Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Rooster Cogburn

I am having a lazy lay in day because I felt like it.

I had intended to combine my notes on True Grit with Fort Apache the second John Wayne film experienced once more over the weekend together with the third film The High and Mighty. I came over tired and decided to recommence the following morning. It was only then that I saw that the sequel to True Grit was showing during the day. The ingredients are much the same in that Rooster lives with his cat at the store of the man from China. However his constant state of inebriation has led to losing his main means of employment with the consequence he has to take on commissions.

His job is to track and capture a gang who have terrorised a village in the Indian Territory, killing an aged preacher whose spinster daughter is played by Katherine Hepburn in a reprise of her role in the African Queen. The two assisted by an Indian young man no more than a boy managed to capture a wagon which the gang want because it contains a Gatlin gun and cases of nitro-glycerine. The trio appear to be cornered at their overnight camp but manage to spook the horses of the gang and contrary to expectations are able to use the Gatlin Gun because of the prior knowledge of the missionary’s daughter who is also a great shot.

Their next obstacle is when they borrow a cross river raft to go down stream and they over come the eight men of the gang in three confrontations and also overcome the white water rapids. They persuade the last four to come towards the raft claiming that Rooster is badly wounded and having released some of the cases of nitro in the water ahead of them. These Wayne ignites blowing the remaining men to pieces. This may well seem a great end but Roster had agreed to bring the men back to be tried before bible quoting Judge Parker without killing them if he was to be trusted to be reinstated. Fortunately the Judge is no match for Hepburn who is able quote the bible back at the judge(John McIntire) with greater dexterity but what clinches the argument is when she claims to have been responsible for the killing and not Rooster, subsequently quoting again that the end justifies the means, which of course it rarely does and never if the means are similar to those which the end is seeking to remedy.

Hepburn off with the Indian boy back to help the village recover from its recent trauma and has the last word over Wayne as he goes back to his old job. They both have complimentary things to say to each other but as with the first film words of affection is the closest they get to a relationship. This was the last but one film Wayne was to make before his death.

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