“She reminds me of me!”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Wayne, for his part, is eminently memorable as drunken, one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, a lawman beyond his prime who nonetheless is exactly the man-for-hire Mattie aims to secure. He and Darby have such fine rapport together on-screen that it’s astonishing to learn he hated working with her, and considered her a poor actress. Their final scene together is particularly touching. As La Boeuf, the Texas Ranger who accompanies Cogburn and Mattie on their quest, country singer Glen Campbell, rounds out the odd trio nicely; he won a Golden Globe nomination as Most Promising Newcomer (though his film career never really took off). Meanwhile, Lucien Ballard’s expansive cinematography is consistently a widescreen treat to behold, and Marguerite Roberts’ screenplay is smart and literate, full of plenty of memorable dialogue. Watch for Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper in small roles as gangster Ned Pepper and his henchman, Moon; they’re both quietly menacing.
Note: This film was followed in 1975 by Rooster Cogburn, an original sequel starring Wayne and Katharine Hepburn (though it’s not listed in Peary’s book, and I haven’t seen it, so I can’t vouch for it — yet — as any kind of Missing Title).
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: