Just in time for its 50th anniversary, Turner Classic Movies Big Screen Classics is presenting John Wayne in True Grit (1969) in special theater showings.
True Grit was adapted from a 1968 novel by Charles Portis and tells the story of a young 14-year-old girl (Kim Darby) who hires U.S. Marshal “Rooster” Cogburn (John Wayne) to track down the hired hand (Jeff Corey) who murdered her father. Along the way, they are joined by Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) who is also seeking the fugitive for other crimes. True Grit contains the classic scene of Wayne’s one-eyed Rooster Cogburn riding with the reins in his teeth while firing on the bad guys with a gun in each hand.
John Wayne won a Golden Globe and a Best Actor Academy Award for his role; it was Wayne’s only Oscar win in his long career. Wayne said, “Wow! If I’d known that, I’d have put that patch on 35 years earlier” when he accepted his Oscar. The title song sung by co-star Glenn Campbell was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song.
Wayne reprised his role as the drunken, one-eyed Marshall in the film Rooster Cogburn in 1975. His costar in Rooster Cogburn was Katharine Hepburn as Eula Goodnight.
In 2010 the Coen brothers made another adaptation of the novel that starred Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn, Hailee Steinfeld as the young Mattie Ross, Matt Damon as Texas Ranger La Boeuf, and Josh Brolin as fugitive Tom Chaney.
True Grit with John Wayne will be playing Sunday, May 5 and Wednesday, May 8.