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Reasons to Watch the Classic John Wayne Version of True Grit

Updated on March 4, 2017

The opening scene.

When the movie opens, there is a voice familiar to many who have been listening to country music since the 1960s. It is Glen Campbell singing the title song. It is a song that can be as inspirational as the scenery in the opening scene and throughout the movie. The most inspirational words for me in that song are "You'll find the sun one day." The scenery remains breath-taking throughout the movie and you'll find something else throughout the movie in the character of Texas Ranger LeBoeuf, who is described as being not full of whiskey and with a gun.  Glen Campbell not only sings a few songs, but he is a key actor throughout the movie. If you are a fan of Glen Campbell's singing and would like to see how his is as an actor, you will want to see this version of True Grit.

Classic movie themes.

One of the early scenes in the movie is of a hanging, in which it seems like most of the town has come to watch the hanging of three criminals.  This scene seems to be the classic making light of the subject matter of death, as it seems to make a circus out of the event.  Children are running around and playing and tamales are being sold.  It seems a very care-free atmosphere for something so serious.  It also portrays John Wayne's character as someone who is trying to battle alchoholism while chasing criminals.

While the movie takes the playful view of death and life, it has more serious themes as well, such as the strength and bravery of a woman, and people who will not be pushed about when they are in the right.  Those themes make the movie worth watching.

John Wayne

 The mere presence of John Wayne in a movie is reason enough for some people to watch True Grit.  When I watched this movie, I wondered when I would get to see the Duke, because he was not in the opening scene and did not appear until 13 minutes into the movie.  Of course, once he did appear, I believe it was worth the wait and he stayed for the rest of the movie. 

Many good things about his character seemed to come together in this movie.  His behavior, interactions with other characters and his attitudes seemed to fit just right. Add in a few stunning stunts on horseback, some gun fights and some hilarious one liners and you have an award winning performance.   

Classic quotes

  •  "He loves to pull a cork." - referring to John Wayne's character.

  • "I always try to be ready.  I only take one step at a time.  That's why I was given two feet." - Glen Campbell's character LeBoeuf referring to his own style.
  • "I  will not be pushed about when I'm in the right." 

As well as a few other good quotes in the opening scene such as "Take care of your mama." and "I got all I need."  Those seem like classic quotes.

Other interesting facts

  • The movie was based on a book by Charles Portis.
  • In this movie, John Wayne's character has a cat.
  • John Wayne was over 60 when True Grit was filmed and released.
  • The movie was filmed in Ouray County, Colorado, in and around Ridgway.
  • Other things famous in 1969 were the Moon Landing and Woodstock.


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      Agnes 7 years ago

      Rooster Cogburn (...and the Lady) was a much better film. You're correct in mentioning that the Duke's presence alone is a magnet for viewers.

      Nice summation of plot. You should review movies for a living!