True Grit

True Grit

Henry Hathaway (1969)

U Certificate


Our Score
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.


One-eyed, over-the-hill US Marshal Rooster Cogburn reluctantly agrees to help a girl track down her father's killer. The quest is complicated by a Texas Ranger, who is also on the murderer's trail, and a host of villains who have few qualms about disposing of the meddling youngster and her protector. Western, starring an Oscar-winning John Wayne alongside Jeff Corey, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper.

Cast & 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
Moon Dennis Hopper
Goudy Alfred Ryder
Colonel G Stonehill Strother Martin
Captain Boots Finch Ron Soble
Lawyer J Noble Daggett John Fiedler
Judge Parker James Westerfield
Sheriff John Doucette
Director Henry Hathaway
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Paramount PicturesGuidance: Edited for violence and swearing.Available on: video, DVD and Blu-ray