John Wayne Revealed Why He Allowed Rooster Cogburn to Cuss in ‘True Grit’ – Old western – My Blog

John Wayne Revealed Why He Allowed Rooster Cogburn to Cuss in ‘True Grit’ – Old western – My Blog

Movie star John Wayne created an iconic character in True Grit‘s Rooster Cogburn. The eyepatch-wearing U.S. marshal became a legendary figure of cinema, continuing to influence contemporary feature films and their characters. However, Wayne doesn’t typically cuss a whole lot in his movies, yet he had a specific reason for why he allowed it while starring as Cogburn in True Grit.John Wayne was passionate about playing Rooster Cogburn in ‘True Grit’Henry Hathaway directed True Grit from Marguerite Roberts’ screenplay based on Charles Portis’ novel. It’s a story of revenge after Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey) murders the father of an independent 14-year-old named Mattie Ross (Kim Darby). She’s young, but she refuses to allow him to continue surviving after taking her father’s life.Mattie seeks out Cogburn (Wayne) to help her track him down. Meanwhile, Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) joins them on their journey to bring Chaney in for the murder of a Texas summary and a substantial reward.Wayne was passionate about playing Cogburn after reading Portis’ novel. The actor enjoyed how Roberts’ True Grit screenplay uplifted the original source material, including a different ending that left Mattie in a happier place.John Wayne allowed Rooster Cogburn to cuss in ‘True Grit’ for emotional impactWayne didn’t typically use vulgar language in his movies, but he allowed it as Cogburn in True Grit. However, he didn’t make this decision lightly. It was a character decision that fit the story and served to benefit the role’s interactions with other characters. In Wayne’s infamous 1971 Playboy interview, he explained why he brought out such “earthy” language.

“In my other pictures, we’ve had an explosion or something go off when a bad word was said,” Wayne said. “This time, we didn’t. It’s profanity, all right, but I doubt if there’s anybody in the United States who hasn’t heard the expression ‘son of a b****’ or ‘bastard.’ We felt it was acceptable in this instance. At the emotional high point in that particular picture, I felt it was OK to use it. It would have been pretty hard to say, “You illegitimate sons of so-and-so!”John Wayne won an Oscar for ‘True Grit’Cogburn in True Grit was a rare instance of when Wayne used profanity on the silver screen as often as he did. It’s also coincidentally the only performance that awarded him with an Academy Award win. He earned a nomination for playing Sgt. John M. Stryker in Sands of Iwo Jima. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also earned a nod for stepping behind the camera for 1960’s The Alamo.True Grit wasn’t Wayne’s best work, but it certainly went on to become one of his most culturally iconic. The look and attitude that he served in this Western defined an entire period of Westerns. For that alone, he earned the golden statuette that he worked so hard for over the course of an expansive career.


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