vehicle created for the two stars and only
the two stars in this film could have brought it off.
It was a happy marriage of convenience with John Wayne's character of Rooster Cogburn from True Grit being so popular that a sequel was inevitable given Wayne's health holding up and Katharine Hepburn looking for something she could co-star with Wayne.
Hepburn was one of John Wayne's biggest boosters of his talent, politics aside. I remember reading that she thought John Wayne projected the same sense of integrity that Spencer Tracy did on the screen. Coming from her, I've got to believe that's the best compliment she could offer.
Wayne as Cogburn is on the trail of a gang that massacred an army patrol and stole a gatling gun and nitroglycerin for use in a planned bank robbery. The gang headed by Richard Jordan with Anthony Zerbe who used to scout for Wayne go to an Indian settlement with a missionary school headed by father and daughter preacher and teacher Jon Lormer and Katharine Hepburn. The gang shoots up the place and kills Lormer.
When Wayne comes he gets a lot more than he bargained for when he finds himself saddled with Hepburn and young Indian boy Richard Romancito. They accompany him on the trail of Jordan and his gang and get enough adventure to last a lifetime.
Everyone compares Hepburn as Eula Goodnight to her portrayal of another missionary, Rose Sayer in The African Queen. Both are on a chase in The African Queen with Bogey after the Germans who destroyed the mission in East Africa and killed her brother and with Wayne after some outlaws. And both films feature a very fine sequence of the two stars riding some rapids. But I think Eula Goodnight is a far more experienced woman of the world than Rose Sayer. Both disapprove of the alcoholic behavior of their male counterparts. Rose however takes some direct action.
As the film was designed around the two stars they settle comfortably in their roles. The chemistry between them is infectious, that they liked each other would be obvious to an alien from another planet.
I really envy young Richard Romancito to be in all those scenes and be able to watch a pair of screen legends.
This movie is a lot of fun to watch. John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn are terrific together. You can see the chemistry between them. Richard Jordan does a terrific job as the villain, he is mean, nasty and downright awful! I definitely wouldn't want to get him mad. The scene between him and Katharine Hepburn at Fort Ruby was awesome, you could see the sparks flying. Then there was the scene where the wheel broke off the wagon and Hawk gets furious with his men, Jordan did a great job with that part, talk about angry, if looks could kill, his would, it gave me shivers. Anthony Zerbe also does a great job as Breed. The two of them, Jordan and Zerbe are great together. Like one scene in the saloon when Hawk learns about the wagon being taken by Rooster, he starts to go out when Breed tells him, that he will never take Rooster and that he had worked with him for three years, you can see the daggers between the two. They are definitely two of the best character actors ever. They don't make movies like this anymore, where it was up to the actors to make a film a success and not rely on special affects. And these four actors did this brilliantly. I wish John Wayne and Richard Jordan were still around today.
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.
The couple Wayne and Hepburn or Hepburn and Wayne are top notch , both of whom are wonderful . The film is a first-rate western , is the following-up to ¨True grit" in which Wayne won an Oscar , Academy Award , for his acting. The movie is a remake from "African Queen " in which Hepburn did couple with Bogart , here Wayne and Katharine hand similar roles , even there is one dangerous runaway by a river. The plot line centers the killing of the Hepburn's father. John Wayne and Hepburn set out in pursuit the evil people : Richard Jordan , Anthony Zerbe and Jack Colvin . Direction by Stuart Millar is good , cinematography by Harry Stradling is breathtaking , landscapes are spectacular and gorgeous , it has been shot in natural parks . Lively and rousing musical score by Laurence Rosenthal . Rating : 7/10 very good , well worth watching . However , the film received terrible reviews on release . Many critics felt that it was too obviously derived from ¨African Queen¨ , and that both John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn were too old for their parts . The motion picture will appeal to John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn fans .
Someone in Hollywood had the bright idea of taking the leading
character from "True Grit" and putting him in a story redolent of "The
African Queen", casting a much older Katharine Hepburn, then
experiencing a revival in her career, in the same part she played
opposite Bogie. And it worked. If anything Wayne, with an unerring ear
for the comic potential of his character, is even better than he was in
"True Grit". It's a genuinely funny performance. Hepburn's character is
too much an amalgam of Rose Sayer and Mattie Ross; she could be "True
Grit's" Mattie 50 years on. But the chemistry between her and Wayne is
palpable; they spark off each other.
The plot isn't up to much. It's been cobbled together from scraps of better movies and there is a terrible bit of over-acting from Richard Jordan as the chief villain, but it looks great, (the scenery is terrific), and is very enjoyable.
In my humble opinion, this is the best of the best John Wayne film.
not a cowboy movie lover, I am an avid John Wayne fan, and I consider this
his very best work.
The relationship between Rooster and Miss Eula has such chemistry you just can't take your eyes off the screen. Kate Hepburn looking into the eyes of John Wayne is absolutely magical and this is the way I will always remember them both.
This movie is more than just a lot of fun to watch. John Wayne and Katharine
Hepburn are wonderful, but only because they are together. The chemistry
between them is electrifying.
Richard Jordan plays his villan role to a "T". He is mean and nasty, and he keeps his character believeable to the end. There is a scene between him and Katharine Hepburn at Fort Ruby that is absolutely brilliant, you could feel the lightning flashing between their characters.
Think about the scene where the wheel broke off the wagon: Hawk gets furious with his men and Jordan's character did a great job with his part: he seem really angry, as if looks could kill. His expressions, well, it gave me the willies.
Don't you agree that Anthony Zerbe created a believeable "Breed". The two of them, Jordan and Zerbe are so believeable together. Remember the scene in the saloon when Hawk learns about the wagon being taken by Rooster? He starts to go out and Breed tells him, that he worked with Rooster for three years...and that he knows that Breed will never take Rooster? There is some great chemistry in that scene! They have tried to make movies like this before, but it hasn't happened yet: movies that made the actors create a film a success that was not relying on special affects alone, but just the characters and the story.
Hepburn & the Duke made a fairly decent movie and that's enough reason to see it at least once. The fact that Hepburn has a Father in the movie is suspect, at best, especially since he's not played by Moses himself. But that's besides the point here - they have terrific chemistry and their star power alone could put most of the actors on the screen today to shame. It would have been really memorable if the movie were worthy of them, though.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Good grief, enough already! 1. Rose Sayer and Eula Goodnight are alike
in one respect, they were missionaries. Beyond that, the characters
were completely different Rose was prim, proper and quite out of place
in Africa. Eula fit in...rode astraddle, shot a gun (and bagged their
dinner, wilderness stew anyone?) In short, Eula could take fine care of
herself thank you very much! Rose only learned that she wasn't a wall
flower by going on the African Queen with Charlie. 2. Charlie
originally only had allegiance to himself but learned about loyalty to
someone else by being with Rose. Despite his protests about "letting a
man be" Rooster was loyal to the law (or at least as close as he could
come to it) 3. Rose and Charlie both went through significant changes
to be together...Rooster and Eula learned to accept each other 'as is.'
4.Fighting outlaws and going downriver to escape them is not the same
as fighting rapids to get down river to torpedo a boat, jeez, the river
in The African Queen was a character in it's own right, while in
Rooster Cogburn it's just a setting.
It's late and I don't have time for more...but a pox on whoever started this idea and a double pox on those who mindlessly repeat it!
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