True Grit: Punishment comes one way or another!
In the early 1960’s, I wanted to be like Mike Nelson-the character played by Lloyd Bridges from the television show “Sea Hunt”. Now at 53, Rooster Cogbourn the characterization brought to life by Jeff Bridges, Lloyd Bridges son, from the Coen Brothers remake of the film “True Grit” gets this fat old man’s admiration.
What gave the Coen Brothers the idea that they could improve on Henry Hathaway’s original film-but take on the challenge they did. From the opening frames you are pulled in and become an eyewitness to the story unfolding before you-and once you are in, and you do not want to leave.
“True Grit” first appeared as a novel by Charles Portis. The book is written from the viewpoint of the story’s main character, Mattie Ross whose Father is murdered by one of his hired hands. 14-year-old Mattie vows to revenge her Father’s death, and engages a US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn, renowned for his true grit to bring the murdering Tom Chaney back to face the hangman’s noose. To Rooster’s dismay, Mattie insists that she goes along for the ride to protect her investment.
The original film of “True Grit” hit the screens on the 4th of July 1969. John Wayne did deserve his Academy Award for playing Rooster Cogburn in Henry Hathaway’s version. Kim Darby deserved one also. When the undertaker asks her character Mattie Ross: “Is this the man?” and she replies, “That is my Father”, Kim oozes intense emotion. Moreover, Glen Campbell may have been stunt cast in the role of La Boeuf but he was the perfect foil for John Wayne.
Wayne, Darby, and Campbell set extremely high bench marks which Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, and Matt Damon needed to exceed in order for the Coen Brothers remake to succeed. The Coen Brothers did not stop at casting the main roles with artists who are at the top of their field; every person who has screen time gives a consummate performance.
The Coen Brothers version of “True Grit” has humor, romance, drama and a little tragedy. The production qualities are high the cinematography is magnetic, your eyes will not move from the screen; and the soundtrack is perfect for this 19th Century period piece.
The Coen Brothers cast may have included the likes of Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Barry Pepper, and Josh Brolin-but I Hailee Steinfeld was the key ingredient in the mix. Without Hailee I do not think the film would have had the success that it did.
Never became no deep sea diver. Haven’t ridden a horse or fired a gun in 31 years. Thumpen and marauding have never been my style. I am not a sharper, I sleep on wooden slatted bed from which I am often pushed off by my dog. My first wife left me and the woman I subsequently wanted to marry let me down when I needed her most. When I was fifty, I did save a young girls life in a desperate dash that left me feeling old and broken. Why do I like Jeff Bridges portrayal of Rooster
Cogburn so much-because he makes me proud to be a fat old man riding down the road on my three wheeled scooter. I done some good in my life and God willing there is plenty of time left for me to do some more before I am laid to rest beside my Father.
The last thing I have to say about “True Grit”: is fudel really spelt futile-that doesn’t seem right to me.