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Rated: 13+ · Review · Western · #1784228
Comparing The book, and the two movies.
A few months ago, my mother and I saw a movie, True Grit, the Jeff Bridges' version. It was good, I'll admit that. I have also watched the John Wayne version, and read the book by Charles Portis. The John Wayne movie was great, and the book was a good read.

Now, the story of True Grit, in the book and the two movies goes like this; A Coward named Tom Chaney killed a man named Frank Ross in a drunken rage, after he lost his money in a game of cards. Chaney robbed the dead man, stole his horse, and fled for the Indian Territories.

Frank Ross's 14-year daughter Mattie heads into town, finds out that the local law can't do anything. She then hires a US Marshal named Reuben J. Cogburn, better known as Rooster, to go after the murderer. A Texas Ranger named La Boeuf (beef) throws in with them, as they are all after the same man. At first, the trio doesn't get along, but after a while, they warm up to each other.

Close to the end, Mattie encounters Chaney and shoots him, breaking one of his ribs. However, the guy manages to capture her, with the help of "Lucky" Ned Pepper, his boss. Ned and the other members of the gang soon leave Chaney and Mattie, with Ned telling Chaney "Anything happens to her (Mattie) and you won't get paid." However, Chaney tries to kill Mattie, when La Boeuf shows up to save Mattie, and takes Chaney into custody.

Meanwhile, down below, a dramatic scene plays out, when Ned and his gang find Rooster blocking their way.

Rooster: Where's the girl Ned?

Ned: She was in excellent health when last I saw her! I cannot answer for her now!

Rooster: You'll answer for her! Where is she?

La Boeuf: She's alright Rooster! Got Chaney too! Make a run for it.

Rooster then tells some of the gang members to get going, as he had no business with them, but they don't move.

Ned: What's your intention? Do you think one on four is a dogfall?

Rooster: I aim to kill you in one minute Ned, or see you hang at Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience! Which will it be?

Ned: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!

Rooster: Fill your hands you son of a bitch!

After that, there is shooting like you wouldn't believe, highly exciting, and violent. After a while, it comes down to Ned, who has been "shot to pieces" and Rooster, who has his leg trapped under his dead horse, and Ned has a revolver pointed at Rooster. Only a timely/lucky bullet from La Boeuf saves the Marshal.

Seconds later though, Chaney breaks La Boeuf's head with a rock, and Mattie is forced to shoot Chaney again. The recoil however, sends Mattie into a pit, causing her to break her arm. However, there is even worse news, as she has woken up a couple of rattlesnakes. Rooster shows up, just as one of the snakes bites Mattie's broken arm. Rooster then shoots the snake, and with the help of the injured Texas Ranger, manages to get Mattie out of the pit. He and Mattie then get on Little Blackie (Mattie's horse) and he rides the horse hard, as it is 50 miles to the nearest doctor. Thankfully, Rooster manages to find one in time, and save's Mattie's life.

However, there are several differences between the book and the movies, and between the movies themselves. In the book, there is no mention of Rooster wearing an eye patch, whereas in the movies, he does. In the John Wayne version, Rooster has his patch over the "right" eye, and in the Jeff Bridges' version it is over the "wrong" eye. There are also other differences between the John Wayne version and Jeff Bridges version, but I ain't going to say what they are, so I won't spoil anything for those planning on watching the movie.

Of course, I understand director tastes are different, but all of the lines tend to be the same. I'd give each of the three 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. The True Grit remake kept me riveted, and I'm somewhat disappointed that I missed ten minutes of it (to get some snacks and use the bathroom). I'll say this, compared to the book, it was better than the matchup between the Eragon book and movie, in my opinion.
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