True Grit
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2011
This is a review of the PQ of the newly released blu ray of the original True Grit.
There is so much edge enhancement applied to the picture that it appears fake, more like overprocessed video than film. I found it very distracting through the entire movie, and would never choose to watch this blu ray again. Not unless it was remastered properly and reissued (not likely).

Stay away from this blu ray release. At the very least, rent it before you buy it to avoid disappointment.
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67 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on December 17, 2005
*
In ways this is an old chestnut; but it has its charms.

It's beautifully cinemagraphed: the colours are rich and vibrant. The natural scenery is wonderful. Plus, the beginning of the film is a splendid evocation of American Victorianism--with the funeral parlor, court house, boarding house, etc.

The representation of post-bellum middle-southern America is excellently drawn. (The locale is supposed to be Arkansas. There is mention of Yankees and Texicans, etc.)

Glenn Campbell was not an actor at all, but he was a good fellow and a nice folk singer of the 1960s, closely identified with Texas. (He sings the title song.)
Great supporting cast with Robert Duval and Jeff Corey. The two scenes with Strother Martin are worth the price of admission alone. Probably this is John Wayne's best rôle.

The sound track score by Elmer Bernstein is very fine; and as mentioned, the scenic cinematography is excellent. The screenplay dialogue is wonderful, featuring real Americana turns of phrase. The widescreen DVD transfer is good.

Finally, there is an ineffably life-affirming ambience to this film which is touching and uplifting. At the end, when Rooster jumps the rail on his new horse, it brings a tear of joy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Edit 25 Dec. 2010: having now seen the Coen Brothers' new film of True Grit we are happy to report it a very good work indeed, and a fine successor to the 1969 version; hopefully it will bring this story of courage, righteousness and justice to a new generation of viewers.
The new film is dark and elegiac, striking a deep resonant chord of genuine Americana: highly recommended.
True Grit
*
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 1999
True Grit is the only John Wayne film that I saw during its run in the theater. Glen Campbell gave a good, and underrated, performance as a likeable Texas Ranger. Contrary to the critics, who ganged up on Campbell, I thought that Kim Darby was the weak link in the cast. Robert Duvall was outstanding, as well as the rest of the supporting cast. The soundtrack was excellent and the scenery was fantastic. Virtually every line that John Wayne delivered in the film was gripping. I have never seen an actor since who could hold an audience's attention the way he did in True Grit. An interesting anecdote: Henry Hathaway was pretty rough with Glen Campbell and berated him mercilessly during one of the scenes. Robert Duvall blew a fuse and told Hathaway that if he treated any member of the cast that way again, he would walk off the set.
Sit back and enjoy the show.
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54 of 65 people found the following review helpful
True Grit DVD

True Grit is probably my favorite John Wayne western, maybe The Shootist is a close second. It stars John Wayne as an old, rough and coarse U. S. Marshall who reluctantly helps a teenager (Kim Darby) who both won academy Awards for their roles in the movie. The Marshall helps track down the killer of Darcy's Father into Indian Territory (modern day Oklahoma). The movie is based on the novel True Grit.

Glen Campbell sings and plays a Texas Ranger who tags along.

Highly recommended for fans of John Wayne, Classic Western movies, and Cowboy movies the way they used to be made.

Gunner April, 2008
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2002
John Wayne stars as Marshal Rooster Cogburn, a one-eyed, hard-drinking, straight-shooting, cantankerous lawman teamed with a feisty kid (Kim Darby) and a conceited Texas Ranger (Glen Campbell) to bring to justice one Lucky Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall). Wayne won a much-deserved Oscar for this performance. This, along with "The Quiet Man" prove the guy could really act. It's a shame he didn't get to more often.

"True Grit" benefits from a sharp script with a real feel for period dialogue... and some cranky characters with very individualistic points of view. Of course, the Duke's Cogburn leads the way, but Kim Darby, in her film debut, fearlessly jousts with all comers and generally comes out ahead. She's Cogburn's match in the grit department, headstrong and stubborn. "She reminds me of me," Cogburn says with obvious glee as the girl daringly crosses a swiftly-moving river on horseback. Duvall makes a redoubtable villian in his short screentime- not evil, exactly. Just hardbitten and intent on pursuing crime, and strangely fatalistic. Even with such well-observed characters, the film doesn't lack for Western action; it eschews gunfight cliches in favor of realism. ...
Gorgeously shot in authentic outdoors locations by director Henry Hathaway, "True Grit" also features an outstanding Elmer Bernstein score. Even if you're a Western-hater, just focus on the characters and an excellent tale. This is just flat-out a first-rate movie.

Look for cameos by Jay Silverheels, Wilford Brimley, plus small roles well-played by Strother Martin and Jeff Corey (Wild Bill Hickock in "Little Big Man").
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 18, 2008
I hadn't seen this movie in a number of years, but I'm happily surprised that the film doesn't come across as dated or formulaic at all. A solid Western and a classic within the genre.

True Grit is probably John Wayne's best performance, although it wouldn't be his last, even though he did win an Oscar for it. He also felt the story strong enough to entertain the idea of doing a sequel of the character, Marshall Rooster Cogburn, which is now elementary. Listening to the commentary though, it was stated that a third film was in the works and both Wayne and Hepburn were both happy to reprise their roles whenever filming began, Rooster Cogburn (...and the Lady) being the second and final.

Kim Darby as 'Baby Sister' was also very memorable. When I saw her later in Better Off Dead years later, I not only didn't recognize her, but I was convinced that I recognized her voice from somewhere, which is probably one of those truly signature film voices of all time. It's just a shame she wasn't tapped for better roles through the years to show it off.

True Grit is a incredibly well-written story, nice cinematography and hardy villains (Robert Duvall & Dennis Hopper) which makes for a well-spent two hours and eight minutes. And if you listen to the Director's Commentary towards the end of the film, despite Gary Will's biography, which is incorrect, John Wayne DOES jump over the fence.

For the record, even though he won an Oscar for this, it always seems that The Cowboys seem to be the fan favorite.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2011
This is a review of the blu-ray quality only.
The video and audio are great.For a 1969 film the picture quality is really good,could be better though(still some grain thru out especially in the courtroom scene),but you see an awful lot of detail not visible or as clear on the dvd(which i own and i have it on vhs).
The audio is much improved over the dvd.Dialogue is alot clearer(i thought John Wayne sounded different thats how much clearer it sounds)as well out door scenes and gunfire.
Overall this is really worth buying and its region free.A major step up from dvd.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
I'm not a John Wayne aficionado, I've only seen a few of his films. I mention this because many reviewers of this film probably have a clearer idea of his career and body of work. In the few John Wayne films that I've seen, what I have noticed is what made him an icon. The larger-than-life screen persona, the drawling voice, the charisma, etc. Despite his forever iconic status, John Wayne won only a single Academy Award and that was for this film...And what a performance it is.

Kim Darby stars as Mattie Ross, a strong-willed and sharp-tongued young girl whose father is killed by a man named Tom Chaney, who flees with her father's money. With Chaney hiding in Indian territory, out of reach of local authorities. Mattie becomes determined to bring him to justice. To assist her, she enlists the help of Deputy Marshal Rooster Cogburn, a one-eyed drunkard with an infamous reputation. In his four years as Deputy Marshal, Rooster has killed 23 men. After offering Rooster a substantial amount of money, Mattie and Rooster set off to catch Chaney, assisted by a Texas Ranger named La Boeuf (Glen Campbell), who's out to get Chaney for the murder of a Texas senator.

Robert DuVall co-stars as "Lucky" Ned Pepper, a wanted outlaw believed to be associated with Chaney. Dennis Hopper also makes a brief appearance in the film.

Forty years after it was originally released, True Grit is still one of the most revered and beloved western films of all time. Much of this can be credited to the presence of John Wayne, but this can also be accredited to the plot and, mores specifically, the characterization.

This is no action-packed western film. Of course, there are several scenes with shoot-outs and varying action, but the film does not build itself on these characteristics but, rather, its characters. Its central characters can be called nothing less than three-dimensional. They're imperfect, drunken, annoying, hilarious, heroic, arrogant, and loveable.

I found the characterization to be the strongest point of True Grit. But it's not just the writing that makes the character's so great; much of this goes to the actor's as well. The androgynous Darby nails the Mattie character in a completely convincing portrayal. Campbell is also slyly charming, showing much more depth than his iconic mugshot would lead you to believe. And then there's John Wayne; the real star of the show. Everytime he's on screen, he owns it. His larger-than-life presence and easy charm dominate everything. When Rooster is being cross-examined in a courtroom, drunkenly struggling to stay atop his house, or riding his horse with the reigns in his mouth while firing at four armed men he is absolutely believable. This is an iconic performance for a good reason.

With great characters, greater acting, sharp, witty dialogue, and beautiful scenery throughout, True Grit is definitely worthy of seeking out.

GRADE: B+
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
John Wayne as the tough former Confederate guerrilla turned hard-hitting lawman, Rooster Cogburn, gives us his most indearing character ever. The plot is enjoyable and keeps your attention. The characters, not just Rooster alone, are all perfectly cast and played well. There is perhaps no match to the final show-down scene between Rooster and and Robert Duvall as Ned Pepper. A favorite you can watch over and over again.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2010
When discussing fondly remembered films, the 1969 western "True Grit" certainly ranks somewhere near the top-10. This is not to say "True Grit" is one of the greatest westerns ever made - it's not - nor one of John Wayne's greatest films - it's not. But let's not get lost just yet. A sanitized though faithful adaptation of Charles Portis's brilliantly succinct and humorous novel (True Grit), it is perhaps best known as the film that gave the Duke a glorious opportunity to finally win the Oscar. He does not disappoint. As Rooster Cogburn, the cantankerous one-eyed Marshall who loves to "pull a cork," Wayne chews the scenery and rings every bell. It would have been difficult for him to miss the mark. Wayne not only hits the target, but every year of his vast experience is utilized, a skilled iconic professional with just enough salt to slam the home run.

Wayne went on record to say his finest moment of acting was the famous campfire scene when Rooster discusses his past, most notably as owner of a restaurant "The Green Frog." It's an incredible passage, sparked by the howling of nearby wolves, that resonates as a memorable snapshot. So much of my personal memory of this film is intertwined with viewing it with my family at the drive-in. To this day I recall the adult laughter, applause and intense enjoyment. And who doesn't feel goosebumps when Wayne - err Rooster - rides into the clearing and faces down Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall)?

Like Wayne, director Henry Hathaway was rapidly approaching the end of a robust career often spent in the sticks filming oaters. And like the Duke, Henry still had just enough muscle to bring this film home (he had previously directed the excellent western Nevada Smith in 1966). He knew what he had and how to film it, taking full advantage of a glorious Colorado landscape (that's supposed to be Oklahoma, but it's obviously not). Every scene glistens, and he knew exactly where to place his performers for full affect. Ultimately, he paints an old-fashioned Hollywood canvas, expensively accented with the extraordinary musical score of Elmer Bernstein (True Grit [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]) and artistic cinematography of Lucien Ballard, the end result an antique genre scrapbook colored gold with lantern light. "True Grit" trots through the land of myth rather than revisionism popular at the time.

After the murder of her father by the evil Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey), young teenager Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) hires U.S. Marshall Cogburn to track him down in the wilds of the Indian territories. They are joined on their adventure by Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) and ride dramatically through breath-taking vistas hoping to stumble upon Chaney and his colorful comrades. There are a handful of wonderful performances here, including Wayne, Darby, a young Duvall and even Strother Martin as a frustrated horse trader. Campbell, a likably talented songwriter, is sadly not up to the task. With all of the storied character actors available at this time - James Caan, Gene Hackman, George Kennedy, Warren Oates - filmmakers decided upon Campbell?! His stiff portrayal in a crucial role substantially weakens the film. Wayne had a peculiar habit of insisting upon popular singers to play supporting roles (Ricky Nelson, Frankie Avalon, Bobby Vinton). Blame him when uncovering one of the reasons "True Grit" does not achieve true greatness.

I revisit "True Grit" often when in a sentimental mood, enjoying it's nostalgic allure. Wayne had made three terrible films in a row ("The War Wagon," The Green Berets,Hellfighters) and the unique magnificence of "True Grit" re-energized a fruitful twilight career for this famous American emblem. Some of those final films were good (The Train Robbers,The Shootist), some not (Big Jake,McQ), and there was even enough time for the mediocre sequel Rooster Cogburn (...and the Lady). But the fateful magic of "True Grit" was rarely equaled during Wayne's final years, and we return to this moment with passionate memory. Here he rode high in the saddle, and tree branches broke against those mighty shoulders. "True Grit" is a tribute, vitalized by the firm foundation of Portis's novel, an enduring example of the gifts of Wayne's dedicated artistry.
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