The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

TRUE GRIT (1969) ***

Kim (Teen Wolf Too) Darby’s father gets gunned down in cold blood and she turns to the incorrigible sheriff Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne) to find the man who murdered her daddy.  The Rhinestone Cowboy himself, Glen Campbell also throws in with them and the trio heads west to catch the killer. 


John Wayne has never really been known as an “actor”.  Normally he’s just John Wayne and that’s usually enough.  In True Grit he branches out a bit and actually acts.  Of course his idea of acting is wearing an eye patch.  Admittedly, it’s not much of an attempt, but it’s enough for me.  To me, John Wayne is awesome, eye patch or not.  The eye patch thing was obviously enough for the Academy because they gave Wayne his only Oscar for his performance.  Wayne reprised the role six years later in the sequel, Rooster Cogburn.


The supporting cast is also pretty good.  Darby is quite winning as the spunky whippersnapper and I liked the way she conned a horse trader out of $300.  Campbell is just OK, but you’ll have more fun watching the soon-to-be-famous bit players like Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper (the year he made Easy Rider) earning paychecks. 


True Grit is not a great western although it does have moments of greatness.  The flick is relatively light on action but when it does cook, director Henry (The Sons of Katie Elder) Hathaway turns on the heat pretty good.  (I especially liked the scene where Dennis Hopper got his fingers chopped off.)  The flick does suffers from one climax too many and some uneven pacing.  That’s okay though because it’s the chemistry between Wayne, Darby and Campbell that makes the movie.  The scenes where the trio bicker and jaw at one another are fun to watch and helps the film along during its slower patches. 


Wayne does get some great dialogue in the film, my favorite being:  “If you’re looking for trouble… I’ll accommodate ya!”  It’s Darby though who gets the best line of the movie when she tells Campbell, “You cultivate your hair like lettuce!”

Tags: john wayne, t, western
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