So - this weekend my husband and I decided to go see the new True Grit movie. He had never seen the original, which I loved, so we dutifully requested if from Netflix and spent Saturday afternoon with a huge bowl of popcorn watching it on our big screen. It was still just as good as I remembered with John Wayne and the irascible Marshall Rooster Cogburn, Kim Darby as the precocious Maddie Ross and Glen Campbell as Leboef. We watched and were enthralled by all that they went through in order to get Ned Pepper (Robert Duvall) and Tom Chaney. The best part of the whole movie was still the scene where John Wayne grabs the reins of his horse in his teeth and rides straight into Ned Peppers gang with his guns blazing.
On to the new movie. I have to admit, I was worried about seeing the new one, since I loved the old one so much. I was afraid it would be a cheap imitation. Then I kept hearing from people that it was a good movie in its own right, even to those who were fans of the old one. So on a rainy Sunday afternoon we spent 2+ hours in the warm dry theater watching the Coen brothers version. All I could say at the end was, "The Coen brothers do it again." The 2010 version is a great movie in its own right, and does not try to be the John Wayne classic. The casting was superb, with Jeff Bridges playing a fantastic Rooster Cogburn. I was so glad that he made the character his own and did not try to play John Wayne playing Rooster Cogburn. I actually thought that Matt Damon played a more believable Texas Ranger LeBoef than Glenn Campbell, but thought that Kim Darby had a bit more spunk as Maddie Ross in the original.
Besides the casting, there were several other changes to the story between the two movies. Some I liked better in the older version, some were better, and more believable, in the newer one. And of course, the newer film took full advantage in the advances in film technology, etc. Since both movies are based on the book of the same name, I am now excited to read the novel and decide which movie comes closer to the book, or if the book is actually in the middle of the two.
As for the movies. I say enjoy them both. Although they are similar, they are two differnt movies over all, and both are worth the time invested in watching them.