True Grit: John Wayne Makes Some Bold Statements1969), directed by Henry Hathaway based on a script by Marguerite Roberts and a novel by Charles Portis is a simple but involving Western tale, and that is the root of its charm. It possesses an innocence that has become incredibly rare. Combine that with career performances by virtually everybody in the cast, and you have one of the great John Wayne films.
|"I won't rest until Tom Chaney's barking in hell. "|
|Cogburn and La Boeuf sharing a laugh|
|Mattie Ross just wants to come along|
|Mattie Ross surprised at what has happened|
|Cogburn can still shoot just fine with one eye|
|Cogburn and Le Boeuf watch Maddy on the riverbank|
Glen Campbell is just fine. He didn't have a lot of acting experience, and did not go much further into films at all, but he is affable, and Wayne plays off of him nicely. He really does embody a sort of earthy American spirit.
[Rooster and LaBoeuf are on the ferry; Mattie comes over to get on board]
LaBoeuf: You're not gettin' on this ferry.
Mattie Ross: This is open to the public. I paid my ten cents for horse and rider.
LaBoeuf: Red, take this girl into town to the sheriff. She's a runaway. There's also a $50 reward.
Mattie Ross: That's a big story!
LaBoeuf: Ask the marshal.
Rooster Cogburn: Oh, she's a runaway, all right. Bound to be paper on her.
Mattie Ross: They're in this story together. Now, I've got business across the river and if you interfere with me you may land up in court which you don't want to be. I've got a good lawyer in J. Noble Daggett.
[Rooster nods to Red; Red pulls her off the ferry]
Rooster Cogburn: [to LaBoeuf] Lawyer Daggett again.
LaBoeuf: She draws him like a gun.
|Glen Campbell playing it straight and narrow|
LaBoeuf: A little earlier I gave some thought to stealin' a kiss from you, although you are very young... and you're unattractive to boot. But now I'm of a mind to give you five or six good licks with my belt.
Mattie Ross: Well, one would be as unpleasant as the other.
|The Reservation where the bad guys lurk|
Rooster Cogburn: Why, by God, girl, that's a Colt's Dragoon! You're no bigger than a corn nubbin, what're you doing with all this pistol?
Mattie Ross: It belonged to my father, he carried it bravely in the war, and I intend to kill Tom Chaney with it if the law fails to do so.
Rooster Cogburn: Well, this'll sure get the job done if you can find a fence post to rest it on while you take aim.
|A winter scene in the Rockies|
Mattie Ross: Do you know a Marshal Rooster Cogburn?
Col. G. Stonehill: Most people around here have heard of Rooster Cogburn and some people live to regret it. I would not be surprised to learn that he's a relative of yours.
|Strother Martin in a fabulous cameo|
[Mattie returns later to buy a pony from Col. Stonehill]
Col. G. Stonehill: Do you entertain plans of ever leaving this city?
Mattie Ross: Yes, I'm off early tomorrow morning for the Indian nation. Marshal Rooster Cogburn and I are going after the murderer, Tom Chaney.
Col. G. Stonehill: Cogburn. How did you light on that greasy vagabond?
Mattie Ross: They say he has grit. I wanted a man with grit.
Col. G. Stonehill: Well, I suppose he has that. He's a notorious thumper. He's not a man I would care to share a bed with.
Mattie Ross: Nor would I.
|John Wayne showing he still has what it takes|
Mattie Ross: I'll walk over there by myself.
Rooster Cogburn: You scared of the dark?
Mattie Ross: I've never been scared of the dark.
Rooster Cogburn: Well if I had a big horse pistol like that I wouldn't be scared of no "boogerman".
Mattie Ross: I'm not scared of no "boogerman".
|John Wayne showing Mattie Ross his pistol|
[Mattie is frustrated with Rooster possibly throwing in with LaBoeuf]
Mattie Ross: Give me my $25 back. Hand it over!
Rooster Cogburn: I spent it.
Mattie Ross: You sorry piece of trash!
Rooster Cogburn: I'll get it for you. I'll send it to you.
Mattie Ross: Aw, that's a big story. If you think you can cheat me, you're mistaken. You've not heard the last of Mattie Ross. You may well hear from my lawyer, Daggett.
Rooster Cogburn: [to LaBoeuf] Lawyer Daggett? Who's lawyer Daggett?
LaBoeuf: I wouldn't worry about him. I'd worry about our business at hand.
|"I call that bold talk from a one-eyed fat man."|
Ned Pepper: What's your intention? Do you think one on four is a dogfall?
Rooster Cogburn: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned. Or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which'll it be?
Ned Pepper: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man.
Rooster Cogburn: Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!
|Rooster Cogburn and Mattie Ross|
Mattie Ross: Do you need a good lawyer?
Ned Pepper: I need a good judge!
|Rooster Cogburn and La Boeuf|
Rooster Cogburn: Damn that Texan - when you need him, he's dead.
LaBoeuf: I ain't dead yet, you bushwhacker. Hang on.
The scenery is marvelous. The story is entertaining and sentimental. The acting is perfect, and Wayne deserved his Oscar. A truly great film.
Below is the trailer for "True Grit."