Thursday, July 30, 2015

True Grit 1969 Movie Review

Starring John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn

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Hard to believe that True Grit, the movie, is over 45-years old. It's one of my favorite movies so just in case you haven't seen this classic film, I decided to review it here for you.

True Grit takes place in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and in Indian Territory, across the Arkansas River from Fort Smith in what is now Oklahoma. Mattie Ross, the young star of the story, has traveled from Dardanelle, in Yell County, Arkansas, to meet Rooster Cogburn, a U.S. Marshall assigned to Judge Parker's territory in western Arkansas. Mattie has been told by her family's attorney that Rooster Cogburn has "grit," so she is sure that he is exactly the one she's looking for, the man who can track down Tom Cheney, the outlaw who shot and killed her father.

I happen to know a little bit about the Fort Smith, Arkansas, area; that's my neck of the woods. Judge Parker was real and is a very important part of our local history. I know something about the area across the river, too, and I know it doesn't look at all as it's portrayed in the movie, but I decided not to hold that against the makers of this film, which is more than worthy of a spot on my top favorite movies of all time list.

I love the characters in this story. I love Mattie Ross, partly because she reminds me a lot of myself (I think she even looks a little bit like me), and who doesn't love John Wayne no matter what character he portrays, and Rooster J. Cogburn is a character, indeed.

When the True Grit movie remake was released in 2010 I was very anxious to see it, and I liked it, but the John Wayne version is still my favorite. If you haven't seen True Grit starring John Wayne, you must.

The Fort Smith Connection

If you're a fan of either or both True Grit movies, or the novel on which they are based, then you may already know about the real Fort Smith, Arkansas. That's the setting of the story and the city the fictional Marshal Rooster Cogburn called home. Today, Fort Smith is also the home of the soon-to-be-built U.S. Marshals Museum.

--Susan Deppner

About the author

Posted by Susan Deppner

Susan Deppner

About the Author

Susan Deppner is a baby boomer, a cancer survivor, and a Southerner who believes in the Golden Rule. She enjoys writing about food, faith, and fitness; health, home, and holidays; people, places, pets, and patriotism, and more. Follow Susan on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Even though it has been several years since I have seen "True Grit", I definitely remember it as a totally awesome movie. As you said, who doesn't love John Wayne, and "Baby Sister" for that matter. I still laugh over that ridiculously big gun for such a little woman that she carried! I think that may have been my first introduction to Glen Campbell too. They are all great and so is the movie!

    1. Yes, love that he called her "Baby Sister." Looks like I'm among plenty of other John Wayne fans, or at least True Grit fans. Thanks for commenting, Cynthia!

  2. I always love a good John Wayne movie. True Grit is one of the best!

    1. I agree, Mary Beth. Hard to imagine that as many movies as he made, True Grit is the one that got him the academy award.

  3. One of my favorites, also. I love this original movie with John Wayne but also enjoyed the remake when it came out. One of my uncles was stationed in Fort Smith, Arkansas when he was in the service...I remember going there to visit him when I was a kid.

    1. Interesting about your uncle, Bev! I liked the remake, too, but John Wayne's Rooster Cogburn will always have a special place in my heart.

  4. I had no idea that they were building a U.S. Marshalls museum in Fort Smith, Arkansas. What a perfect location for such a museum. I have ties to Arkansas (brother-in-law in Searcy), so look forward to a visit to the museum when finished, on a future visit to Arkansas! True Grit - a classic!

  5. I love John Wayne, always have. I think his movie that grabbed me the most was The Alamo, maybe because he sunk so much of his personal fortune into it, or maybe because it contained the characters of Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, and how they died. But ANY John Wayne movie is a good one, simply because it has John Wayne. I love True Grit and your review, Susan, because of the connection you have with the area. Excellent!!


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