“Baby sister, I was born game and I intend to go out that way.”*
Since I asked the trivia question yesterday, for which True Grit (1969) is the answer, I will suggest it as my Friday movie pick.
It has been a long time since I read the book by Charles Portis, but I remember that this film is a remarkably close adaption of it, which makes for a really good and authentic movie. The story revolves around Mattie Ross who is bent on avenging the death of her father and bringing to justice his killer, Tom Cheney. She hires U.S. Marshall Rooster Cogburn to go after him and insists on accompanying him on the trail. They are joined by a Texas Ranger, La Boeuf, as they head into the Indian Territory.
John Wayne, of course, is great in his Academy Award-winning role of Cogburn. Glen Campbell isn’t bad as La Boeuf and Kim Darby as Mattie Ross has grown on me. If you can ignore her ridiculous modern hairdo, she is really pretty good. She is not supposed to be endearing or even particularly likeable–but she does have true grit and lots of it. Robert Duvall and the rest of the supporting players are also terrific. It is interesting to see Dennis Hopper in one of his last roles before he went the Easy Rider hippie/drug route. [Side note: Hopper always credited John Wayne with saving his career when, after seven years of no one hiring him, Wayne gave him a job in The Sons of Katie Elder (1965). (I could do a whole blogpost about actors whose careers were resurrected/saved by John Wayne.)]
True Grit was beautifully shot on location, mainly in Ouray County, Colorado, which is right next door to my ancestral Hinsdale County–so I am partial to the gorgeous San Juan scenery. The courthouse scene was filmed in the Ouray County Courthouse.
Unfortunately, I have watched the movie fairly recently, so I really should watch the new version tonight, but as I make it a rule never to watch re-makes of John Wayne films, I am unable to do so. This is a good rule. Therefore, I will try to get my hands on the sequel to True Grit—Rooster Cogburn (1975) which co-starred Katharine Hepburn in a sort of western version of The African Queen.
Although not the classic its predecessor is, it is a good and highly enjoyable movie. You can tell that the two great stars were simpatico and liked each other a lot.
So that’s my plan.
Have a great weekend!
*Rooster Cogburn in True Grit