Tag Archives: Hailee Steinfeld

True Grit: A Comparison of Two Versions

The Coen Brothers’ latest outing is a contemporary rendition of Chares Portis’ 1968 novel True Grit. Originally brought to the silver screen in ’69 by director Henry Hathaway (Niagara, Call Northside 777) and featuring John Wayne, singer Glen Campbell, and Kim Darby (the mother from Better Off Dead), the over 40 years between the two renditions shows a drastic change in filmmaking. Where Hathaway’s version features an almost lighthearted approach to the Western genre, Joel and Ethan Coen’s interpretation is grim, dark, and explores the darker aspects of humanity. There’s also a vast difference between performances. Although Wayne is a competent Rooster Cogburn, his Oscar winning performance lacks the tough demeanor the character demands – a trait Jeff Bridges brings to the role. The 2010 version of True Grit contains exactly what the title exclaims: grit. It’s a meticulously fashioned film, presenting an honest account of vengeance whereas the John Wayne version embodies the mythological interpretation of the Old West common in western films of the era. Continue reading