Wayne & Hepburn – Originals Forever

Thanks for visiting “Life and Random Thinking” –

My blog isn’t usually about movies per se, and neither is today’s post.  The old movies focused on interaction between the movie characters, and dialogue.  There weren’t “green screens” but those movies were watchable over and over because they connected with me.

Many actors stand out as “originals”,  in my opinion John Wayne was an original and so was Katherine Hepburn.

They starred together for the first and only time together in a movie called “Rooster Cogburn”.  It was a movie that won no awards, but for me it shone because of the chemistry and respect that I felt between the two actors.

Rooster Cogburn was the character that John Wayne created for his movie True Grit (1969). He earned an Oscar for that role, and a remake since was a pale comparison to what Duke created.

I saw that movie from the back seat of my parents blue Ford station wagon at the drive-in theatre.  The speaker was hooked on the car window where Dad sat. My brother and I were in the back seat and the “house” was filled with cars of all types, the movie began just after sunset.  Those were the days of popcorn and bench seats !


The old movies, especially the westerns (or dusters we called them), were a mixture of humor, adventure and in the case of Rooster Cogburn “true grit”.

The sequel entitled “Rooster Cogburn” with Katharine Hepburn was also full of wonderful memorable lines by each of these “originals”.

I just want to share a few quotes from each of these two movies today.

First some quotes from True Grit.

Let me set up the scene for the first quote: Rooster and his two travelling companions stop for a drink. Mattie is a strong-willed young woman who has hired Rooster to find the man who shot her father.  La Boeuf is a Texas lawman who also has score to settle with the man who is wanted for killing Mattie’s father.  La Boeuf is the opposite of Rooster, young and charming and also from Texas.

Mattie[drinking water from river near camp] That tastes like iron!
La Boeuf: You’re lucky to be where water’s so handy. I’ve seen the time I’ve drank out of a filthy hoofprint and I was glad to get it.
Rooster: If ever I meet one of you Texas wadis who ain’t drunk from a hoofprint, I think I’ll… I’ll shake their hand, or buy them a Daniel Webster cigar! [he looks over La Boeuf’s horse] How long you boys down there been mounted on sheep?
La Boeuf: Go ahead and have your little joke. But I’ll tell you one thing: that little fella there will still be running when that big American stud of yours is winded and collapsed.
Rooster: Ha — sheep! Heh, heh…

Along the way Rooster questions a man named Quincy trying to locate where the fugitive Ned Pepper might be hiding.

Quincy: I don’t know any Ned Pepper. What’s he look like?
Rooster: Short, feisty fella. He’s got a messed-up lower lip. I shot him in it.
Quincy: In the lip? What was you aiming at?
Rooster: His upper lip.

Now a couple quotes

from the movie Rooster Cogburn movie starring John Wayne and Katherine Hepburn.

Katherine Hepburn plays the daughter of a preacher, she is accompanying Rooster Cogburn as she is determined to ensure the outlaw Hawk is brought to justice.

Rooster Cogburn tries to leave her behind but she is just as stubborn as he is, that’s what happens in the brief trailer below.


Along the way while chasing the outlaws,

the characters of Rooster Cogburn and Eula Goodnight grow in respect for each other despite their differences, and they grow “fond”.

Here are a couple quotes from their interactions.

  • (John Wayne) “How old are you?”
  • (Katharine Hepburn) “Shall we say it has already struck midnight?”
  • (John Wayne) “Ma’am, I don’t know much about thoroughbreds; horses or women. Them that I did know, I never liked. They’re too nervous and spooky; they scare me. But you’re one high-bred filly that don’t. ‘Course, I don’t know what you’re talking about half the time.”

Katherine Hepburn as Eula Goodnight begrudgingly respects the rough-edged Rooster Cogburn who has earned a piece of her heart, and she gets in the final retort in their feisty but velvet gloved verbal jabs.

  • (Katharine Hepburn) “Reuben, I have to say it. Livin’ with you has been an adventure any woman would relish for the rest o’ time. I look at cha, with your burned out face and your big belly and your bear-like paws and your shining eye, and I have to say you’re a credit to the whole male sex, and I’m proud to have ya for my friend.”
  • (John Wayne) “I’ll be damned if she didn’t get the last word in again. Well –

I hope you noticed the highlighted links in the post, I added those for anyone who wants to know more about the movies or the actors.

Thanks for reading, and looking forward to hearing from you. – David

About dfolstad58

I live in the South Okanagan. BC. I enjoy reading, exercise, toastmasters. spending time with my son, my daughter, & her husband , and my patient wife. I try to respond personally to every comment on my blog, and in this way I hope to get to know my readers a little bit and and am able to thank readers for their encouragement on what they liked and suggestions on what they would like to see me try in order to improve.
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15 Responses to Wayne & Hepburn – Originals Forever

  1. We still manage to get the last word, got to love us women! Im a fan of these two stars, nothing beats watching an “old” movie.
    PS, I just finished watching the ranch. I love, love, love Sam Elliot. He is the original “yellow rose” man.
    PPS, Did you know why John Wayne was called the “Duke”?. He had a dog called the Duke, so they were named “Big Duke and “Little Duke”, so ya, the name stuck.
    PPPS, Did I mention that I love Sam Elliot? Even my cat, Elsa, feels oddly comforted by the sound of his voice 🙂 We have good taste!


    • dfolstad58 says:

      It sounds like you might like Sam Elliot? ha ha I didn’t know why he was called Duke. I do like biographical information. Duke had a converted minesweeper and liked to come to Canada’s BC coast for salmon fishing. He was discovered accidentally back in the silent movies when he was working on the movies as a laborer and accidentally walked on the set in front of a camera. Looking at the film later, they decided the camera “liked” him and gave him a chance as an actor.


  2. Those are good movies. I remember them from my childhood, as well. 🙂


  3. LA says:

    Kate can do no wrong…..


  4. Lynn says:

    Love the quotes! My Dad idolized John Wayne, think he probably watched every movie he ever made. Thanks for sharing my friend. You started my day with a smile💕


    • dfolstad58 says:

      The comment from you and the little hearts emoji made me smile Lynn. I also have the lovely yellow gladiolas on my table, they remind me of my grandpa (Guido) as he loved to grow flowers for Baba and she had them in her kitchen. They had such a soft love for one another, so sweet that I could see it even as little boy. Twelve years older, Guido I think thought himself a king when Baba married him, and he loved to play his accordion for her. – David
      I wonder did your Dad ever call you a “pilgrim” and tell you to gather the wagons? LOL


  5. Sandra J says:

    I love this movie, great movie. Than you for adding the trailer. I have not thought of this one in so long. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. lghiggins says:

    This is a great post. I agree with your assessment of Hepburn and Wayne. I may have watched Rooster Coburn at some point, but I think I would enjoy watching it again.


    • dfolstad58 says:

      I am confident that you would Laura. We have a Bookstore here in Penticton that is amazing. Along with the thousands of unusual books, there’s also hundreds of old movies back to the 40s. You can rent them all and I have rented a whole bunch of the old Bob Hope ones. Maybe you have a resource like that or the public library?


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