"Wow! If I'da known that, I'da put that patch on 35 years earlier!" were John Wayne's words in accepting the award for Best Actor at the 1970 Oscars for this movie. A year after the frothing hatred of liberal Hollywood for making The Green Berets, his career pinnacle was anchored in the over-the-top portrayal of the one-eyed, drunken, cantankerous s.o.b. gunslinging federal deputy marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, opposite Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, and Robert Duvall. His performance is quite simply the only one worth watching in this film, or any version of it. Accept no substitutes for the genuine article: an American legend in real life, especially from putting the reins in his teeth, twirling a carbine and a six-shooter, all the way to the closing credits, jumping his horse over the railfence himself in the final scene, at age 61.