Sunday, November 3, 2013

True Grit (1969)

True GritThis review refers to the Paramount(Widescreen Collection) DVD edition of "True Grit"...

A great big nod to Paramount for giving us The Duke's Academy Award winning role as "Rooster Cogburn" on this superb DVD. This fabulous Wayne western from 1969 looks immaculate. Presented in widescreen, the picture is clear and sharp, and all the beautiful scenery in Technicolor is glorious.The sound in DD2.0(MONO) was surpisngly good as well.(Could be great in surround though).If you love this film, John Wayne or a great western, grab this one up!

The story for those that may have missed it, is very adventurous as well as highly amsuing. Rooster Cogburn is a take no prisoners U.S. Marshall. That's not all he is though...he's an old, overweight,brash drunkard. But he's got 'grit'. And that is exactly what young Maddie Ross is looking for when she hires him to go after the man who killed her father.Maddie(Kim Darby), now affectionatly called "Baby Sister" by our guy, is also a take no prisoner's kind of gal..but not exactly in the same way as Cogburn is. Maddie is a proper young lady, who's family "has property", and brandishes her lawyer as her weapon of choice. And what's more..she's going along on the hunt for this bad guy who has joined up with a group of some really bad hombres. Also in on the ride is an inexperienced but gung-ho Texas Ranger(Glen Campbell)who Maddie is immediatly at odds with.The sparks fly as this trio hits the trail.

John Wayne IS Rooster Cogburn.Rooster Cogburn IS John Wayne. The Duke delivers the lines as only he could.There's a great scene, where a drunken Cogburn falls off his horse, flat on his face, but yet doesn't spill a drop of the open whiskey bottle he holds.Later on you'll thrill to seeing him riding in, guns blazing in each hand as he goes after the bad guys.It's pure Wayne! The bad guys by the way are legends in themselves, Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper among them. Strother Martin also adds to the fun going toe to toe with Maddie on a horse deal. Elmer Bernstein provides the glorious music, and Campbell sings the title song. Directed by the great Henry Hathaway, it's a film filled with immense talent.

It's fun and adventurous and is rated G, but there are some scenes that may be a bit too violent for younger viewers.

The DVD also includes English Subtitles for hearing impaired viewers. There are no special features, but for me, seeing this film restored so beautifully, having The Duke looking so great on my screen was bonus enough.

Saddle up with "The Big Fella"...and enjoy...Laurie

also recommended for your john wayne collection some oldies but goodies:Shadow of the Eagle, His Private Secretary, and Great American Western V.24, The


In ways this is an old chestnut; but it has its charms.

It's beautifully cinemagraphed: the colours are rich and vibrant. The natural scenery is wonderful. Plus, the beginning of the film is a splendid evocation of American Victorianism--with the funeral parlor, court house, boarding house, etc.

The representation of post-bellum middle-southern America is excellently drawn. (The locale is supposed to be Arkansas. There is mention of Yankees and Texicans, etc.)

Glenn Campbell was not an actor at all, but he was a good fellow and a nice folk singer of the 1960s, closely identified with Texas. (He sings the title song.)

Great supporting cast with Robert Duval and Jeff Corey. The two scenes with Strother Martin are worth the price of admission alone. Probably this is John Wayne's best rĂ´le.

The sound track score by Elmer Bernstein is very fine; and as mentioned, the scenic cinematography is excellent. The screenplay dialogue is wonderful, featuring real Americana turns of phrase. The widescreen DVD transfer is good.

Finally, there is an ineffably life-affirming ambience to this film which is touching and uplifting. At the end, when Rooster jumps the rail on his new horse, it brings a tear of joy.


Edit 25 Dec. 2010: having now seen the Coen Brothers' new film of True Grit we are happy to report it a very good work indeed, and a fine successor to the 1969 version; hopefully it will bring this story of courage, righteousness and justice to a new generation of viewers.

The new film is dark and elegiac, striking a deep resonant chord of genuine Americana: highly recommended.

True Grit


Buy True Grit (1969) Now

True Grit DVD

True Grit is probably my favorite John Wayne western, maybe The Shootist is a close second. It stars John Wayne as an old, rough and coarse U. S. Marshall who reluctantly helps a teenager (Kim Darby) who both won academy Awards for their roles in the movie. The Marshall helps track down the killer of Darcy's Father into Indian Territory (modern day Oklahoma). The movie is based on the novel True Grit.

Glen Campbell sings and plays a Texas Ranger who tags along.

Highly recommended for fans of John Wayne, Classic Western movies, and Cowboy movies the way they used to be made.

Gunner April, 2008

Read Best Reviews of True Grit (1969) Here

True Grit is the only John Wayne film that I saw during its run in the theater. Glen Campbell gave a good, and underrated, performance as a likeable Texas Ranger. Contrary to the critics, who ganged up on Campbell, I thought that Kim Darby was the weak link in the cast. Robert Duvall was outstanding, as well as the rest of the supporting cast. The soundtrack was excellent and the scenery was fantastic. Virtually every line that John Wayne delivered in the film was gripping. I have never seen an actor since who could hold an audience's attention the way he did in True Grit. An interesting anecdote: Henry Hathaway was pretty rough with Glen Campbell and berated him mercilessly during one of the scenes. Robert Duvall blew a fuse and told Hathaway that if he treated any member of the cast that way again, he would walk off the set.

Sit back and enjoy the show.

Want True Grit (1969) Discount?

John Wayne stars as Marshal Rooster Cogburn, a one-eyed, hard-drinking, straight-shooting, cantankerous lawman teamed with a feisty kid (Kim Darby) and a conceited Texas Ranger (Glen Campbell) to bring to justice one Lucky Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall). Wayne won a much-deserved Oscar for this performance. This, along with "The Quiet Man" prove the guy could really act. It's a shame he didn't get to more often.

"True Grit" benefits from a sharp script with a real feel for period dialogue... and some cranky characters with very individualistic points of view. Of course, the Duke's Cogburn leads the way, but Kim Darby, in her film debut, fearlessly jousts with all comers and generally comes out ahead. She's Cogburn's match in the grit department, headstrong and stubborn. "She reminds me of me," Cogburn says with obvious glee as the girl daringly crosses a swiftly-moving river on horseback. Duvall makes a redoubtable villian in his short screentimenot evil, exactly. Just hardbitten and intent on pursuing crime, and strangely fatalistic. Even with such well-observed characters, the film doesn't lack for Western action; it eschews gunfight cliches in favor of realism. ...

Gorgeously shot in authentic outdoors locations by director Henry Hathaway, "True Grit" also features an outstanding Elmer Bernstein score. Even if you're a Western-hater, just focus on the characters and an excellent tale. This is just flat-out a first-rate movie.

Look for cameos by Jay Silverheels, Wilford Brimley, plus small roles well-played by Strother Martin and Jeff Corey (Wild Bill Hickock in "Little Big Man").

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