DIRECTED BY STUART MILLER
PRODUCED BY HAL B. WALLIS/ PAUL NATHAN
A HAL B. WALLIS PRODUCTION
INFORMATION FROM IMDb
A small village in the Indian Nation that is run by a Minister Goodnight
and his daughter Eula is overrun by a band of drunken thugs.
They kill and rape the people of the village.
Miss Goodnight then teams up with the ruthless Marshal Rooster J. Cogburn
who goes after them and bring them to justice.
John Wayne .... Marshal Reuben J. 'Rooster' Cogburn
Katharine Hepburn .... Eula Goodnight
Anthony Zerbe .... Breed
Richard Jordan .... Hawk
John McIntire .... Judge Parker
Richard Romancito .... Wolf
Paul Koslo .... Luke
Jack Colvin .... Red
Jon Lormer .... Rev. George Goodnight
Lane Smith .... Leroy
Warren Vanders .... Bagby
Strother Martin .... Shanghai McCoy
Jerry Gatlin .... Nose
Richard Farnsworth .... Rooster's deputy (scenes deleted)
Tommy Lee .... Chen Lee
Mickey Gilbert .... Hambone (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... Jerry (uncredited)
Gary McLarty .... Emmett (uncredited)
Martha Hyer written by (as Martin Julien)
Charles Portis character
Harry Stradling Jr. (director of photography)
Jerry Gatlin .... stunt coordinator
Gary Combs .... stunts (uncredited)
Quentin Dickey .... stunts (uncredited)
Jerry Gatlin .... stunts (uncredited)
Mickey Gilbert .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
Kevin N. Johnston .... stunts (uncredited)
Gary McLarty .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunt double: John Wayne (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
George Robotham .... stunts (uncredited)
Jerry Summers .... stunts (uncredited)
Jon Lormer, who plays Katharine Hepburn's father, was only one year older than her.
There had been plans for another film featuring the character Rooster Cogburn, to be entitled "Someday", but it was canceled when this movie proved to be only a moderate hit at the box office. In addition Paramount Pictures felt that John Wayne had become too old to carry a successful movie, and that in any case audiences in the mid-1970s were not interested in westerns.
During filming John Wayne was injured teaching his eight-year-old daughter to play golf, but fortunately his eye patch concealed the mark. He had been working on one lung for the past ten years and had great difficulty breathing due to the high altitude, often needing to breathe through an oxygen mask.
This was Katharine Hepburn's only Western.
Richard Jordan later admitted he decided to overplay his part because he thought the movie was going to flop, and if anybody paid to see it then it would only be for the two stars. He also said he felt that Katharine Hepburn was about to die at any minute - ironically, she outlived him by a decade.
The official still photographer for this movie was Susie Tracy, daughter of Katharine Hepburn's longtime lover Spencer Tracy.
During location filming, the crew wore printed t-shirts that read "We love Brother John" on the front and "...and Sister Kate, too!" on the back. John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn were, reportedly, very much amused by this.
Although John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn refer to Strother Martin as "Old Man", he was in fact twelve years younger than them.
Richard Fleischer was originally offered the director's job by the studio and accepted it. John Wayne, however, had director approval and was still irked at Fleischer for having turned down North to Alaska (1960) 15 years previously, and vetoed Fleischer as director. It was eventually given to Stuart Millar.
The last movie produced by Hal B. Wallis.
"Martin Julien" allegedly covers the writing talents of producer Hal B. Wallis, his wife Martha Hyer, and some friends.
Director Stuart Miller insisted on so many takes that eventually John Wayne snapped, "God damn it Stuart, there's only so many times we can say these awful lines before they stop making any sense at all."
Katharine Hepburn was bemused by co-star John Wayne's tendency to argue with everybody, especially the director, during filming. At the party to celebrate the last day of filming she told him, "I'm glad I didn't know you when you had two lungs, you must have been a real bastard. Losing a hip has mellowed me, but you!"
John Wayne found making the film to be very difficult, particularly since he had just finished a grueling shoot on Brannigan (1975).
There was some surprise when Katharine Hepburn accepted the role of Eula Goodnight, since more than twenty years earlier she had turned down Geraldine Page's role in Hondo (1953) because she would not work with John Wayne at the height of the blacklist.
The film received terrible reviews on release. Many critics felt that it was too obviously derived from The African Queen (1951), and that both John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn were too old for their parts.
Neville Brand was considered for a major role.
Eula mentions a poet, Ella Sturgis Hooper. The real name is Ellen Sturgis Hooper (1812 - 1848). She was member of the Transcendental Club and regarded as one of the most gifted poets among the Transcendentalists of New England.
This was screen legends John Wayne and Katharine Hepburn's only joint venture in a feature film. There had been plans to reunite the two stars in a sequel entitled "Someday", but this never happened since this film was a critical and financial failure.
* Errors in geography: The movie is set in Arkansas (per the court scene immediately following the opening), but features mountains, a river canyon, and other natural features totally unlike anything in Arkansas. Not surprisingly, these features are found in Oregon, where the movie was shot.
* Continuity: As Rooster, Eula, and Wolf ride quickly through the woods after first spotting Hawk's gang, Rooster wears a coat, then just a shirt in the long shot, and the coat again.
* Continuity: When drunken Rooster starts to stand up after target practice, his rifle is in his hand. But when the scene cuts and he walks away, there is not a rifle in is hand.
* Continuity: When Rooster Cogburn is fending off the pursuing bandits, he fires up at them on a rocky hillside from below on the river on a raft with a Gatling gun. In one scene as he fires away with the Gatling, the camera angle is from above both the bandits and Cogburn and shows multiple bullets hitting the rocks just around the bandits feet which are on a flat ledge jutting out on the hill and is an obviously impossible spot to hit due to the location of the Gatling gun and the angle of the ledge.
* Audio/visual unsynchronized: Just before Rooster sends Wolf out to keep watch on the big flat rock, he talks about Chen Lee and General Sterling Price. When he says "General Sterling Price" in that scene, his lips don't match the words being said. You can also hear the audio change back and forth.
* Continuity: When Rooster and Eula are handing the bottle of whiskey back and forth, the level of whiskey in the bottle changes between shots.
* Anachronisms: The cases of nitroglycerin at issue in the movie are labeled "Hercules Nitroglycerin." However, the Hercules Powder Company, which did produce nitroglycerin, did not come into existence until 1912, a result of an antitrust action brought against E.I. du Pont. As the movie plainly takes place in the late 1800s, Hercules could not have produced the nitroglycerin at issue.
* Revealing mistakes: In the first attack on Rooster and company 3 small bottles of nitro are thrown like hand grenades. The explosions are noticeably distant from where the bottles land.
* Continuity: Breed (Anthony Zerbe) is clearly shown taking three bottles of nitroglycerin from a crate, and you can see he is holding three bottles as he rides down the hill. A wide shot shows the first two bottles being thrown, then a closer shot of the third bottle being thrown, but in that shot you can see he is holding another bottle of nitroglycerin in his non-throwing hand, which would make four bottles total.
* Continuity: When they are on the raft at night, Eula and Rooster are talking. When the camera is on Rooster, we see the background moving as if he is facing downstream. Similarly, when Eula is in shot, she appears to moving downstream. As they are facing each other, it is impossible for them to be both facing downstream.
* Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): After the initial gunfight, Rooster Cogburn is bringing all the dead men back to the town. The deputy sheriff is lying dead over the saddle on the first horse behind Rooster. If you watch you will see him lift his head independent of the horse's movement and then moments later he slumps down again to play dead.
* Revealing mistakes: When Rooster gets the Pepperbox out to give to Wolf, he says "I got me a 22 Pepperbox." The bore in the end of the barrel is to big for a 22 cal, it is more like a 36 cal, which was the most common caliber used.
* Continuity: In the confrontation between Miss Goodnight (Katherine Hepburn) and Judge Parker (John McIntire) in the closing moments of the film, he acts as though he has never heard Cogburn (John Wayne) called by his true name, Reuben. However, in the courtroom scene at the beginning of "True Grit," the same character (with James Westerfield in the role) is sitting at the bench as the bailiff (Dennis McMullen) clearly calls "Marshal Reuben J. Cogburn" to the stand.
* Revealing mistakes: The stunt doubles for John Wayne, Katharine Hepburn and Richard Romancito are very obvious in the riverboat scenes.
* Revealing mistakes: The raft is stopped by a rope stretched across the river. It is obvious that the rope didn't stop the raft and when Rooster cuts the rope it is not taut from the tension of holding the raft but just laying in the water and obviously not holding the raft at all.
* Continuity: At the beginning of the movie Rooster's deputy gets shot along with 4 desperadoes - 3 at the table and 1 hiding in the corner. Rooster then rides back to town with the deputy's body and only 3 of the desperadoes. What happened to the 4th desperado's body?
Deschutes National Forest - 1001 Southwest Emkay Drive, Bend, Oregon, USA
Grants Pass, Oregon, USA
Rogue River, Oregon, USA
Six Points Texas, Backlot, Universal Studios - 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, California, USA
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