Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I recently saw the movie "True Grit" directed by the Coen brothers.  It stars Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, Matt Damon as LaBoeuf, Hailee Skinfeld as Mattie Ross and Josh Brolin as Tom Chaney.  This of course is not the first time True Grit has been filmed.  The first "True Grit" movie came out in 1969 and it starred John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, Glen Campbell as LaBoeuf, Kim Darby as Mattie Ross, Jeff Corey as Tom Chaney, Dennis Hopper as Moon and Robert Duvall as Ned Pepper.

True Grit was a 1968 novel written by Charles Portis and tells the story of a young teenager out for revenge upon the deadly shooting of her father.  She is determined to bring her father's murderer, Tom Chaney, to justice.  Involved in the chase of Tom Chaney is a hard nosed U.S Marshall - Rooster Cogburn and a Texas Ranger - LaBoeuf.

The question you might ask is which version is better.  Both actually have some similar dialogue.  The 2010 version is a bit shorter, by 18 minutes; follows the novel more closely in terms of time of year that the story occurs, Mattie Ross appearing as an older woman and looking back on her life and geographic locations in the U.S.  The Coen brothers are known for their mastery of dialogue in their films and this movie did not disappoint.  The lines, the bantering and the vocabulary was great.  The young actress Hailee Skinfeld (thirteen years old) probably stole the show with her lines. There was an open casting call for the role of Mattie Ross and Hailee Skinfeld beat out 15,000 other girls to get this role.  Overall the 2010 version has better dialogue and filming.   Movie trailer for 2010 film.

The 1969 movie does have some important significance.  This was the only Oscar that John Wayne won.  Barbra Streisand was the presenter for the best actor award and you can see the presentation in this clip - John Wayne winning his only Oscar.  He was competing against Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight (both for the movie Midnight Cowboy), Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole.   

Another interesting fact about this 1969 movie was the Quarter horse used the last scene.  John Wayne fell in love with this horse, a 2 year old chestnut gelding named Dollor.  This horse would appear with him in several more Westerns, including his final movie "The Shootist".  Wayne would not let anyone else ride the horse, the lone exception being Robert Wagner, who rode the horse, after Wayne's death, in an episode of his television show "Hart to Hart". 

What I liked about the 1969 movie was the sound track and song sung by Glen Campbell.
Sound track and trailer sung by Glen Campbell.  The song has a wonderful melody and lyrics and I never tire hearing it.  The DH and I saw Glen Campbell in concert last year and he is still a great singer and an exceptional guitar player.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching him sing. 

One of the songs in the 2010 movie is by Johnny Cash "God is gonna cut you down".  I like Johnny Cash but the song by Glen Campbell is my preference. 

In conclusion, I enjoyed both versions of the movie.  Each had great actors and each tells a wonderful story.


  1. Gus, Jim & Everett also loved the movie; Jim & Gus saw the first version too.

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