True Grit (1969)

6c138-truegritposterJohn Wayne was always memorable but he was probably never more iconic than his turn as Marshall Rooster Cogburn. He is a gruff, tough, drinking man who is willing to take on anyone and everyone at the drop of a hair. Yet despite all of that fury, Wayne embodies him in such a way that makes him lovable all the same.

Wayne is usually a given to steal the spotlight but Kim Darby gave him more than he bargained for as the stubborn, no-nonsense Maddie Ross. Following suit singer Glen Campbell showed he can do more than knock back a tune, playing the Texas Ranger.

As with many of his other great westerns, Wayne is surrounded by a solid group of stock characters including the likes of Dennis Hopper, Robert Duvall, Strother Martin, and even John Fiedler.

The film is adapted from the Charles Portis novel where Maddie, intent on catching the man who killed her father, hires Cogburn to track him down. They are joined by Laboeuf and thus begins there search.

Nothing beats seeing Wayne charge across a vast meadow towards Ned Pepper and his cronies, with his guns drawn and bridle between his teeth. The sequence is enhanced by the spectacular Colorado landscape that adds a character to the entire film. The Coen Brothers brought us a darker, more dramatic interpretation of this film, but it is hard to beat the fun of Henry Hathaway’s version. John Wayne, Rooster Cogburn, whatever you want to call him, he has True Grit. Isn’t that right baby sister?

4.5/5 Stars

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