True Grit (1969)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In fine Hollywood tradition, John Wayne had to play a "one-eyed fat man" before the Motion Picture Academy considered him worthy of an Oscar. In True Grit, Wayne plays grumpy, pot-bellied U.S. marshal "Rooster" Cogburn, hired by 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) to find Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey), who killed her father. The headstrong Mattie could have had her pick of lawmen, but selects the aging Cogburn because she believes he has "true grit" (she talks this way all through the picture, so be … More

Rating: G
Genre: Western, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Marguerite Roberts
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 21, 2000
Paramount Home Video


as Rooster Cogburn

as Mattie Ross

as La Boeuf

as Ned Pepper

as Emmett Quincy

as Col. G. Stonehill

as Tom Chaney

as Capt. Boots Finch

as Lawyer J. Noble Dagg...

as Judge Parker

as Sheriff

as Barlow

as Mrs. Floyd

as Dirty Bob

as Mrs. Bagby

as Chen Lee

as Frank Ross

as Frank Ross

as Yarnell Poindexter

as Harold Parmalee

as Farrell Parmalee

as A Deputy

as Farrell Parmalee

as R. Ryan

as The Hangman

as Condemned man at han...

as Talkative woman at h...

as Red the Ferryman
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for True Grit

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Critic Reviews for True Grit

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (19)

By growing old disgracefully as the fat, swaggering Rooster Cogburn, Wayne proves he can act -- and solves his own senior-citizen problem in one master stroke.

Full Review… | December 1, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Somehow it comes off like a TV celebrity roast.

Full Review… | December 1, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's mostly Wayne all the way. He towers over everything in the film.

Full Review… | March 19, 2009
Top Critic

Lazily directed by Hathaway, it's pleasant enough, if rather too self-consciously coy.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

One of the glories of True Grit is that it recognizes Wayne's special presence.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A marvelously rambling frontier fable packed with extraordinary incidents, amazing encounters, noble characters, and virtuous rewards.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for True Grit

John Wayne won his one and only Oscar for Best Actor in this exciting and riveting action-packed Western from Director Henry Hathaway that became one of the biggest boxoffice hits of 1969 in a year that was dominated with the return of the Hollywood Westerns that featured "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid",and "The Wild Bunch". "True Grit" casts the legendary John Wayne,in the prime of his career playing Rooster Cogburn,an aging,hard-drinking,foul-mouthed United States Marshal who was once one of the West's best lawman in his prime.

A teenage girl(played by Kim Darby)enlists his help in finding and tracking down the men responsible for brutally murdering her father. Along for the ride and adventure is country music superstar Glen Campbell,who not only sings the movie's theme song,but also makes his theatrical debut in this picture as a devoted and dedicated Texas Ranger who joins the odd couple in finding the killers responsible for her father's death,and bringing them to justice which will be a a task to deal with going against some dangerous desperados,among them Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper,and Bruce Dern. This movie was also Oscar nominated for Best Original Song sung by Glen Campbell. This movie was so successful in 1969 that producer Hal B. Wallis brought John Wayne back in 1975 for the sequel to "True Grit" in the title role of Rooster Cogburn,but this time around screen icon Katherine Hepburn join him for the second installment. In 2010,directors Joel and Ethan Coen did the remake with Jeff Bridges in the John Wayne role that was also Oscar nominated for Best Original Adaptation Screenplay.

Mister Caple

Super Reviewer

A fourteen-year-old girl hires and accompanies a grizzled U.S. Marshal on a mission to avenge the death her father.
It's rare that a re-make is better than the original, but the Coen Brothers accomplished more with this story and the characters than its progenitors. As I watched it, I couldn't help comparing the two. Jeff Bridges's Rooster Cogburn had more character, a chatty, damaged drunkard, but John Wayne is all of these things but muted; Bridges is an actor who takes more risks, unafraid to be seen vulnerable. What we don't get with Wayne's performance is any clue about why Rooster is the way he is; he's just the force that John Wayne has always represented.
I did like this iteration of True Grit because it's a fine story and the characters are inherently interesting despite how much more fleshed out they are in the Coen Brothers' version. Of all the westerns I've seen, this is one of the least racist (the portrayal of Asians leaves something to be desired), and the tale is full of class tropes of revenge and heroes. It's nothing to think too deeply about, but it's a solid three-star film.
Overall, despite the strengths of the original True Grit, if you're only going to see one version of this story, you should see the latest one.
Overall, despi

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


True Grit is a masterpiece and is one of the greatest westerns in film history. John Wayne is a amazing actor, and in this he is probably the best person in the world who could play Rooster Cogburn. Kim Darby was my one problem with this film, she was annoying and boring and a terrible actor to play Mattie Ross. The plot was fun and and a well made adaption from the book. Overall, a classic movie, and the funny thing is, this film is my fathers #1 favorite film ever made, he made me watch this, haha.

Jim Careter

Super Reviewer

True Grit Quotes

– Submitted by Ben G (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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