Rooster Cogburn tells the story of a deputy who has been recently demoted. However, he finds himself on the hunt for another criminal once again, with the hope of being given his badge back. Along the way he meets Eula Goodnight, who witnesses her father's murder after their missionary is overrun by Hawk and his companions. She is desperate to avenge her father's death and decides to make the trip with Cogburn. She abandons the traditional view of women in that she is somewhat confrontational and is not as passive as others during her time. Rooster becomes much less independent by the end of the movie, as he opens up to Eula, and the language barrier associated with alpha-male cowboys is ultimately broken. Eula also becomes more like Rooster, as she suppresses her feelings for him until the very end.
In High Noon, a newly married couple is forced to cut their wedding celebration short when they learn of Frank Miller's expected arrival on the noon train. Amy, a Quaker, urges her husband to leave the town with her as they had planned. Kane, however, feels that he cannot abandon his duty to the town, as he was the former deputy. As she gets on the train to leave by herself, she hears gunshots and hurries back to save her husband. In doing so, she kills one of the men in Miller's gang who had been shooting at Kane. Frank, however, finds her, but she scrambles lose and leads her husband to victory. Amy abandoned her values as a Quaker in order to fulfill what she considered her duty, and truthfully, her strength and courage led to her husband's success.
In The Ballad of Little Jo, Jocelyn feels compelled to leave her hometown after sullying her family's reputation. She becomes a man in every sense of the word, proving that she can live on her own and provide for herself. She gains the respect of the people in town, and shows that she, too, can draw her gun quickly. This film showcases how women were emerging in the western genre as being able to stand tall against the alpha male cowboys of their time.
In each of these movies, the three women abandon the traditional view of women. They are strong, and have clear influences on the men that they accompany. Tompkins tells of how the alpha male cowboy closes himself up in an effort to control the situation; "not speaking demonstrates control not only over feelings but over one's physical boundaries as well" (56). However, it is clear in each movie, that the women exhibit a great amount of control through the use of their language. Jo especially abandons Tompkin's view of women, as she states that "women's talk evokes a whole network of familial and social relationships and their corollaries in the emotional circuitry." Though she does have relationships, she abandons them, feeling as though it is her duty to do so.