True Grit

Released 1969


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Movie Summary

Henry Hathaway
True Grit is an action packed movie that is a story about a fourteen-year-old girl named Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) who sets out to catch her father's killer. She knows who the cold-blooded killer is; his name is Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey), one of her father's hired help. In order to bring him to justice she would need help. She recruits a drunken U.S. Marshal named Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne). She chooses him because he has "grit", along with a reputation of not being afraid to pull the trigger. On her mission to find justice for her father's death Mattie is willing to take risks. Although Cogburn warns Mattie about the dangers of pursuing the criminal into Indian Territory, she convinces him to do it. She is not the only one on the hunt for Tom Chaney. He is also being pursued by a Texas Ranger named LaBoeuf (Glen Campell). He wants to catch Chaney and bring him back to Texas for the murder of a state senator. Mattie Ross, Marshall Rooster Cogburn, and LaBoeuf have the same goal but have a hard time deciding whether to work together.moreless


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  • If I died and could only watch one

    Like I said if I had to choose just one Western to watch for eternity this one definitely would rank number 1.

    Great acting by everyone involved and the story is no sham either. This Western was one of the first I ever watched and have shown to all of my nieces and nephews!

    If you have not seen is no excuse by there is salvation this movie is available and still valid.moreless
  • Great

    Love it

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (24)

    • The only film for which John Wayne ever won an Oscar.

    • John Wayne had met singer Karen Carpenter on a college show he hosted prior to the shooting of this movie. Wayne was so impressed that he wanted Carpenter cast in the role of Mattie Ross.

    • John Wayne had initially promised the role of Mattie Ross to his daughter Aissa Wayne, but director Henry Hathaway refused to cast her.

    • Elvis Presley was considered for the role of La Boeuf, the Texas Ranger. However, "Colonel" Tom Parker, his manager, insisted that Presley should receive top billing. The part was given to Glen Campbell instead.

    • The character of Mattie was supposed to be 14.  Kim Darby was going on 22 when the film was made.

    • Henry Hathaway later said he hated Glen Campbell's performance, which he described as wooden, and claimed the singer was only cast so he could have a hit with the theme song which would help promote the film.

    • John Wayne did not get along with Robert Duvall during filming, and at one point threatened to punch the young method actor if he argued with the director again.

    • The character of Rooster Cogburn was supposed to be around forty.  John Wayne was 61 when the film was made.

    • Stunt double  Jim Burk performed the entire scene where Rooster Cogburn charged Ned Pepper's gang on horseback. John Wayne was only seen briefly in close-up, and he was riding on a trailer, not a horse.

    • The film's release date of Wednesday, June 11th, 1969 was ten years before John Wayne lost his life, on Monday, June 11th, 1979.

    • When Rooster brings the bodies of the men killed in the shootout at the dugout to Boots Finch, he says that he's looking for Ned Papper. Finch replies, "If you're looking for Little Ned Pepper..." The character's name is "Lucky" Ned Pepper, not "Little".

    • When Rooster hits La Boeuf with his rifle right after Mattie is captured, the rifle bends. It is obviously a rubber gun.

    • When the characters in in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and after they ride into Indian territory, there are many shots of rocky peaks and snow-covered mountains. There are no such mountains within several hours' automobile drive of Fort Smith. Fort Smith is located in the Arkansas River Valley with the Ozark Mountains to the north and the Ouachita Mountains to the south. Both the Ozarks and the Ouachitas extend into eastern Oklahoma. The Boston Mountains north of town, which are part of the Ozarks, are green, tree-covered mountains. The Winding Stair Mountains in Oklahoma, where much of the action takes place, are in the Ouachitas. They are about 70 highway miles from Fort Smith.

    • After Mattie rides her horse across the river, when Rooster and Le Boeuf won't let her on the ferry, her clothes are perfectly dry.

    • When Mattie approaches the ferry pulling the horse, to join Cogburn and La Boeuf, her shadow indicates the sun position to the right. Subsequently, all of them are shown from behind, with their shadows indicating the sun position to the right again.

    • La Boeuf puts the serving spoon back in the bowl and picks up his fork. The next shot shows him putting the serving spoon back in bowl and picking up a piece of chicken.

    • Mattie Ross' gun is a Colt Walker, not a Colt Dragoon as stated by Rooster. (The movie's producers wanted to use the larger Walker to enhance the image of a little girl using such a large gun.)

    • (at around 1 min) The boom mic's shadow is clearly seen on La Boeuf as he sits down by the dinner table after taking off his spurs.

    • When Mattie visits Little Blackie at the corral prior to the purchase, electrical power lines can be clearly seen in the background.

    • Final film of veteran character actor  Stuart Randall

    • Sondra Locke was considered for the role of Mattie Ross. She read the script but wanted to avoid being typecast in juvenile roles, so she turned it down.

    • Sally Field was up for the part of Mattie Ross.

    • Rooster Cogburn wields a Winchester 1892 rifle with a looped lever and a Colt 1873 SAA revolver. Le Bouef carries a Sharps single-shot rifle. Mattie uses a Colt-Walker 1847 "Dragoon" revolver. Chaney uses a Henry rifle.

    • Chimney Peak is visible in the famous shootout scene at the end. It is part of the Cimarron Range outside Ridgway, CO.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Mattie Ross: Do you know a Marshal Rooster Cogburn?
      Col 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.

    • Col. Stonehill: I'm confident the deal will fall through.

    • Col. Stonehill: [Col. Stonehill is frustrated at Mattie's bargaining]

      Col. G. Stonehill: I will pay a total of two hundred dollars to your father's estate when I have in my hand a letter absolving me of all liability from the beginning of the world to date!

    • 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.

    • Rooster Cogburn: You can't serve papers on a rat, baby sister. You gotta kill him or let him be.

    • Rooster Cogburn: Damn that Texan - when you need him, he's dead.
      LaBoeuf: I ain't dead yet, you bushwhacker. Hang on.

    • Tom Chaney: Everything happens to me. Now I'm shot by a child.

    • LaBoeuf: What are you doing?
      Rooster Cogburn: Lookin' for sign.
      LaBoeuf: You couldn't see it if you saw it.

    • Mattie Ross: [Rooster and LaBoeuf gallop away from the ferry, leaving Mattie behind] Those horses can't get away from Little Blackie - they're loaded down with fat men and iron.

    • Mattie Ross: There's an old song that says: One white foot buy 'em, two white feet try 'em, three white feet be on the sly, four white feet pass 'em by.

    • Rooster Cogburn: [cocks his gun] Mr. Rat... I have a writ here says you're to stop eating Chen Lee's cornmeal forthwith. Now it's a rat writ, writ for a rat, and this is lawful service of the same. See? Doesn't pay any attention to me.

      [shoots the rat]
      Chen Lee: [runs into the room] Outside is place for shooting!
      Rooster Cogburn: I'm serving some papers.

    • Mattie Ross: I won't rest until Tom Chaney's barking in hell.

    • 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.

  • NOTES (0)


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