True Grit

The Story

Following the murder of her father by hired hand Tom Chaney, 14-year-old farm girl Mattie Ross sets out to capture the killer. To aid her, she hires the toughest US Marshal she can find, a man with 'true grit', Reuben J. 'Rooster' Cogburn.

Mattie insists on accompanying Cogburn, whose drinking, sloth, and generally reprobate character do not support her faith in him. Against his wishes, she joins him in his trek into the Indian Nations in search of Chaney. They are joined by Texas Ranger LaBoeuf, who wants Chaney for his own purposes.

The unlikely trio find danger and surprises on the journey, and each has their 'grit' tested.

Cinema Trailer


Background to the Film

A new production of True Grit was rumoured as far back as February 2008. However production was not confirmed until March 2009.

Ahead of shooting, Ethan Coen said that the film would be a more faithful adaptation of Charles Portis' novel than the 1969 version. Joel Coen said that the brothers did not want to "mess around with what we thought was a very compelling story and character". The film's producer, Scott Rudin, said that the Coens had taken a "formal, reverent approach" to the Western genre, with its emphasis on adventure and quest. "The patois of the characters, the love of language that permeates the whole film, makes it very much of a piece with their other films, but it is the least ironic in many regards".

Open casting sessions were held in Texas in November 2009 for the role of Mattie Ross. The following month, Paramount Pictures announced a casting search for a 12- to 16-year-old girl, describing the character as a 'simple, tough as nails young woman' whose 'unusually steely nerves and straightforward manner are often surprising'.

Steinfeld, then age 13, was selected for the role from a pool of 15,000 applicants. "It was, as you can probably imagine, the source of a lot of anxiety", Ethan Coen told The New York Times. "We were aware if the kid doesn't work, there's no movie".

True Grit was shot in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area in March and April 2010, as well as in Granger and Austin, Texas. The film was officially released in the US on 22nd December 2010, after advance screenings earlier that month. The film opened the 61st Berlin International Film Festival on 10th February 2011.

It was nominated for ten Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jeff Bridges), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Hailee Steinfeld), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Sound Editing.


• Jeff Bridges as U.S. Marshal Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn

• Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross

• Matt Damon as Texas Ranger LaBoeuf

• Josh Brolin as Tom Chaney

• Barry Pepper as "Lucky" Ned Pepper

• Domhnall Gleeson as Moon (The Kid)

• Ed Lee Corbin as Bear Man (Dr. Forrester)

• Roy Lee Jones as Yarnell Poindexter

• Paul Rae as Emmett Quincy

• Nicholas Sadler as Sullivan

• Bruce Green as Harold Parmalee

• Joe Stevens as Lawyer Goudy

• Dakin Matthews as Colonel Stonehill

• Elizabeth Marvel as 40-year-old Mattie

• Leon Russom as Sheriff

• Jake Walker as Judge Isaac Parker

• Peter Leung as Mr. Lee

• Don Pirl as Cole Younger

• Jarlath Conroy as The Undertaker

• J. K. Simmons as Lawyer Daggett (voice only), uncredited


The first True Grit

The first adaption of Charles Portis' 1968 novel was released in 1969. It was written by Marguerite Roberts and directed by Henry Hathaway.

John Wayne starred as US Marshal Rooster Cogburn. He won his only Academy Award, for Best Actor, for his performance in the film. He also won a Golden Globe. Wayne reprised his role as Cogburn in the 1975 sequel Rooster Cogburn.

The film also starred Kim Darby as Mattie Ross, Glenn Campbell, Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper.

The title song, by composer Elmer Bernstein and lyricist Don Black, and sung by Glen Campbell, received nominations for both the Academy Award for Best Song and the Golden Globe.