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“True Grit” (1969) 
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Post “True Grit” (1969)
“True Grit” (1969) *

A young girl’s (Kim Darby) father is murdered and she seeks a U.S. Marshal with “true grit” to apprehend the killer by whatever means necessary. Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne) is the blunt instrument she finds. A Texas Ranger, La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) also has interests at stake and joins in the hunt, completing the odd trio. Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper chew the scenery in villainous roles. This film marks the only Oscar win for John Wayne. Action is solid, as are performances from the male leads. Darby’s performance as “Mattie” varies wildly, from spot on to whut wuz that?!.

Awf Hand gives 3.5 out of 4 stars, losing 1/2 star for Darby’s acting.

*Yahoo's 100 movies to see before you die.

Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:06 pm
Post Re: “True Grit” (1969)
i.e.-Those things you think about when raiding the fridge after a movie.

This movie appears a bit dated even by 1969 standards. In the early 60’s Sergio Leone had pushed the envelope for cinematography, scoring and scripting well beyond “True Grit” levels. By ’66 “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” had set the bar of the western genre at a height that would not be reached again for over 20 years. One could draw comparisons to the automotive industry. True Grit and John Wayne are the awesome, rumbling muscle car and big block we all love. ‘Spaghetti westerns’ were the scrappy imports of their day. Easy to appreciate, yet definitely foreign; they forced the overall quality of American “Western” filmmaking to rise from the lumbering, inefficient fluff and fins of the 1950’s.
Did they rise? Examples?
One prime example is from “The Good the Bad and the Ugly” and it’s influence on “Dances with Wolves”. Watching GBU, one becomes aware that the screen/framing only reveals what is within the range of vision of those on the screen. -We don’t see behind them. If a shot is fired and the characters don’t know where it came from, nor do we. Prior to Leone’s work, audiences expected and received a full view of ‘our hero’ looking one direction as a nefarious, bandana-clad villain sneaked in from the unwatched flank. Following Leone, dramatic tension rode along more heavily with first-person viewpoints. This was not limited to westerns, and GBU didn’t break the ground. It did show the effectiveness of this framing method and it’s ability to hold our interests to those of the character. DwW employed an effective third person viewpoint in early scenes depicting the chaos and uncertainty of a civil war battlefield. This VP evolved to the first person after the arrival on the frontier and subsequent isolation of John Dunbar (Kevin Costner). –We are alone, together, and we feel it.

Westerns make up the second largest shelf of my collection (after sci-fi) and have undergone tremendous evolutions of methodology with almost NO evolutions of plot.

Or, I could be all wet!

Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:19 pm
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