Rooster Cogburn Quotes in True Grit (2010)


Rooster Cogburn Quotes:

  • LaBoeuf: As I understand it, Chaney... or Chelmsford, as he called himshelf in Texas... shot the senator's dog. When the senator remonstrated, Chelmsford shot him as well. You could argue that the shooting of the dog was merely an instance of malum prohibitum, but the shooting of a senator is indubitably an instance of malum in se.

    Rooster Cogburn: Malla-men what?

    Mattie Ross: Malum in se. The distinction is between an act that is wrong in itself, and an act that is wrong only according to our laws and mores. It is Latin.

    Rooster Cogburn: I am struck that LaBoeuf is shot, trampled, and nearly severs his tongue, and not only does not cease to talk, but spills the banks of English!

  • Rooster Cogburn: [after missing a shot on a bottle he threw up in the air] The chinaman is running them cheap shells on me again.

    LaBoeuf: I thought you were going to say the sun was in your eyes. That is to say, your EYE.

  • Lucky Ned Pepper: What is your intention Rooster? You think one on four is a dogfall?

    Rooster Cogburn: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned. Or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which will you have?

    Lucky Ned Pepper: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!

    Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!

  • Cross-examining Lawyer: Mister Cogburn, in your four years as US Marshal, how many men have you shot?

    Rooster Cogburn: Shot? Or killed?

    Cross-examining Lawyer: Let us restrict it to killed so we may have a manageable figure!

  • Rooster Cogburn: [to Matty about burying the outlaws] The ground's too hard. If they wanted a decent funeral, they should have got themselves killed in summer.

  • LaBoeuf: You are getting ready to show your ignorance now, Cogburn. I don't mind a little personal chaffing but I won't hear anything against the Ranger troop from a man like you.L

    Rooster Cogburn: How long have you boys been mounted on sheep down there?

    LaBoeuf: My Appaloosa will be galloping when that big American stud of yours is winded and collapsed. Now make another joke about it. You are only trying to put on a show for this girl Mattie with what you must think is a keen tongue.

    Rooster Cogburn: This is like women talking.

    LaBoeuf: Yes, that is the way! Make me out foolish in this girl's eyes.

    Rooster Cogburn: I think she has got you pretty well figured.

  • Rooster Cogburn: If he is not in a shallow grave somewhere between here and Fort Smith he is gone. Long gone! Thanks to Mr. LaBeouf, we have missed our shot. He barked and the birds have flown. Gone. Gone. Gone! Lucky Ned and his cohort gone. Your fifty dollars gone. Gone the whiskey - seized in evidence. The trail is cold, if there ever was one. I'm a foolish old man who's been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trouser and a nincompoop. Mr. LaBeouf, he can wonder the Choctaw Nation for as long as he likes. Perhaps the local In'jins will take him in and honor his jibberings by making him chief. You, sister, may go where you like. Our engagement is terminated. I bow out.

  • First Lawyer: Mr. Cogburn, did you find a bottle with a hundred and twenty-five dollars in it?

    Cross-examining Lawyer: Objection your Honor, Leading

    Judge Parker: Sustained. Rephrase the question.

    First Lawyer: What happened then?

    Rooster Cogburn: [slightly annoyed] I found a bottle with a hundred and twenty-five dollars in it.

  • Cross-examining Lawyer: You sprang from cover with revolver in hand?

    Rooster Cogburn: I did.

    Cross-examining Lawyer: Loaded and cocked?

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, if it ain't loaded and cocked, it don't shoot!

  • Emmett Quincy: Don't you go flappin' your gums, Moon! If you blow, I will kill you!

    Moon: I'm played out, Quincy! We seen Ned and Hayes two days ago...

    [Quincy draws a boot knife and cuts Moon's fingers off, then stabs him in the heart. Rooster immediately shoots Quincy in the face]

    Rooster Cogburn: Goddamn it.

  • Cross-examining Lawyer: So, you say that when Amos Wharton raised his axe, you backed away from him.

    Rooster Cogburn: That's right.

    Cross-examining Lawyer: In what direction were you going?

    Rooster Cogburn: I always go backwards when I'm backing up.

  • Rooster Cogburn: We'll sleep here and follow in the morning.

    Mattie Ross: But we promised to bury the poor soul inside!

    Rooster Cogburn: Ground's too hard. If them men wanted a decent burial, they should have gotten themselves kilt in summer.

  • Rooster Cogburn: You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him

  • Mattie Ross: [LaBoeuf is whipping her] Are you going to let him do this, Marshal?

    Rooster Cogburn: [watches for a moment] No, I don't believe I will. Put your switch away, LaBoeuf.

    LaBoeuf: I aim to finish what I started!

    Rooster Cogburn: It'll be the biggest mistake you ever made, you Texas brush-popper.

    [aims gun at LaBoeuf]

  • Rooster Cogburn: At The Green Frog, had a billiard table. Served ladies and men both, mostly men. Tried running it myself for a while, but couldn't keep good help. And I never did learn how to buy meat. Is it him?

    Mattie Ross: [Examining hanging body] I believe not.

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, cut him down.

    Mattie Ross: Why?

    Rooster Cogburn: I might know him.

    [Mattie climbs higher to reach the rope]

    Rooster Cogburn: That's when I went out to the staked plains of Texas. Shoot buffalo with Vernon Shaftoe and a Flathead Indian named Olly. Well, the Mormons, well they run Shaftoe out of Great Salt Lake City, don't ask me what for. Call it a misunderstanding and leave it go at that. Well, big shaggies, about all gone now. Damned shame. Give three dollars right now for a pickled buffalo tongue.

    Mattie Ross: Why did they hang him so high?

    Rooster Cogburn: I do not know. Possibly in the belief it'd make him more dead.

  • Rooster Cogburn: I'd give $3 now for a pickled buffalo tongue.

  • Rooster Cogburn: That Chinamen is running them cheap shells on me again.

    LaBoeuf: I thought you gonna say the sun was in your eyes. That is to say, your Eye!

  • Rooster Cogburn: [outside the cabin] Who is in there?

    Emmett Quincy: [from inside the cabin] A Methodist and a son of a bitch!

  • Rooster Cogburn: The jakes is occupied.

    Mattie Ross: I know it is occupied Mr. Cogburn. As I said, I have business with you.

    Rooster Cogburn: I have prior business.

    Mattie Ross: You have been at it for quite some time, Mr. Cogburn.

    Rooster Cogburn: There is no clock on my business! To hell with you! To hell with you! How did you stalk me here?

    Mattie Ross: The sheriff told me to look in the saloon. In the saloon they referred me here. We must talk.

    Rooster Cogburn: Women ain't allowed in the saloon!

    Mattie Ross: I was not there as a customer. I am fourteen years old.

    Rooster Cogburn: The jakes is occupied. And will be for some time.

  • Rooster Cogburn: [after singing for a long time] That was "Johnny in the Low Ground." There are very few fiddle tunes I have not heard. Once heard they are locked in my mind forever. It is a sadness to me that I have sausage fingers that cannot crowd onto a fretboard... Little fat girls at a cotillion. "Soldier's Joy"!

    [sings more]

    LaBoeuf: [to Mattie] I don't believe he slept.

  • Rooster Cogburn: I do not know this man.

  • Rooster Cogburn: I'm a foolish old man who's been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpie in trousers and a nincompoop.

  • [from trailer]

    Lucky Ned Pepper: I will kill this girl.

    Rooster Cogburn: Biggest mistake you ever made.

  • Rooster Cogburn: You are not LaBoeuf.

  • Rooster Cogburn: [looks up at the hanging corpse] Is it Cheney?

    Mattie Ross: I would not recognize the soles of his feet.

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, you'll have to clamber up and look. I'm too old and too fat.

  • Mattie Ross: [cutting the rope on the tree] Why did they hang him so high?

    Rooster Cogburn: I do not know. Possibly in the belief it'd make him more dead.

  • Rooster Cogburn: [LaBoeuf has been talking about malum prohibitum and malum in se] It astonishes me that Mr. LaBoeuf has been shot, trampled, and nearly bitten his tongue off, and yet not only does he continue to talk but he spills the banks of English.

  • Rooster Cogburn: [referring to the defense attorney] Pencil-necked son of a bitch!

  • Rooster Cogburn: Is that him?

    Mattie Ross: I believe not.

    Rooster Cogburn: Oh, cut him down.

    Mattie Ross: [incredulous] Why?

    Rooster Cogburn: I might know him.

  • Rooster Cogburn: That didn't pan out.

  • [Rooster confronts the four outlaws across the field]

    Ned Pepper: What's your intention? Do you think one on four is a dogfall?

    Rooster Cogburn: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned. Or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which'll it be?

    Ned Pepper: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.

    Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!

  • Rooster Cogburn: [cocks his gun] Mr. Rat... I have a writ here says you're to stop eating Chen Lee's cornmeal forthwith. Now it's a rat writ, writ for a rat, and this is lawful service of the same. See? Doesn't pay any attention to me.

    [shoots the rat]

    Chen Lee: [runs into the room] Outside is place for shooting!

    Rooster Cogburn: I'm serving some papers.

  • Rooster Cogburn: Boots, I got Hayes and some youngster outside with Moon and Quincy. I want you to bury 'em for me. I'm in a hurry.

    Capt. Boots Finch: They're dead?

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, I wouldn't want you to bury 'em if they wasn't.

  • Goudy: I believe you testified that you backed away from old man Wharton?

    Rooster Cogburn: Yes, sir.

    Goudy: Which direction were you going?

    Rooster Cogburn: Backward. I always go backward when I'm backin' away.

  • [last lines]

    Mattie Ross: Trust you to buy another tall horse.

    Rooster Cogburn: Yeah. He's not as game as Beau, but Stonehill says he can jump a four rail fence.

    Mattie Ross: You are too old and fat to be jumping horses.

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, come see a fat old man some time!

    [jumps the fence and rides away]

  • Rooster Cogburn: You can't serve papers on a rat, baby sister. You gotta kill him or let him be.

  • Rooster Cogburn: They don't call him "Lucky" Ned Pepper for nothing.

    Mattie Ross: That man gave his life for him and he didn't even look back.

    Rooster Cogburn: Looking back is a bad habit.

  • Rooster Cogburn: Why, by God, girl, that's a Colt's Dragoon! You're no bigger than a corn nubbin, what're you doing with all this pistol?

    Mattie Ross: It belonged to my father, he carried it bravely in the war, and I intend to kill Tom Chaney with it if the law fails to do so.

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, this'll sure get the job done if you can find a fence post to rest it on while you take aim.

  • Rooster Cogburn: When's the last time you saw Ned Pepper?

    Emmett Quincy: I don't remember any Ned Pepper.

    Rooster Cogburn: Short feisty fella, nervous and quick, got a messed-up lower lip.

    Emmett Quincy: That don't bring nobody to mind. A funny lip?

    Rooster Cogburn: Wasn't always like that, I shot him in it.

    Emmett Quincy: In the lower lip? What was you aiming at?

    Rooster Cogburn: His upper lip.

  • Mattie Ross: You never told me you had a wife.

    Rooster Cogburn: Oh, well, I didn't have her long. My friends was a pack of river rats and she didn't crave their society so she up and left me and went back to her first husband who was clerkin' in a hardware store in Paducah. "Goodbye, Reuben," she says, "the love of decency does not abide in you!" That's a dee-vorced woman talkin' for you, about decency. Well, I told her. I said, "Goodbye, Nola, and I hope that nail-sellin' bastard makes you happy this time!"

    Mattie Ross: Did you have any children?

    Rooster Cogburn: There was a boy. Nola taken him with her. He never liked me anyway. A clumsier child you'll never see than Horace; I bet he broke 40 cup.

  • Rooster Cogburn: Give me your cup.

    Mattie Ross: I don't drink coffee, thank you.

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, now, what do you drink?

    Mattie Ross: I'm partial to cold buttermilk.

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, we ain't got none of that. We ain't got no lemonade neither!

  • Rooster Cogburn: [watching Mattie ford the river hanging on the back of her horse] By God. She reminds me of me.

    LaBoeuf: Well, then we might just not get along.

  • Rooster Cogburn: Damn that Texan - when you need him, he's dead.

    LaBoeuf: I ain't dead yet, you bushwhacker. Hang on.

  • [LeBoeuf is spanking Mattie]

    Mattie Ross: Are you gonna let him do this?

    Rooster Cogburn: I don't believe I will. Drop that switch, LaBoeuf. Put it down, I said. You're enjoying it too much.

    LaBoeuf: You'll find I go ahead with what I start.

    Rooster Cogburn: [Rooster draws and cocks his pistol] You do and it'll be the biggest mistake YOU ever made, you Texas brush-popper!

  • Goudy: [cross-examining Rooster] How many men have you shot since you became a marshal, Mr. Cogburn?

    Rooster Cogburn: I never shot nobody I didn't have to.

    Goudy: That was not the question. How many?

    Rooster Cogburn: Uh... shot or killed?

    Goudy: Oh, let's restrict it to "killed" so we may have a manageable figure.

  • Mattie Ross: [watching Rooster load his revolver] Why do you keep that one chamber empty?

    Rooster Cogburn: So I won't shoot my foot off.

  • Rooster Cogburn: Damn you, Bo. First time you ever give me reason to... cuss you.

  • LaBoeuf: What are you doing?

    Rooster Cogburn: Lookin' for sign.

    LaBoeuf: You couldn't see it if you saw it.

  • Mattie Ross: Now I know you can drink whiskey and I saw you kill a rat, but all the rest has been talk. I'm not paying for talk. I can get all the talk I need at the Monarch Boarding House.

    Rooster Cogburn: I ought to paddle your rump!

    Mattie Ross: I don't know how you propose to do that from that hog wallow you're sunk into. If I smelled as bad as you I wouldn't live near people.

  • [after LaBoeuf pulls Rooster and Mattie from the snake pit, he collapses off his horse; they go to him but it's too late]

    Rooster Cogburn: Texican... saved my neck twice. Once after he was dead.

  • Rooster Cogburn: Baby sister, I was born game and I intend to go out that way.

  • Goudy: Now is it not true that you sprang up on old man Wharton and his two sons with a deadly, six shot revolver in your hand?

    Rooster Cogburn: I always try to be ready.

    Goudy: Was this revolver loaded and cocked?

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, a gun that's unloaded and cocked ain't good for nothin'.

  • [at McAlester's, Boots and Rooster are discussing the dead men; LaBoeuf walks up]

    Capt. Boots Finch: So this is the man shot Ned Pepper's horse from under him.

    Rooster Cogburn: Yeah! This is the famous horse killer from El Paso. He believes in puttin' everybody afoot. Says there'll be less mischief that way.

    LaBoeuf: Fewer horses - fewer horse thieves.

  • Rooster Cogburn: LaBoeuf, you get cross ways of me and you'll think a thousand of BRICK have fell on you! You'll wish you was back at the Alamo with TRAVIS!

  • Rooster Cogburn: Judge Parker. Old carpetbagger, *but he knows his rats*! We had a good court going on here 'til them pettifogging *lawyers* moved in!

  • Rooster Cogburn: Any man who packs a big bore Sharps carbine could come in mighty handy, if we're attacked by buffalo... or elephants.

  • Mattie Ross: I hope you don't think I'm going to keep you in whiskey?

    Rooster Cogburn: I don't buy that, I confiscate it. And a touch of it wouldn't do you any harm against the night air!

    Mattie Ross: I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains!

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, it's the real article! Genuine, double-rectified bust head. Aged in the keg.

  • [Mattie comes to get Rooster and finds him talking with LaBoeuf]

    Mattie Ross: This man wants to take Chaney back to Texas. That's not what I want.

    Rooster Cogburn: He wants him caught and punished - so do you.

    Mattie Ross: I want Tom Chaney to hang for killing my father. It's little to me how many dogs and senators he killed in Texas.

    Rooster Cogburn: You can tell him to his face, you can spit in his eye, you can make him eat sand out of the road, you can shoot him in the foot and I'll hold him for you - but first we gotta catch him.

  • [Mattie is frustrated with Rooster possibly throwing in with LaBoeuf]

    Mattie Ross: Give me my $25 back. Hand it over!

    Rooster Cogburn: I spent it.

    Mattie Ross: You sorry piece of trash!

    Rooster Cogburn: I'll get it for you. I'll send it to you.

    Mattie Ross: Aw, that's a big story. If you think you can cheat me, you're mistaken. You've not heard the last of Mattie Ross. You may well hear from my lawyer, Daggett.


    Rooster Cogburn: [to LaBoeuf] Lawyer Daggett? Who's lawyer Daggett?

    LaBoeuf: I wouldn't worry about him. I'd worry about our business at hand.

  • [Rooster and LaBoeuf are on the ferry; Mattie comes over to get on board]

    LaBoeuf: You're not gettin' on this ferry.

    Mattie Ross: This is open to the public. I paid my ten cents for horse and rider.

    LaBoeuf: Red, take this girl into town to the sheriff. She's a runaway. There's also a $50 reward.

    Mattie Ross: That's a big story!

    LaBoeuf: Ask the marshal.

    Rooster Cogburn: Oh, she's a runaway, all right. Bound to be paper on her.

    Mattie Ross: They're in this story together. Now, I've got business across the river and if you interfere with me you may land up in court which you don't want to be. I've got a good lawyer in J. Noble Daggett.

    [Rooster nods to Red; Red pulls her off the ferry]

    Rooster Cogburn: [to LaBoeuf] Lawyer Daggett again.

    LaBoeuf: She draws him like a gun.

  • [at the camp, Mattie tastes the water]

    Mattie Ross: That tastes like iron.

    LaBoeuf: You're lucky to be where water's so handy. I've seen the time I've drank out of a filthy hoofprint - and was glad to get it.

    Rooster Cogburn: If ever I meet one of you Texas waddies who ain't drunk water from a hoofprint, I think I'll... I'll shake their hand or buy 'em a Daniel Webster cigar.

    [points to LaBoeuf's shaggy horse]

    Rooster Cogburn: How long you boys down there been mounted on sheep?

  • [Rooster, LaBoeuf and Mattie are taking the bodies back to McAlester's]

    Rooster Cogburn: [to LaBoeuf] What outfit were you with during the war?

    LaBoeuf: Shreveport, with Kirby Smith.

    Rooster Cogburn: Oh, I mean what side were you on?

    LaBoeuf: I served with General Kirby Smith.

    [Rooster starts to laugh]

    LaBoeuf: And I don't have to hang my head when I say it either. Go ahead and make another joke about it. You want to make me look foolish in the girl's eyes anyway.

    Rooster Cogburn: You don't need me for that.

    LaBoeuf: I don't like the way you make conversation.

    Rooster Cogburn: And I don't like your conversation about Captain Quantrill?

    LaBoeuf: *Captain*? Captain of what? Bunch of thieves?

    Rooster Cogburn: Young fella, if you're looking for trouble, I'll accommodate you. Otherwise, leave it alone.

  • LaBoeuf: I wouldn't count too much on bein' able to shade somebody I didn't know, fella.

    Rooster Cogburn: [laughs] I ain't never seen nobody from Texas I couldn't shade.

  • Lawyer Daggett: Am I addressing Marshal Reuben J. Cogburn?

    Rooster Cogburn: You're addressing him, Chen Lee and General Sterling Price.

    Lawyer Daggett: Well... I'll not ask which is which. But I'll identify myself: I am lawyer J. Noble Daggett.

    Rooster Cogburn: I'll be damned!

    Lawyer Daggett: What?

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, you're not... exactly what we expected. You're a little... You're shrunk!

    Lawyer Daggett: I'll tell you frankly. I fully intended to have you jailed, and I'm just the man who could do it. But when Mattie told me the straight of the matter, I had second thoughts. I still think you showed poor judgment in this affair, but you're not the scoundrel I took you for. You have my thanks and, with certain reservations, my respect.

  • Rooster Cogburn: You sure you don't want the snake, too?

  • Mattie Ross: [referring to the dead LaBoeuf] We cannot leave him like this.

    Rooster Cogburn: I'm the one that's leaving him. If I don't get you to a doctor you're going to be deader than he is!

  • Capt. Boots Finch: So this is the man that shot Ned Pepper's horse from under him.

    Rooster Cogburn: Yeah, this is the famous horse killer from El Paso! He believes in putting everybody afoot. Says there will be less mischief that way.

    LaBoeuf: Fewer horses, fewer horse thieves.

  • [Mattie prepares to go back to the Monarch Boarding House; Rooster is too drunk to escort her]

    Mattie Ross: I'll walk over there by myself.

    Rooster Cogburn: You scared of the dark?

    Mattie Ross: I've never been scared of the dark.

    Rooster Cogburn: Well if I had a big horse pistol like that I wouldn't be scared of no "boogerman".

    Mattie Ross: I'm not scared of no "boogerman".

    [she leaves]

  • [Rooster watches Mattie struggle to bring water up to their camp]

    Rooster Cogburn: You look like a hog on ice.

  • Rooster Cogburn: Well, sister, the time has come for me to ride hard and fast.

  • [Chen Lee wins the game]

    Rooster Cogburn: You can never tell what's in a Chinaman's mind, that's the way he bests you at cards.

    [the front door bell rings]

    Chen Lee: I go.

  • [last lines]

    Eula Goodnight: 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.

    Rooster Cogburn: I'll be damned if she didn't get the last word in again. Well...

  • Eula Goodnight: Just to whom do you think you are talking, Mr. Marshall?

    Rooster Cogburn: You is to whom I think I am talking, Ma'am.

    Eula Goodnight: It's true that you are larger than me... but only physically.

    Rooster Cogburn: In this case, my dear lady, that is enough.

    Eula Goodnight: Do you mean to tell me that you are prepared to use brute force?

    Rooster Cogburn: That is exactly what I mean.

    Eula Goodnight: [pause] Oh.

  • Rooster Cogburn: Say, uh, there's one thing I would like to get straight.

    Eula Goodnight: Hmm.

    Rooster Cogburn: We both know that the Lord brands lyin' a sin. You think He'll still smile on you after them whoppers you told in there?

    Eula Goodnight: And if thy words stray from the truth for the good of God's own, if thy intent be pure, thou shall not then be judged sinful.

    Rooster Cogburn: Beautiful quotation. What book? What chapter?

    Eula Goodnight: I will confess, Reuben, it is of my own invention, I just made it up.

  • Hawk: You ain't got the know how to use it.

    [gatling gun]

    Rooster Cogburn: [Eula Goodnight fires off a burst] Ain't that the way it works, Hawk?

  • McCoy: Do you know anything about rafts? There's rough water down river.

    Rooster Cogburn: I can ride. Can't be much different.

    McCoy: You ain't no sailor. I can see that. Water is like a woman: sly and fickle. You gotta watch it every minute.

    Rooster Cogburn: You a sailor?

    McCoy: I was once. Shanghai McCoy's my name. Been around the Horn, sailed the seven seas, seen everything, done everything, that's how I know people are rotten. I've seen 'em all.

    Eula Goodnight: You're wrong, old man. We're made in God's image, and goodness is in us. Even in you.

    McCoy: Amazing! I never took you for a Bible-thumper.

    Rooster Cogburn: Hold it. She is what she is 'cause she wants to be. That's the way you take her. Like me.

    McCoy: You're wastin' your time preachin'. You too, Sister. I'm a ship that can't be salvaged.

  • Rooster Cogburn: It's payday, boys, come and get it!

  • Eula Goodnight: [Rooster is getting ready to take a swig of whiskey] Reuben, have you ever seen an enlarged picture of a drunkard's liver?

    Rooster Cogburn: Damnation! Even in her sleep.

    [Hits head on bottom of wagon]

    Rooster Cogburn: Ow!


    Rooster Cogburn: Good night, Ms. Goodnight!

    Eula Goodnight: [Whispers] Good night, Reuben.

  • Rooster Cogburn: [Eula has gone to a creek to wash up] Watch yourself, sister! Everything in these woods'll either bite ya, stab ya or stick ya!

  • Rooster Cogburn: That shows you know more about the Lord and His Good Book than you know about men!

    Eula Goodnight: That's my good fortune. I know enough about men to steer clear of them.

  • Rooster Cogburn: [to judge] You seem to forget, Judge. You hung up my guns today.

    Rooster Cogburn: [walks away] I am retired, relieved, and rejoicing.

  • Rooster Cogburn: You can't lock up a man's whiskey!

  • [first lines]

    Rooster Cogburn: It's the law, Pecos! We want you for the robbery of the Katy Flyer, murder of the engineer. Now git your hands on top your heads...


    Rooster Cogburn: You bastard! You - bastard!

  • Eula Goodnight: [the Gatling gun falls in the river] The gun. The gun, Reuben! We've lost the gun!

    Rooster Cogburn: Well, now, sister, just what the hell can I do about it?

  • Rooster Cogburn: Damn your murderin' hides! Meet your maker!

    [starts shooting]

  • Rooster Cogburn: [his deputy is shot] You bastard!

    [proceeds to kill all]

    Rooster Cogburn: You bastards!

  • Rooster Cogburn: [to judge] I was proud to tell my deputy's wife that I shot his killers!

  • Rooster Cogburn: How old are you?

    Eula Goodnight: Shall we say it has already struck midnight?

  • Rooster Cogburn: Well, out in the territory, we prize a dead shot more'n we do a lady's charms.

    Eula Goodnight: Then I've come to the right place, haven't I? You mean the men in the West do not mind if their women outshoot and outsmart them?

    Rooster Cogburn: If they're quiet about it. No, here we value a spirited woman almost as much as we do a spirited horse.

  • Rooster Cogburn: [to Eula Goodnight] Being around you pleases me.

  • Rooster Cogburn: 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!

  • Eula Goodnight: [referring to her bible quotation] I will confess, Reuben, it is of my own invention. I just made it up!

    Rooster Cogburn: Hallelujah and jubilee, that is one quotation I will remember!

    Eula Goodnight: And will you remember us, too, Reuben?

    Rooster Cogburn: Longer than I'll remember that quotation, Miss Eula.

  • Rooster Cogburn: I ain't had a drink since breakfast, and the only time I wear this coat's in your courtroom. Was always good enough when you needed what was in it!

  • Rooster Cogburn: You ain't very hospitable.

    McCoy: I ain't got an ounce of goodwill in me, and that's a fact. I hate everybody. I'm a cantankerous old man, and I know it. I like myself better'n anyone I ever met, that's how come I took this job - to be alone with me!

  • McCoy: You're shippin' out with a strange crew, captain.

    Rooster Cogburn: I'll match their mettle against most.

    McCoy: I'm glad it's your ship, not mine. Women can no more keep their mouths shut than a yellow-tailed catfish.

    Rooster Cogburn: [pats McCoy's stomach] Got to agree with you there.

  • Eula Goodnight: [as Rooster first arrives at the mission] You're too late, lawman.

    Rooster Cogburn: Too late to stop 'em, but not too late to hang 'em.

Browse more character quotes from True Grit (2010)