[Last Film I Saw] True Grit (2010) Vs. True Grit (1969)

True Grit poster

Title: True Grit
Year: 2010
Language: English
Country: USA
Genre: Western, Adventure
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Writers:
Ethan Coen
Joel Coen
Charles Portis
Music: Carter Burwell
Cinematography: Roger Deakins
Cast:
Jeff Bridges
Hailee Steinfeld
Matt Damon
Josh Brolin
Barry Pepper
Elizabeth Marvel
Ed Corbin
Bruce Green
Dakin Matthews
Paul Rae
Domhnall Gleeson
Rating: 8.0/10

 True Grit poster

Title: True Grit
Year: 1969
Language: English
Country: USA
Genre: Adventure, Western
Director: Henry Hathaway
Writers:
Charles Portis
Marguerite Roberts
Cast:
John Wayne
Kim Darby
Glen Campbell
Robert Duvall
Dennis Hopper
Jeremy Slate
Jeff Corey
John Doucette
Alfred Ryder
Strother Martin
Ron Soble
John Fledler
H.W. Gim
Rating: 6.0/10

I watched these two films consecutively, Coen brothers’ remake first, Henry Hathaway’s original came second.

Overall, Coen brother’s remake outshines the original in almost every aspect (which should not be too proud of thanks to the evolution of technology and mankind in these 40 years), its bleak locale disturbs more than the yellow-hued original version in guarantee a sense of grueling western lifestyle, particularly by several supplemental sketches such as the bear man and the hanging corpse. The resurrection of western genre has tumbled through a long and bumpy way, sometimes it seems to be a pipe dream because we all admit time is a ruthless bitch, but in the hands of Coen brothers, the clicking steps are by far the firmest one to satisfy our nostalgia for that era (who could forget NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN?).

It’s hard to believe that TRUE GRIT actually is my first John Wayne’s film if my memory doesn’t fail me (which partially testifies that Western film usually is not my cup of tea), also I discovered it got Wayne an Oscar winning for Best Actor, which honestly speaking, is far from academy’s normal criterion, the performance is particularly unexceptional, to me it’s rather a tribute to his entire career, which is a stock and unfair trickery using by the academy (Paul Newman for example), Jeff Bridge’s interpretation also doesn’t take my breath away as well, mainly because his weird accent does bug me a lot.

The original version is more or less an eulogy towards Wayne’s iconic heroism image, his absolute priority in the film never shivers, and releases a much more amiable stance all the way till the end, and in the remake, Bridge’s Rooster is excelled by the audacious poise of Mattie (an awe-stricken 14-some Hailee Steinfield), whom I insist putting in the leading actress category (in both versions).

Mattie’s precocity indeed shows off two divergent impressions in two films, the original one is slightly obnoxious and naive in order to cast a comparison to elect a more morally agreeable image for Rooster, while the latest one maintains a tug-of-war between Mattie and Rooster, demonstrating a contemporary ethos of our generation.

LaBoeuf is a character devoid of any further exploitation in both versions. A rookie Glenn Campbell in the old version serves merely as an eye-candy (the weakest link amongst the trinity); in Coen’s version it adds some intermitted gusto to the lone pair by taking several French leaves, both times he acts the role as the savior, but ended in different ways.

The plots are almost identical, apart from LaBoeuf’s denouement, another major modification is the ending, Mattie sacrificed one arm to pay the price of her own willfulness in the remake, which I must applaud for its intrepidity (although I should not be too much surprised because of its under Coen brothers’ name tag), the true grit not only sprouting in their films, also within themselves. As for John Wayne’s version, hardly a masterpiece, but still a solid one to catch my breath within its lengthy duration, one fringe benefit is that it successfully arouses my curiosity of his other noteworthy films!

Oscar 2010 - True Grit

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “[Last Film I Saw] True Grit (2010) Vs. True Grit (1969)

  1. Pingback: [Last Film I Saw] The Hudsucker Proxy « A Breathless Trail

  2. Pingback: [Last Film I Saw] The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) [7/10] | Cinema Omnivore

  3. Pingback: [Last Time I Saw] A Serious Man (2009) [7/10] | Cinema Omnivore

  4. Pingback: [Last Film I Watch] Niagara (1953) [6/10] | Cinema Omnivore

  5. Pingback: [Last Film I Watch] My Cousin Rachel (1952) [6/10] | Cinema Omnivore

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s