June 19, 2011

Sunday Matinée: True Grit (1969 & 2011)

True Grit


Amazon | IMDb

Director: Henry Hathaway
Writers: Charles Portis (novel)
Marguerite Roberts (screenplay)

Stars: John Wayne, Kim Darby and Glen Campbell


Amazon | IMDb

Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writers: Charles Portis (novel)
Ethan Coen & Joel Coen (screenplay)
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Hailee Steinfeld
Favorite Quote: “You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another.”
Happy Father’s Day everyone! To celebrate I thought I would review the Western that my dad and I both love True Grit. And since there are two it’s going to be a “Double Feature” of sorts.

True Grit is the story about a fourteen year old girl, Mattie Ross, who sets out to get justice for her father’s death. Along the way she seeks help from Rooster Cogburn, a gruff, one-eyed man with true grit, to hunt down her father’s killer, Tom Chaney.. But that help doesn’t come easy or cheap.

While the two set off on their journey to find Tom Chaney, they meet a young Texas Ranger, La Boeuf, who is also tracking Chaney. It turns out Chaney is quite the wanted man with a fifteen hundred reward on his capture after he killed a Texas Senator and his dog.

Mattie does not like La Boeuf and despite her efforts, Rooster and La Boeuf decide to team up and split the reward to find Chaney. The two actually try to abandon Mattie but she is persistent in tagging along.

After several days, the three plan to stay at a cabin. However, they learn that Emmett Quincy and Moon, two horse thieves waiting for Ned Pepper and Chaney So the trio set a trap that does not go as planned.

The three continue their pursuit, and after a few days Mattie comes face to face with Chaney She draw her father’s pistol and yells to her comrades. As Chaney advances towards her, Mattie shoots and wounds him, but he still captures her and takes her to Ned Pepper’s.

Soon a shoot-out between Rooster and Pepper’s gang. Chaney is in charge of keeping Mattie safe, but he has other plans and tries to kill her. La Boeuf shows up just in time knocking Chaney out and taking Mattie to watch the shoot-out. After La Boeuf saves Rooster’s life, Chaney comes up from behind and hits La Boeuf in the head with a rock which is thought to be fatal. Mattie shoots Chaney, but falls into a pit and is bitten by a rattlesnake. Rooster soon arrives killing the snake and rescues Mattie with the help of La Boeuf.

As Rooster and Mattie make it back up, they can see how bad the snake bite is and decide to leave La Boeuf behind to find help.

Both movie versions are based off the 1968 novel by Charles Portis, however each takes their own few and sheds different lights on the main characters. Also there are scenes that have been changed and the endings are fairly different.

My father and I love the original movie with John Wayne. Seeing the spunk and determination Mattie has for getting justice. Plus we both love John Wayne. So when we saw that there was a new True Grit coming out we were excited, especially me with Jeff Bridges as Rooster.

We were both a little disappointed however, but that is because we went in thinking it was going to be exactly like the original. I think I need to watch the new one again and take it for it’s own movie. Then I might like it more.
(Update: I have watched the new version again and I have to say that it did grow on me, but only because Jeff Bridges is AWESOME! I still prefer the storyline of the 1969 version, but I love Jeff Bridges interpretation of Rooster as well. Did I mention the man is awesome?)