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How The 2010 Movie Compares To The Book & John Wayne Version – My Blog

In the half-century since Charles Portis first conceived the ruffian tale of a young girl and a brazen, drunken US Marshal joining forces, there have been two film adaptations of True Grit – but how exactly do these versions of the story differentiate and coincide with the novelist’s original book? The first movie, directed by Henry Hathaway and written by Marguerite Roberts, came out in 1969, only one year after the novel first hit shelves. Starring Kim Darby, country singer Glen Campbell, and a young Robert Duvall, the film was also the only Academy Award winning performance delivered by the great “Duke,” John Wayne. The role would later become the host for another Oscar nomination when Jeff Bridges embodied the character in the Coen Brothers’ appropriately grittier adaptation of the novel. The Fargo directors’ version of True Grit starred Bridges alongside Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, and Barry Pepper.

In all three cases, the story is launched by the brutal murder of honest man Frank Ross by the cowardly, thieving Tom Chaney. After the news ventures back to Yell County, Arkansas, Ross’ persistent daughter Mattie, opts to travel to Fort Smith and scrounge out what is happening in terms of an investigation. Whilst there, she learns that Chaney is believed to have fled into the Indian Territory with a gang of outlaws, out of the jurisdiction of the local sheriffs and officers. So, after inquiring about a US Marshal who commands a sense of “true grit,” she is led to the gruff door of Rooster Cogburn, who reluctantly takes her and an ambitious Texas Ranger named LaBeouf across the water and into the Indian Nation.
The story itself, catapulted by two feature adaptations as well as a John Wayne spinoff sequel (Rooster Cogburn), has become an integral fable of the Wild West – in literature and in film. Here’s how the fabric of True Grit matches and differs across each of its treasured mediums.
2010 Film Vs. Charles Portis’ Book

When Joel and Ethan Coen set out to make their version of True Grit, they did so with the intention not of remaking the John Wayne/Henry Hathaway classic, but of creating a more faithful adaptation to Charles Portis’ novel. Starting out on the wisdom of a Bible verse, Proverbs 28:1, they set the tone of their film: “The wicked flee when one pursueth.” While this may seem like the perfect prelude to the story, one whose villain initiates the plot by fleeing into the Indian nation, interestingly, that is only one half to the verse, coyly disguising the wrecking that is to come of him: “but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
Though the 2010 movie was criticized by some for its typical revenge narrative, this biblical gentility allowed the Coen Brothers to tonally preserve Portis’ simple, quiet approach to dialogue. It’s fair to say that in the West, where literacy and education were not of the highest priority or quality (see John Ford’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance), imposing straightforward dialogue between the threesome of disjointed and disinterested colleagues is to be expected. But what the Coen Brothers and Portis are both doing is establishing a setting where words are minced, but thoughts are rampant. As Cogburn, Mattie, and LaBeouf embark on this journey together, the audience receives Mattie’s wonderings and observations through the narration – but at the same time, the sense of responsibility and protection manifesting themselves in both the US Marshal and the Texas Ranger are palpable, even if neither say it.
In terms of events, again, the Coen Brothers’ True Grit is more directly suited to staying accurate with the book. That being said, they did impart some of their quintessential and defining strangeness onto the film. For instance, that “Bear Man” scene was a Coen original. Also, during the triple hanging sequence, the Coens impart a bit of racial humor and horror. One of the men that is to be executed is an Indian; though all three are given the opportunity to offer some final words (the order of which is swapped, but the content is generally the same), the Indian’s final words are cut off by the dismissive executioner. In the book, all three men are given the opportunity to talk in full, but the Coen Brothers’ sense of dark comedy and social awareness comes through in this scene.
2010 Film Vs. 1969 Film

While there are tonal inconsistencies scattered throughout the 1969 film version of True Grit when compared to both the 1968 novel and the Coen Brothers’ 2010 adaptation (more on that later), there are also several differences between the events of the two films. For instance, the opening murder of Mattie’s father is portrayed differently in both movies. In the first version, Frank (played by John Pickard) is seen with his family, establishing who he is and his special relationship with his eldest daughter Mattie (Kim Darby). The audience also sees Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey) ride off with Ross, as Mattie rightfully expresses her skepticism towards the soon-to-be murderer’s character.
Though Portis’ book also displays these opening scenes in flashback, in the Coen Brothers’ movie, all of this 1969 exposition is cut out of the film. Instead, their version opens up on Frank’s corpse as Chaney (Brolin, who cannot be seen) gallops away on Ross’ horse. Mattie’s (Steinfeld) narration over the events matches that of the book’s opening chapter.
Similarly, the fate of the film’s two oldest justice seekers, Rooster Cogburn and LaBeouf, are identical in both the 2010 movie and the book, but altered in the 1969 film. In the older production, LaBeouf (Campbell) is struck on the back of the head by Chaney as he and Mattie await Rooster’s return to the top of the canyon. This happens again in the 2010 film, but while the Texas Ranger (Damon) is killed in his first onscreen presentation, he is left with a bad scar and a headache in the latter (Rooster and Mattie abandon him in need ). As for Cogburn, Wayne’s version survives until the end of the film, and later stars in the aforementioned romantic spinoff. Bridges’ does not get such a glorious send off; as seen in the film, the one-armed Mattie, now an old maid, ventures to see Cogburn for the first time since he saved her life all those years ago. By the time she gets to the carnival which he performs for, he has already died of old age and, more than likely, a notoriously sour lifestyle.
This isn’t to say that the Coen Brothers completely abandoned the Hathaway production when making their film. Scattered across the production are small tributes to the 1969 Oscar winner, most prominently in the film’s climatic shootout, as Jeff Bridges takes his reigns by the mouth and charges at the Lucky Ned Pepper gang with nothing but determination.
1969 Film Vs. Charles Portis

The fact that John Wayne was cast as Rooster Cogburn is both the 1969 True Grit‘s biggest strength and its greatest enemy – the latter referring to the film’s connection with Charles Portis’ novel. Wayne, aged 62 at the time of release, was a Hollywood institution; a symbol of masculinity, heroism, and American pride. Though his role in the Hathaway movie was considered to be a glowing triumph for the Duke, one that strayed away from the actor’s typical Western hero, time and a whole slew of murky, dark Westerns have corralled his performance as Cogburn back into the kennel of his iconic typecast.
Anchored on Wayne’s natural onscreen charisma, this first film version of True Grit is buoyed by a triumphant tone, one whose comedy is particularly punchy and whose heroics are particularly, well, heroic. Elmer Bertnstein’s memorable and dazzling score similarly articulates the tone, casting the crusaders off on their pursuit with an adventurous blast of trumpets, horns, and strings. Portis’ book does not incorporate such heroics. Cogburn, a US Marshall and a US drunk, is a dusty being, one whose tenacious and ignorant way of life gets in the way of his ingrained sense of duty; he is a redemptive character in all three versions, but the 1969 film, when compared to the book, is the weakest interpretation of such.
When put in comparison with the Coen Brothers’ production, the 1969 True Grit comes off as if it is playing the game safe. They may not have been the impression 20th century moviegoers received when viewing the critically acclaimed film, but with so many stark contrasts to the source novel, it is hard for the 1969 movie to shake off that idea.

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John Wayne’s Son Couldn’t Watch 1 of His Dad’s Movies After His Death – My Blog

John Wayne is a legendary actor who successfully personifies Western movies. He has a very loyal fan base, but some of his critics claim that he plays the same character in every movie. However, Wayne delivered several nuanced performances over the course of his career. His son, Patrick, had difficulty watching one specific movie after his father’s death.

John Wayne starred in over 160 full-length movies
Wayne entered the entertainment industry working as an extra, prop man, and a stuntman. He primarily worked for Fox Film Corporation, but ultimately got his first shot with Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail. However, the film was a box office failure. Fortunately, Wayne’s huge success at the movies would later come to be.
Wayne ultimately starred in popular Western and war movies over the course of the 1940s onward. Some of his most notable performances include titles such as She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, True Grit, and Sands of Iwo Jima. All together, Wayne starred in over 160 full-length movies over the course of his extensive career.

John Wayne’s son, Patrick, couldn’t watch ‘The Shootist’ after his dad’s death

Jeremy Roberts interviewed Patrick via Medium to talk about what it was like growing up in the Wayne family. He talked about some personal stories involving his father, as well as the collection of Wayne movies. The interviewer asked him if he had any difficulty revisiting any of his dad’s movies after his death.
“I’d have to say no to that question with the exception of one film, The Shootist,” Patrick said. “I couldn’t watch that Western as it was so close to reality. He played an old gunfighter who was an anachronism dying of cancer.”
Wayne plays J.B. Books in The Shootist, who is an aging gunfighter diagnosed with cancer. He heads into Nevada at the turn of the 20th century. Books rents a room from a widowed woman named Bond Rogers (Lauren Becall) and her son, Gillom (Ron Howard). When people pursue Books with questionable motives, he decides that he isn’t going to die a silent death.
Patrick continued: “Too many of the elements in there were just too close to what actually happened to him in his real life, so that film took me about 10 years to watch again [of course I saw it when it was originally released in 1976].”
Patrick Wayne thinks ‘The Shootist’ is his dad’s ‘finest performance’

Wayne earned Oscar nominations for his movies Sands of Iwo Jima and The Alamo. However, he wouldn’t take home the gold statue until his work on True Grit. Patrick believes that the iconic film isn’t quite his father’s best work. He gives that title to Wayne’s work in The Shootist, which he didn’t even earn an Oscar nomination for.
Patrick said, “When I did finally watch it for the second time, I have to say that it’s probably his finest performance as a pure actor, using all his skills and being more than just a cardboard cutout, but more of a real human being — a vulnerable human being — and I think he pulled it off really well.”

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‘It Was a Pretty Miserable Experience’ – My Blog

John Wayne has worked in a wide variety of filming locations over the course of his career. However, they didn’t all provide comfortable conditions for the cast and crew. Wayne’s son, Patrick, once noted the “worst” film location of them all, calling one of his dad’s filming locations a “pretty miserable experience.” Nevertheless, he still enjoyed making movies with his father.

John Wayne’s son, Patrick, worked with his dad on film locations
'The Green Berets' filming location John Wayne pulling a wagon along

Patrick followed in his father’s acting footsteps. His first roles included uncredited roles at Wayne’s filming locations, which gained him momentum moving forward into bigger roles. Some of these include Rio Grande, The Searchers, The Alamo, and The Quiet Man. However, he later moved more into managing the John Wayne Cancer Institute, which pushes to advance research in the fight against cancer.

Patrick has a wide array of stories from the Wayne filming locations. His father remains one of the most iconic Western actors of all time. Patrick looked up to his dad, but they didn’t always have the best time on the set of the more grueling filming location.
‘The Green Berets’ was the ‘worst’ John Wayne film location for his son, Patrick

Jeremy Roberts interviewed Patrick for Medium about some of the iconic Wayne filming locations. He explained that there was one set, in particular, that he just couldn’t stand.
“That would have to be The Green Berets,” Patrick said. “We were on location at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, which is located about 125 miles west of Atlanta. But it was nothing like Atlanta.”
Patrick continued: “Oh my God, it was pretty dreary. That’s fine but it started raining to the point of where we couldn’t even work. Boy, there was nothing to do except sit there and wait ’til it stopped raining. It was a pretty miserable experience from the weather aspect at that time [filming commenced on August 9, 1967]. It was past the worst part of the summer, so the humidity wasn’t that bad.”
Wayne’s difficult conditions on the Green Berets filming location makes sense for the movie’s story. It follows Col. Mike Kirby (Wayne), who selects two teams of Green Berets for a specific mission in South Vietnam. They must build and run a camp that the enemy seeks to capture, but that isn’t all. They must also kidnap a North Vietnamese General behind enemy lines.
‘The Green Berets’ is a controversial war movie

The Green Berets succeeded at the box office, but critics found the film incredibly controversial. They slammed the film for being heavy-handed and predictable. However, its war politics particularly upset a lot of critics. Nevertheless, The Green Berets easily sold tickets to audiences, making it a financial success.
Wayne went through some rough conditions on the filming location, but it proved to be worth his time. Despite its politics, the film made the legendary actor a large sum of money and remains a well-known war picture. It was also an opportunity for Patrick to work with his father on another film.

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Ann-Margret’s precious memories of ‘teddy bear’ Duke on The Train Robbers – My Blog

JOHN WAYNE was “slightly infirm” on The Train Robbers but tenaciously pushed through filming despite two fractured ribs, balance issues and a daily lie down, according to co-star Rod Taylor. Ann-Margret remembers Duke appearing strong despite his declining health and admitted the Western star “gave me the confidence I lacked”.

By the 1970s, John Wayne was coming towards the end of his career as a Hollywood star. In 1973, aged 65-years-old, he had been living with one lung for the best part of 10 years and was suffering from emphysema on the remaining one. That year he released two Westerns which aren’t remembered as his best but saw the ageing icon carry on with much determination. One of the films was The Train Robbers, which co-starred Ann-Margret and Rod Taylor.
The Train Robbers saw Ann-Margret’s feisty widow work alongside three cowboys in recovering a cage of gold that was stolen by her late husband.
Before shooting started, Wayne had fractured two of his ribs, which was so painful he struggled to sleep at night.

This meant that his action scenes had to be scaled down and co-star Taylor remembered Duke being “slightly” infirm during the shoot.
The Time Machine star said the Western legend had trouble with his balance and understandably needed afternoon naps.
train robbers cast

Despite his health problems on the movie, Wayne refused to delay filming and strived forwards.
Ann-Margret had fond memories of her co-star’s tenacity, recalling: “Duke was still a strong, rugged, formidable man, larger-than-life and incredibly personal. He was a big teddy bear, and we got along famously. Duke gave me the confidence I lacked.”
The Viva Las Vegas star appreciated this given that 1972 had been a very difficult time in her life, having been seriously injured when performing in her Lake Tahoe show.
john and ann
Ann-Margret felt John Wayne gave her the confidence boost she needed (Image: GETTY)
train robbers poster
The Train Robbers poster (Image: GETTY)
In terms of the confidence boost she needed, the actress had to overcome her fear of horses as there was much riding needed for her character. It was here that Wayne gave her the support she needed.
The Train Robbers had average reviews and later Quentin Tarantino would comment the film was “so light it’s barely a movie, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amusing.”
Wayne also released Cahill: US Marshall in 1973, which saw a significantly weakened Wayne having to use a stepladder to climb onto a horse.
That year also marked the death of his most famous collaborator, the director John Ford.
Upon news of the filmmakers’ death that August, Wayne told journalists: “I’m pretty much living on borrowed time.”
Duke would go on to make a couple of better-reviewed Westerns in True Grit sequel Rooster Cogburn opposite Katherine Hepburn and The Shootist.
The latter film was his final one and saw him playing a terminally ill gunfighter.
The Hollywood icon himself died of cancer just a couple of years later in 1979.

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