True Grit Reviews
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.
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.
Unfortunately, I don't the film is particularly a masterpiece. Kim Darby's performance is way too cheerful for the audience to get a real sense of determination and ambition that she is supposed to have. Glen Campbell ruins the movie with his god-awful performance as LaBoeuf - he makes Keanu Reeves look like Marlon Brando. And many of the scenes are too slow and not particularly eventful.
Not to mention the 2011 Coen Brothers remake is just so much better in every way, that it almost renders the film a forgotten swan song to the classic Western.
This is not a bad film, but it hasn't aged well, is quite cheesy, and is a tad overlong. The characters and the screenplay could have been fleshed out a lot more, but the other players besides Wayne aren't terrible, even though they don't match him. Campbell should have just stuck tosinging, and, even though Darby is kind of cute in an odd way, she's too old to convinclngly play a 14 year-old (she was 22 at the time of filming). Also, even though the scenery looks great, it does the film a disservice by obviously showing that it wasn't film where the story was supposed to be set.
For all of my complaining, I do like the film, but I think it's just a bit overrated. It does look nbice and have some good humor and action though. Plus, "Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!" is one of the best and coolest lines ever spoken. Give this one a shot, but come to it with lowered expectations.
A drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger help a stubborn young woman track down her father's murderer in Indian territory.
A young Kim Darby enlists the help of one-eyed drunk U.S. marshal (John Wayne in his Oscar-winning role) and a Texas Ranger (Glen Campbell) to help her track down her father's killer in this uneven and sometimes dry-as-dirt western. The film is little more than a showcase for Wayne who finally found a part that everyone loved him in. He rounded up enough support and sympathy votes in 1969 to steal the Oscar away from more deserving competition (most notably Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight who effectively canceled each other out for their performances in "Midnight Cowboy"). A sophomoric screenplay is saved by above-average direction from the usually dependable Henry Hathaway. This was the last old-time western Hollywood produced as a new breed was born with "The Wild Bunch" during the same year "True Grit" was released. Basically a showcase for John Wayne, "True Grit" is remembered as the film that finally got him his Oscar. Watch for Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper in prevalent roles here as well. John Wayne's die-hard fans will love this, others may leave disappointed.
True Grit is about a young girl who seeks revenge on the man that killed and robbed her father. She bribes Federal Marshall Cogburn to go after the man with Glen "Bad Mugshot" Campbell in tow as a Texas Ranger hunting the same man.
Wayne seems to be playing a crustier version of himself at this point in his life. Rooster's demeanor appears to be that life had ridden him hard and put him away wet. Overused seems to come to mind and Wayne gives probably one of the best performances of his life.
Featuring a young Dennis Hopper and a young Robert Duvall True Grit was Wayne' swan song, mainly because most of his output after this film (excluding the Shootist) just wasn't up to snuff. It also rang the last call bell on the great American western (as opposed to the Italian influenced westerns) mainly with the deaths of Howard Hawks, John Ford, and eventually John Wayne himself.
This film was going to be a four start affair, but I had to bump up a half a star because of the appearance of screen legend and personal guru Strother Martin.