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Rooster Cogburn
Euela Goodnight
Judge Parker
Hawk's Gang

Chen Lee
Reverend Goodnight


Associate Producer
Screenplay by
Based on a character from the
novel True Gritt by
Director of Photography
Assistant Director of Photography
Art Direction by
Set Decorator
Film Editing by
Sound Recordists

Musical Score
Assistant Directors

Costume Design for
Miss Hepburn by
Stunt Coordinator
Special Effects by

John Wayne
Katharine Hepburn
Anthony Zerbe
Richard Jordan
John McIntyre
Strother Martin
Paul Koslo,
Lane Smith,
Jack Colvin,
Jerry Galtin,
Mickey Gilbert,
Chuck Hayward,
Gary McLarty
Richardo Romancito
Warren Vanders
Tommy Lee
Jon Lormer


Stuart Miller
Hal B. Wallis
Paul Nathan
Martin Julien

Charles Portis
Harry Stradling Jr.

Rexford Metz
Preston Ames
George Robert Nelson
Robert Swink
Leonard S. Peterson,
John Carter
Laurence Rosenthal
Pepi Lenzi,
Richard Hashimoto,
Michael Moore

Edith Head
Jerry Gatlin
Jack McMaster


Film data

A Hal Wallis Production
A Universal Pictures Release
103 minutes
Produced: September 5-November 1974 (43 shooting days)
Filmed on location in Bend Oregon USA
Deschutes National Forest Oregon USA
Grants Pass Oregon USA
Rouge River - Oregon USA

Premiere: October 17, 1975


Boozing, over-the-hill Marshal Rooster Cogburn finds his badge appropriated by federal judge Parker because of excessive force Rooster exerted in his rounding up of outlaws. Thrown out on his own, Rooster, who had an exciting career as a Confederate soldier in the long-distant past, feels frustrated at the lack of action in his life. Soon, however, he is back in action on a government assignment to waylay the outlaw Hawk and his gang who have stolen the Army's nitroglycerin for use in a planned bank robbery. Enroute, Rooster meets up with a stern, hard-edged New Englander, Eula Goodnight, who has seen her missionary father killed along with her Indian friends, and by the same Hawk gang Rooster is out to get. With a young Indian, named Wolf, they team up and set off in pursuit of the outlaws, her motivation being justice and his the promised reward money.


Critics' reviews

Michael McKegney - The Village Voice - 1975
"Rooster Cogburn will certainly never be ranked anywhere near the top, or even the middle, among the achievements of John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn in their respective dramatic careers. By reason of their presence alone, however, it stands apart from its cinematic contemporaries, and deserves to be noted if not saluted by those viewers whose memories provide the only context within which it might be appreciated."

Kathleen Carroll - New York Daily News - 1975
"One watches Hepburn and Wayne through eyes glazed with sentiment. It doesn't much matter what they do or say - their lines have plenty of starch to them and, occasionally, some humor it's just such a pleasure to see how little they've changed. If you are content to watch the minor fireworks caused by this Senior Citizens' love match, if you appreciate the fun of watching Hepburn challenge the rapids with someone other than Bogart... or if you're simply fond of nice scenery and still mountain lakes and tall pines, I suppose Rooster Cogburn is worth crowing about."

What Kate had to say

Katharine Hepburn The Private World of 1990
"John Wayne. Amazing character. Good actor. Of course he was a terrible reactionary. But funny. And fair. He had tiny Irish feet. About that long, you know, size eight feet and a half. Enormous man. Tiny feet. Big hands. You leaned against him and it was exactly like leaning against an oak tree."

What fellow actors, the director and friends had to say

John Wayne People - 1974
"Imagine, how she must have been at age 25 or 30.... how lucky a man would have been to have found her."


John Bryson - Article in People 1974

On acting:
Kate: 'I think it's the most minor of gifts.'
Duke: 'All I want instinctively is for the average guy to want to be in my shoes.'

On sex:
Kate: 'The male sex, as a sex, does not universally appeal to me. I find the men today less manly; but a woman of my age is not in a position to know exactly how manly they are.'
Duke: 'Everybody should do what's fun, but it's not a spectator sport.'

On psychoanalysis:
Kate: 'Most of it is wild self-indulgence. The fact remains we're like those salmon you know, you either get up the river or you don't.
Duke: 'I dive into cold water and everything looks a little different.'

On each other:
Kate: 'He has confidence in himself, which gives him enormous charisma. He's quick, he's sensitive. He knows all the techniques. I think he's an awfully good actor and a terribly funny man. We laugh all day. What a goddamn fascinating personality!'
Duke: 'I have never in my life worked with a woman who had the smell of drama that this woman has. She is so feminine she's a man's woman.'

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