True Grit

  • PG
  • Henry Hathaway (1969)
  • US
  • 122 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Big John Wayne finally won peer group recognition, taking the best actor Oscar for his performance in this western as Reuben J "Rooster" Cogburn, a cantankerous, one-eyed, drunken old reprobate hired by Mattie Ross (the excellent Kim Darby) to avenge her father's death at the hands of thoroughly nasty Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey). This movie has acquired a reputation for being a rollicking fun western, but actually it is surprisingly violent for a Wayne film (a pit of rattlesnakes, Dennis Hopper's fingers being severed), and, with its finely hewn, semi-Biblical dialogue (by Marguerite Roberts from Charles Portis's marvellous novel), it's not - unlike Wayne's earlier westerns - really suitable for family viewing, despite its strong moral theme. Glen Campbell is ineffective as Texas Ranger La Boeuf - a role first offered to Elvis Presley, to whom Wayne wouldn't take second billing - but it doesn't really matter. It's still a beautifully photographed film of many memorable moments, not least of which is Cogburn's final shoot-out with the bad guys in a Colorado clearing.

Plot Summary

Oscar-winning western starring John Wayne as one-eyed US marshal "Rooster" Cogburn. When a young girl discovers that her father has been robbed and murdered, she persuades the hard-drinking Cogburn to track down the killer.

Cast and crew


Reuben J "Rooster" Cogburn
John Wayne
La Boeuf
Glen Campbell
Mattie Ross
Kim Darby
Tom Chaney
Jeff Corey
Ned Pepper
Robert Duvall
Emmett Quincy
Jeremy Slate
Dennis Hopper
Alfred Ryder
Colonel G Stonehill
Strother Martin
Captain Boots Finch
Ron Soble
Lawyer J Noble Daggett
John Fiedler
Judge Parker
James Westerfield
John Doucette


Henry Hathaway

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Paramount Pictures
Edited for violence and swearing.
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Certificate PG