15 June 2011

Mattie, Rooster and LaBoeuf Have Got "True Grit" (2010)

U. S. Marshall "Rooster" Cogburn (Jeff Bridges) and Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) on the Trail

There's a theory that while primarily men settled the American west, it was women that civilized the new territories. If films are any evidence at all for this theory -- which most classic westerns aren't -- the Coen Brothers' remake of True Grit (2010) certainly is.

A discussion of this film broke out recently among the Classic Westerns group members at The Golden Age of Hollywood networking site, comparing this new version to the 1969 original starring John Wayne, here's part of my contribution to the discussion.
Maybe it's a generational thing, but The Coen Brothers' 2010 True Grit is the one for me. The dialog is so crisp, the locations so real -- even the soundtrack built out of old English church hymns -- and "Leaning" as Mattie's theme -- are great. I love this movie. And I think Jeff Bridges does a fine job. But never let it be said that the Duke (John Wayne) doesn't deserve the respect that [another commenter] shows him. I think we can agree, it's one great story.
And here's another commenter, a little younger than I, who knows both films and also the book.
It was a fun film to see in the theater, the crowd just loved it, they were eatin' it up and it's a WESTERN by golly! I thought the dialog crackled along pretty good and you could sense people's recognition of repeated lines from the book and earlier film...The 3 leads on the trail played off each other really well -- the girl was the best thing. ... The locations were better this time. I travel the very same area of Oklahoma and Arkansas where the story is set twice a year so I know. [Another commenter noted that the film was shot in New Mexico and parts of Texas.]
Let me close by giving the film my strongest recommendation and, to paraphrase my colleague above, it's a classic modern western by golly -- a rare thing indeed.

Here's the trailer with one note: the great Johnny Cash song used in the trailer is not in the film.


Christopher said...

looks good :o)

Mike Fisher said...

Very good blog.

M.A.K. said...

That‘s a good one.

Starla Darling said...

I got my stepdad a DVD of the new True Grit. He loves those old westerns and was wanting to see the new version but he's never the type to go out and buy a movie.

luminous muse said...

Thank you. I would just add what I blogged about a while back - that the score was great.

Paco Malo said...

Thanks for stopping by LM. That score is great, isn't it. For me, it redefined what a score for a western could be.