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Rooster Cogburn (also Rooster Cogburn (... and the Lady)) is a 1975 sequel to the 1969 western film, True Grit, and stars John Wayne, in his penultimate film, who reprises his role as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn. Katharine Hepburn co-stars as spinster Eula Goodnight who teams up with Rooster to recover a stolen shipment of nitroglycerin and find her father's killer.


John Wayne as Cogburn
Because of his drunkenness and questionable tactics with firearms, aging U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn has been stripped of his badge. But he's given a chance to redeem himself after a village in Indian Territory is overrun by a gang of violent, ruthless criminals. They have killed an elderly preacher, Rev. George Goodnight. His spinster daughter, Eula Goodnight, wants to track the criminals down, and she makes Rooster an unwilling partner in her endeavor. But Rooster must use care, because the criminals, led by Hawk and Breed have stolen a shipment of nitroglycerine.


Actor Role
John Wayne Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn
Katharine Hepburn Eula Goodnight
Anthony Zerbe Breed
Richard Jordan Hawk
John McIntire Judge Parker
Richard Romancito Wolf
Paul Koslo Luke
Strother Martin Shanghai McCoy
Jack Colvin Red
Jon Lormer Rev. George Goodnight
Lane Smith Leroy
Warren Vanders Bagby
Jerry Gatlin Nose


The screenplay was written by actress Martha Hyer, the wife of producer Hal B. Wallis, under the pen name "Martin Julien." Director Stuart Millar, a longtime Hollywood producer, had directed only one film, When the Legends Die, prior to helming Rooster Cogburn.


The film was shot in Deschutes County, Oregonmarker west of the town of Bendmarker (for the mountain scenes), and on the Rogue River in the counties of Josephinemarker and Curry, west of the town of Grants Passmarker (for the river scenes). Smith Rock State Parkmarker was a setting as well; the Rockhard/Smith Rock Climbing Guides building at the park entrance was originally built as a set for the movie, where it was portrayed as "Kate's Saloon".


Rooster Cogburn marks the only time two Hollywood veterans John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn would appear together in a film. It was also the final film from producer Hal B. Wallis. Although the film was promoted as Rooster Cogburn (...and the Lady), the opening credits of the film give the title as simply Rooster Cogburn.

Strother Martin, who portrays Shanghai McCoy in this film also appeared in True Grit, playing a different character.

Cultural references

  • The M.D.C. song "John Wayne Was A Nazi," uses a clip from the movie before the band starts playing.


With elderly stars and a formulaic plot that was basically a rehash of True Grit, with elements from The African Queen (in which Hepburn also starred) the film was poorly received by critics. It proved to be only a moderate hit at the box office. There had been plans for a third Rooster Cogburn movie, entitled Sometime, but these never materialized. Due to Wayne's illness, he made only one more film, The Shootist (1976), before his death in 1979.

See also

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