I just bought Blu-ray copies of both movies. I thought the Coen Brothers have done a marvelous job capturing Mattie’s point of view and character through her dialogue and didn’t need narration to bookend the movie to develop her character. John Wayne, for example, is an iconic legend, but he was also best at playing…well, John Wayne. For me (and my wife) that was a big turn off and colored my feelings about La Boeuf throughout the film. spin, you might be startled to see how close the movie really does come to the 1969 version. After a while, that croak of his gets a little bit samey. Cogburn (1969): (takes the cash to examine them with interest) Oh. But if we’re gonna look at him, we might as well look at the leader, too. In one of the key scenes that’s more or less duplicated in the Coen brothers version (though to far less emotional effect), he talks about his past, including his wrecked marriage, and we see that he’s the sort of “noble” loner who’s really a broken-down, half-dead codger. And the ending…well, we’ll get to that in a minute. I thought the scenes with her were wonderful. He’s sad and pathetic in many ways, but also likeable and threatening when he needs to be. The atmosphere in the 2010 version is grimmer due to the cinematography and the choice of character actors. In the original, Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) is brushed off by Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne) in an encounter in the street. I always felt that the 1969 version “cheated” and inserted a “Hollywood” ending, although Glen Campbell’s final scene was his only convincing and most satisfying moment. The bookkeeper! Poll: Johnny Depp as Tonto in The Lone Ranger-misunderstood artist or racist superstar? (I didn’t think I’d ever read the book, but I own it, and I wrote the date – March, 1969 – on the inside front cover. True Grit, the movie that finally won Wayne his Oscar, was transparently one of those movies designed to win an old warhorse legend his Oscar. Chaney (2010): I don’t think you would do it. Who’s better: the Duke, or…the Dude? Now if you’ll just ask the marshal’s questions, he’ll help you. What’s needed is 5 minutes of Mattie opening the story from 1928, the vantage point of her narration, and another few minutes closing it. Ned Pepper (1969): I never busted a cap on a woman or nobody much under 16, but it’s enough that you know that I’ll do what I have to do. I guess maybe it’s just been so long ago that I’d forgotten it. (Clips from “True Grit” (1969 version and 2010 version) play out as NC speaks) NC (voiceover): Yep, it’s “True Grit,” the film that launched a dozen Oscars. Just saw the movie with Jeff Bridges – never saw the John Wayne version – and wondered how well the movie(s) compared to the book. The world of True Grit missed the Enlightenment. But luckily, this film has nothing to do—fucking “Maverick,” man. Twice Matt Damon left their little posse for no real reason – did he have other commitments? (He holds his head and rubs his forehead) Oh, God, I hate Westerns. Again, kind of a tough call, but I think I’m gonna go with the remake. Point goes to the new, I love the Bear Guy! There is one moment, though, that almost by definition can’t match the power it had back in 1969: When Wayne’s Rooster, just before the famous, climactic, reins-in-his-mouth shoot-out, growls out the line “Fill your hands, you son-of-a-bitch!”…there’s simply no way to recapture how funny-edgy, and even shocking, it once was to hear John Wayne, apostle of American values, spit out an epithet like that. I suspect i would more likely enjoy the novel more than either movie, as you did. A drunken, hard-nosed U.S.
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