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True Grit (1969)

M  |   |  Adventure, Western, Drama  |  11 June 1969 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 31,384 users  
Reviews: 161 user | 68 critic

A drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger help a stubborn teenager track down her father's murderer in Indian territory.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Slate ...
Ron Soble ...
James Westerfield ...
Edith Atwater ...
Mrs. Floyd


The murder of her father sends a teenage tomboy, Mattie Ross, (Kim Darby), on a mission of "justice", which involves avenging her father's death. She recruits a tough old marshal, "Rooster" Cogburn (John Wayne), because he has "grit", and a reputation of getting the job done. The two are joined by a Texas Ranger, La Boeuf, (Glen Campbell), who is looking for the same man (Jeff Corey) for a separate murder in Texas. Their odyssey takes them from Fort Smith, Arkansas, deep into the Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) to find their man. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net> [edited]

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A Brand New Brand Of American Frontier Story See more »


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 June 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Temple de acero  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,250,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Henry Hathaway did not like Kim Darby and felt she was wrong for the role of Mattie Ross. See more »


When Rooster hits La Boeuf with his rifle right after Mattie is captured, the rifle bends. It is obviously a rubber gun. See more »


[first lines]
Frank Ross: Little Frank... You take care of your mama.
Little Frank: I will.
See more »


Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »


(Folk Song)
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User Reviews

The Quintessential Inner Directed Man
6 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

Not Wayne's best movie The Searchers but pretty close. My title refers to the great sociologist David Riesman who separated societies by the type of people it produced. Decadent cultures with declining birth rates, like ours, produce other directed people who seek consensus before making any decision. Wayne personifies the inner directed during the zenith of America before its decline; he carries all the norms and folkways of his culture within him. He is openly contemptuous of other's views. The stand alone Lone Wolf; that was the Icon that was John Wayne. Here he gives a great performance hunting down Ned Pepper and Tom Chaney for the whippersnapper Ross who proves to be almost as much of a challenge. My favorite scene in the movie is the interchange between Strother Martin and Darby; her business acumen, and wielding lawyer J. Noble Daggot as a weapon are hilarious. Watch his exasperation as she runs rings around him mentally taking him for quite a ride. Darby really steals the movie with her portrayal of Matty Ross. She is the perfect foil of Cogburn who resents her mothering but cannot but help admire her fire and independence.

Wayne gives a great performance when many comic moments lightening the film. He has to hold up the bad acting Cambell who, though a good singer, was a terrible actor. Look for an early Robert Duvall as Ned Pepper and Dennis Hopper still as bad an actor even way back here. The photography is stunning, the dialog well written. Cogburn is idealized in his fighting abilities but not in his being a drunken reprobate with still a little light left in him. The ending is touching without being gooey her proffering him a burial plot after he saved her life. This was the greatness of the movie; see how when she gets her father's things, she holds them up next to her quietly and cries without a full symphony behind her. Back here, the writing evoked the emotions not maudlin music. The showdown between Rooster is silly but it was an iconic image. Look, give him a break; I love the people attacking this scene and yet giving Arnie a pass in Commando when he guns down a hundred guys. Yes, it is phony but it is pure realism compared to the modern action pictures of today.

Wayne was what all men from my generation wanted to be. As mentioned, you could take him out in the middle of nowhere and he was as solidly moral as he was in a city. This was the inner directed man. He did not need to peruse a chat room to find out what the most popular beliefs were. Not a giant little boy, unemployed living off his girlfriend like we see today. This is was the time of men; men who protected and even died as Wayne did in The Cowboys. In the midst of the castration center that is current matriarchal America, what a joy to behold a real man; courage, strength and honor. A great movie it has great action, acting with lots of humor. Kim Darby and Strother Martin are both great in support. I had to take one star off for Glen Cambell who stinks it up here. Try to overlook him, no movie can be perfect. A Great Movie

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