True Grit

1969

True Grit

Critics Consensus

True Grit rides along on the strength of a lived-in late-period John Wayne performance, adding its own entertaining spin to the oft-adapted source material.

88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 52

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 26,104
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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 prepared). Also heading into Indian territory in search of Chaney is Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell), who wants to collect the reward placed on the fugitive's head for his earlier crimes. Complicating matters are Chaney's scurrilous cronies Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall), Quincy (Jeremy Slate), and Moon (Dennis Hopper), who have no qualms about killing a troublesome teenaged girl like Mattie. While the plot of True Grit, adapted (and streamlined) by Marguerite Roberts from the novel by Charles Portis, maintains audience interest throughout, the glue that truly holds this Western together is John Wayne, delivering one of his finest performances (though some believe he was better in She Wore a Yellow Ribbon). Wayne's casual charisma is infinitely more effective than the mannered method acting of Kim Darby and the floundering non-acting of poor Glen Campbell. And who could not love the climatic face-off between Duvall and company and John Wayne, whose "Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!" is not only a classic bit of dialogue, but the apotheosis of the Wayne mystique. In 1975, Wayne repeated his True Grit characterization opposite Katharine Hepburn in Rooster Cogburn, but the film failed to match its predecessor and the overall effect was blunted. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

John Wayne
as Rooster Cogburn
Kim Darby
as Mattie Ross
Glen Campbell
as La Boeuf
Robert Duvall
as Ned Pepper
Jeremy Slate
as Emmett Quincy
Strother Martin
as Col. G. Stonehill
Jeff Corey
as Tom Chaney
Ron Soble
as Capt. Boots Finch
John Fiedler
as Lawyer J. Noble Daggett
James Westerfield
as Judge Parker
Edith Atwater
as Mrs. Floyd
Carlos Rivas
as Dirty Bob
Isabel Boniface
as Mrs. Bagby
H.W. Gim
as Chen Lee
John Pickard
as Frank Ross
Ken Renard
as Yarnell Poindexter
Jay Ripley
as Harold Parmalee
Kenneth Becker
as Farrell Parmalee
Myron Healey
as A Deputy
Ken Becker
as Farrell Parmalee
Hank Worden
as R. Ryan
Guy Wilkerson
as The Hangman
Boyd 'Red' Morgan
as Red the Ferryman
Robin Morse
as Bit Part
Jay Silverheels
as Condemned man at hanging
Connie Sawyer
as Talkative woman at hanging
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News & Interviews for True Grit

Critic Reviews for True Grit

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for True Grit

  • Nov 19, 2016
    Solid Western. Much better than the overrated Coen brothers remake.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 02, 2015
    John Wayne starred in this revisionist Western tale of a young girl's revenge. Three unlikely individuals set on the dangerous quest together.Mattie Ross' father was killed by an outlaw, she then hired drunken marshall Cogburn to help her catch the killer. Along the way, Texas ranger La Boeuf wanted to catch the killer for bounty. It's a two hour of fun, the acting of Mattie was a bit slacking but overall still quite enjoyable and the music was great too.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2014
    Far from irritating, the aging John Wayne pulls off his best performance by being not quite the solid cowboy that we always anticipate that he will be. Although remade well, the original remains superior.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 30, 2013
    Henry Hathaway (<i>How the West Was Won</i> [1962]), famous collaborator with John Wayne, has just confirmed that John Wayne is <b>the</b> one-eyed fat man with true grit, and rightfully so. Two standout performances carry the film to superior levels: John Wayne as the ruthless U.S. Marshall Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn, a role that gave him an Academy Award, and Kim Darby as Mattie Ross of Dardanelle in Yell County, an adolescent struggling to enter into an adult world with her own moral principles and a remarkable iron-forged perseverance capable of making successful businesses and controlling adults' ego. <i>True Grit</i> is a revenge-themed adventure film in the old classic Hollywood tradition with a great cast (Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper) and a notorious cinematography showcasing its Technicolor wonders through wild landscapes full of green, blue and white. The film got overshadowed by its superior western counterparts from <i>Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid</i> to <i>The Wild Bunch</i>, but still it remains as a good adventure story to behold, slightly superior to the Coen's remake, which brought this classic to famous light once again. 75/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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