Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Was The Duke a better Rooster Cogburn than Jeff Bridges?

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, February 7, 2011 5:00 pm | Updated: 6:12 pm, Mon Feb 7, 2011.

 

I enjoyed the Coen Brothers' version of "True Grit" so I thought it would be interesting to compare it to the original featuring The Duke in his Oscar-winning role as Marshall Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn.

But there really isn't any comparison.

The original, released in 1969, just doesn't hold up to the new version.

• John Wayne had amazing screen presence, granted. He was huge and charismatic and had a voice that cut like a chainsaw. You could not not notice him. Problem is, Wayne's swagger and size dwarfed everyone else in the movie, especially Kim Darby as Mattie Ross.

The Rooster played by Jeff Bridges is more interesting, more human, and leaves space for a splendidly nuanced performance by Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie.

• The Coens know how to write and direct dialogue. Lines that were uttered with staccato sameness in Version One, with the right timing and setup, become funny or ironic in the new Grit. For example:

Lawyer Goudy: Now, I believe you testified that you backed away from Aaron Wharton?

Rooster Cogburn: That's right.

Lawyer Goudy: Which direction were you going?

Rooster Cogburn: I always go backwards when I'm backing up.

• Director of original Grit, Henry Hathaway, was prolific but drew little critical acclaim. He pumped out over 60 movies in his career, including many Westerns, such as `Nevada Smith,' with Steve McQueen.

• One treat in the original: A turn by Robert Duvall as Lucky Ned Pepper.

I grew up watching and admiring John Wayne. As I said, he had a commanding presence.

But The Duke was not the most dextrous of actors and True Grit, the first time around, was little more than a slightly above average Western.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

1 comment:

  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:07 pm on Mon, Feb 7, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    To me, the magic of any John wayne movie was John Wayne... the script or acting skills were irrelevent .... simular to a clint Eastwood movie. I think Rich Hanners measurment in comparing the two movies is not very useful to the reader.

     

Popular Stories

Poll

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists