True Grit 2010

I’m a John Wayne fan, always will be. I never really liked his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. To me Wayne was always a more dignified cowboy. Case in point, in what I thought was his best movie The Shootist, the script called for Wayne to shoot a character in the back. He refused and demanded the script be rewritten to meet his ethical standards. That said, True Grit (69) was a great movie but to me what made that movie was Kim Darby who made up for the lack of acting talent of Glen Campbell. (How the hell did he get in that picture?)

Last night I went to see True Grit (2010). I was apprehensive because I was not sure anyone had any business remaking one of Wayne’s movies. I’d also heard that Hailee Steinfeld who plays Mattie Ross in the new version was excellent and made the movie. I have to disagree, she was good but she was not what made the movie. And, I would also add that Matt Damon was only slightly better as Ranger LaBoeuf than was Campbell.

What made this movie was Jeff Bridges. The best way I can describe his portrayal of Rooster Cogburn was REAL. You could smell his breath and taste his stench. You could feel his presence.

Some have said great western movies don’t come around enough anymore. I’m not sure times have changed; great westerns have always been few and far between. True Grit (2010) is the best western I have seen since The Outlaw Josey Wales and the best movie I’ve seen since Flyboys which was loosely based on Arizonian and Medal of Honor winner Frank Luke whom I named my oldest son after. Forget the original True Grit for one night and go enjoy a western that is probably as close as you will ever get to what it was really like – William Quantrill references included.

I guarantee you will laugh, enjoy the triumph of good over evil and don’t be surprised if when you get up to leave your eyes are a little damp.


About gunwriter

Born and raised in the West Virginia hills, Richard literally grew up in the woods. He has chased coon hounds until daylight, waited out whitetails perched high in an oak, canoed the New River and hunted from the Montana Mountains to the Green Hills of Africa. During service in the Army and later as a municipal police officer and Special Agent with the railroad police, Richard obtained numerous certifications in small arms instruction. He has trained military personnel, law enforcement officers and civilians in the application of firearms for defensive, competitive and recreational use. Richard won the West Virginia Governor’s Twenty Award for law enforcement, the West Virginia National Guard State Pistol Competition and earned his Distinguished Medal with pistol. Badge turned in, Richard is now a contributing editor for several magazines. He was the compiling author of the book, Rifle Bullets for the Hunter and conceptualized and contributed to Selecting and Ordering a Custom Hunting Rifle. Richard also contributed a chapter to the John Velke book, The True Story of the Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency. Richard has patents on a riflescope reticle and a revolutionary bullet testing media. A hillbilly at heart, Richard lives on Shadowland - his shooting range in West Virginia - with the most understanding wife in the world, their three kids and a very protective ridgeback hound.
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2 Responses to True Grit 2010

  1. Ed Head says:


    Couldn’t agree more, Jean and I really enjoyed it. Like you, we were concerned about re-doing a classic Wayne picture but this movie delivered.

  2. Lisa Snuggs says:

    We rarely see movies at the theatre, but are making an exception for True Grit this weekend. Guess I’m a little soft where westerns are concerned because I really liked Open Range and Broken Trail. Could it be I’m just soft for Robert Duvall?

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