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True Grit (1969)

3:39 | Trailer
A drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger help a stubborn teenager track down her father's murderer in Indian Territory.


Henry Hathaway


Charles Portis (novel), Marguerite Roberts (screenplay)
3,075 ( 65)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Rooster Cogburn
Glen Campbell ... La Boeuf
Kim Darby ... Mattie Ross
Jeremy Slate ... Emmett Quincy
Robert Duvall ... Ned Pepper
Dennis Hopper ... 'Moon'
Alfred Ryder ... Goudy
Strother Martin ... Col. G. Stonehill
Jeff Corey ... Tom Chaney
Ron Soble ... Capt. Boots Finch
John Fiedler ... Lawyer Daggett
James Westerfield ... Judge Parker
John Doucette ... 'Sheriff'
Donald Woods ... 'Barlow'
Edith Atwater ... Mrs. Floyd
Learn more

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Year's Best Seller About The True West! See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


John Wayne had two competitors for the Oscar for Best Actor in 1970, Richard Burton, (whom Wayne felt deserved it, more than him) who was nominated for Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) portraying England's King Henry VIII, a role that had already won an Oscar for Charles Laughton in The Private Life of Henry VIII. (1933); and Peter O'Toole, nominated for Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), a role that had already won an Oscar for Robert Donat in Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). See more »


When the defense lawyer begins to read the statement, he holds the paper with both hands. In the next shot, he only holds it in his right hand. See more »


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

Alternate Versions

When submitted for a rating from the MPAA in 1969, the film was given an "M". The film was edited and rerated "G". The American VHS version contains the "G" rated cut while the DVD is the uncut "M" version (which would be printed as "PG" since the symbol was changed in the 1970s). See more »


Referenced in De slimste mens ter wereld: Episode #13.14 (2018) See more »


True Grit
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Lyrics by Don Black
Performed by Glen Campbell (uncredited)
See more »

User Reviews

Wayne shines as a drunken and two-fisted U.S. Marshall who helps a teen girl track down her dad's killer
11 March 2012 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Stunning Western based on Charles Portis's novel and adapted by Marguerite Roberts about a hard-nosed , tough U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger who help an obstinate 14-years-old young woman track down her father's murderer in Indian territory ; being object a recent remake by Coen Brothers , Joel and Ethan with Jeff Bridges . Mattie Ross (Kim Darby , subsequently played by Hailee Steinfeld), a teenager from Yell County, Arkansas, is determined to revenge the killing of her daddy . Frank Ross was killed by his hired hand , Tom Cheney ( Jeff Corey , ulterior role by Josh Brolin), after attempting to dissuade an alcoholic Cheney from shooting a fellow card player who had cheated him . Cheney stole Ross's horse and fled the town . Enraged that no one bothered to pursue or convict Cheney, Mattie decides to take the investigation into her own hands . Leaving her mother and two younger siblings at home, Mattie journeys to Fort Smith where her dad was murdered . She identifies his body at the undertakers . She sells a string of ponies back to the reluctant seller (Strother Martin) and acquires three hundred and twenty dollars from the sale . After consulting the local sheriff (John Doucette) , she settles on the marshal described as the meanest : Rueben Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne's Academy Award-winning , posterior role by Jeff Bridges) , Mattie resolves to contact an U.S. marshal to pursue and catch Tom Cheney . And she attempts to hire him but is rebuffed . Mattie makes a second attempt after a court hearing at which Cogburn was questioned, but Cogburn turns her down again, doubting that she actually possesses amount of dollars she offered him as a reward for Cheney's capture . Renting a room at a Fort Smith boarding house, she meets a Texas Ranger , LaBouef ( Glen Campbell , posterior character performed by Matt Damon) and they along with Cogburn go to track down Cheney , Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall) and hoodlums .

Gentle entertainment about a tough-minded , hard-bitten bounty hunter and a fearless bargainer , stubborn adolescent in the Old West starred by the master of the western , an over-the-hill John Wayne , he is magnificent expert in the art of conjuring stylish , here stars this atypical but amusing western with a lot of jokes , distinguished moments , comical attitudes but also violence and action . Wayne deservedly won his best actor Academy Award for this 1960 portrayal of the boozy Marshal . Likable Kim Darby as an obstinate teen is very good , she is extremely quick-witted and confident . The enjoyable story is enhanced for entertaining moments developed among main characters and especially on the relationship between John Wayne and Kim Darby . Impressive final scenes dealing with a spectacular showdown between Rooster Cogburn and chief baddie well played by Robert Duvall. The stellar cast is accompanied with familiar hearted features , some excellent secondary actors as Robert Duvall , Dennis Hooper , Strother Martin , Jeff Corey , Jeremy Slate , Dennis Hooper , among others . Splendid musical score by Elmer Berstein in his usual style as 'The Magnificent seven' , 'The Comancheros' and '4 sons of Katie Elder' . Coloful cinematography by Lucien Ballard , mostly filmed in Natural parks from Montrose, Colorado,Owl Creek Pass ,Ridgway, Colorado, Sherwin Summit, Inyo National Forest and Durango, Mexico . Followed by a sequel titled ¨Rooster Cogburn¨ with Wayne and Katherine Hepburn and a TV movie with Warren Oates and Lisa Pelikan .

Well and professionally realized by Henry Hathaway with strong screen presence by John Wayne , both of whom collaborated in various Westerns , they included ¨Five Card Stud¨ , ¨North to Alaska¨ , ¨Rooster Cogburn¨ and ¨4 sons of Katie Elder¨ . Hathaway himself was only even nominated for an Oscar , but his movies themselves are testimony to his skills to heighten narrative tension and shoot action so exhilarating it made adrenalin run . Henry was a craftsman who had a long career from the 30s with successful films , and especially Westerns , as ¨Brigham Young¨ and ¨Raw Hide¨ . In his 60s Hathaway still got the vigour to make some fiery movies as ¨From Hell to Texas¨, ¨How the West was won¨, ¨Nevada Smith¨, and ¨Shoot out¨ . He was an expert on Western genre as he proved in ¨True grit , Five card stud , Nevada Smith , How the West was won , Rawhide , Brigham Young , Buffalo Stampede, Garden of evil¨ and ¨The sons of Katie Elder¨. Rating : Better than average , nice Western that will appeal to John Wayne fans. Action , interesting plot , top-notch performance and breathtaking last half hour make it fine screen amusement . It's still one of the Duke classics .

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Release Date:

21 June 1969 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

True Grit See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$157,788, 5 May 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Wallis-Hazen See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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