Sometimes, the original is best left alone

Posted: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 by Travis Cody in

With all due respect to Jeff Bridges, an actor I enjoy, John Wayne is Rooster Cogburn.  The remake of the original True Grit may be a fine movie on its own.  I just don't know if I can be convinced to ignore the iconic performance of The Duke.

I couldn't find a clip of my absolute favorite lines, which come at the end of the film.

Mattie says:  Trust you to buy another tall horse.
Rooster says:  Yeah.  He's not as game as Beau, but Stonehill says he can jump a four rail fence.
Mattie says:  You are too old and fat to be jumping horses.
Rooster says:  Well, come see a fat old man some time!

Then he waves his hat and jumps the fence.

Mr Bridges may do a fine job with the character.  The film may be a fine western.  But John Wayne is Rooster Cogburn.  I just can't see it any other way.

"Baby sister, I was born game and I intend to go out that way!" 


  1. Anonymous says:

    I don't understand all this remake madness. Did Hollywood run out of original stories?

  1. Akelamalu says:

    I'm with you on this!

    In the same vein I watched two versions of Miracle on 34th Street recently and have to say the original was by far the better of the two.

  1. BeckEye says:

    I like Jeff Bridges too, but after straining to hear what the hell he was saying through most of "Crazy Heart," I'm not feeling too good about "True Grit." In the trailer, he sounds like Sam Elliott with peanut butter-covered marbles in his mouth.

  1. Linda says:

    I am totally with you on this one and will most definitely NOT be seeing it either in theaters or when it makes its eventual release on DVD. Rooster Cogburn is John Wayne and that's all there is to it and I will always think of Glen Campbell as La Boeuf - he may not have been an actor but I think he did a fine job with the role and I certainly shed quite a few tears when he got cracked in the head with that rock trying to save Mattie.

    Hollywood just really needs to learn to leave some things alone!

  1. There is no one that can replace John Wayne. Though I adore Jeff Bridges, there will only be one True Grit for me.

    Happy New Year to you and Pam

  1. I'll give the new one a try, mainly because it's a western. I do think Wayne had well developed acting chops by the time he played Rooster Cogburn.

  1. Anonymous says:

    I happen to agree with you about the Duke!

  1. I agree True Grit should have been left alone.

  1. Debra says:

    I also tend to love the orignials much better than any remake.

    What is wrong with Hollywood? Is there anyone left that can write and create as before?

    Sorry Trav, I could go on a rant with this one! LOL!

    Happy New Year my friend!

  1. JohnH985 says:

    I actually want to see this one. Jeff Bridges is a favorite of mine and I love the Cohen Bros who directed it. From what I understand this one is a lot closer to the book it came from. The focus of the movie is more on Mattie than Rooster. And I have to admit that I'm not a big John Wayne fan....sorry. My brother loves the Duke, I just can't get into him. But that's just my opinion.

  1. Lois: I'm OK with updating some original stories, but not this one.

    Akelamalu: I've never seen that movie!

    Beck: I really am a fan of the Bridges clan, and I'm sure he'll bring his own spin to the role. And I guess that's part of the problem I have with it.

    Linda: I saw that some of the dialog is exactly the same in the updated version. That really seals it for me.

    Pam: And I guess one True Grit, one Rooster Cogburn, is all some of us want or need.

    Charles: He often seemed to play either just a version of himself, or perhaps a version of the same character in many of his films. But I always thought his Rooster was completely distinct from what I had seen before.

    GGG: He was an American original.

    Mike: I think it's least around here it seems to be.

    NNG: I'm sure no disrespect was intended and I do hope the movie is successful.

    Debra: I think there are good writers around. But evidently it's difficult to put the good material together with the good directors and actors, and then make it good enough to make money. Oh well.

    John: No need to apologize. The trailers I've seen don't emphasize any uniqueness in the new film from the original.

  1. Susan says:

    I'm going to have to seek out the original now, but I loved this remake. That Roger Deakins photography is so glorious, I could easily just watch this on mute...but then I'd miss out on that crackling dialogue.