Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

'The Good Wife' Cush Jumbo Tackles Comparisons...
'Class': 'Doctor Who' Spinoff Series Coming to BBC Thre...
'The Revenant' Trailer: Leonardo DiCaprio Seeks Revenge...
Will Trevor Noah Live Up To The Hype During Monday's 'D...
Watch Eddie Vedder, Beyonce Duet on Bob Marley's 'Redem...
'CSI' being laid to rest after 15 years ...
Big Brother Season 17 Finale Recap: Super Fan & Trombon...
Dancing With the Stars Recap: Bindi Irwin and Derek Hou...
Emmys 2015: Who should win Outstanding Lead Actor in a ...
Shark Tank Robert Herjavec 'Very Grateful' To Have Met ...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Paramount Home Video presents
True Grit: Special Collector's Edition (1969)

Mattie Ross: Mr. Rooster Cogburn?
Rooster Cogburn: What is it?
Mattie Ross: I'd like to talk with you a minute. They tell me you're a man with true grit.

- (Kim Darby, John Wayne)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: May 24, 2007

Stars: John Wayne
Other Stars: Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper, Jeremy Slate, Strother Martin, Jeff Corey, Ron Soble, James Westerfield, Alfred Ryder
Director: Henry Hathaway

MPAA Rating: G for (mild language, western violence)
Run Time: 02h:07m:55s
Release Date: May 22, 2007
UPC: 097361207742
Genre: western

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

A film like 1969s True Grit has endured as one of those reliable staples—a sprawling Western featuring a larger-than-life actor in a role that became one of the most identifiable in the genre. John Wayne may not have necessarily been a great actor—though he did get an Academy Award for his performance here—but he exuded an image, a comfortable, reliable presence that pretty much told you all you needed to know just by seeing his name on a theater marquee. It's a John Wayne picture; there will be bravado and shootouts, with good triumphing over evil, John Wayne style.

In the film version, Charles Portis' book gets simplified a bit, helmed by one Hollywood's often overlooked directors, Henry Hathaway. Hathaway did some memorable yet disparate studio Westerns—The Sons of Katie Elder, Nevada Smith, Five Card Stud—and here the focal point is a somewhat overstuffed Wayne as the eyepatch-wearing Rooster Cogburn, a crusty old US Marshall reluctantly recruited to help plucky young Mattie Ross (Kim Darby) track down the men who killed her father. Despite the richness of Portis' prose, the filmed version of the story itself is almost inconsequential to the simple fact that John Wayne's in an eyepatch, chewing things up as the tough-talking Cogburn.

There's some nice-looking scenic Colorado vistas on display and a sweeping Elmer Bernstein score, as Cogburn, Mattie, and green Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell) follow the trail. It's all interspersed with curmudgeonly bickering and self-realization, as the mismatched trio take a leisurely 127 minutes to finally get to the magic moment where Wayne gets to put the reins in his teeth and take on nasty Robert Duvall and his gang of thugs. The phrase "they don't make 'em like this anymore" could certainly apply here, as True Grit represents one of the last big entries in the traditional studio Western style of filmmaking, where the sheer weight of a lead actor's name almost means more than the story told.

There's no denying John Wayne was a star, and while not a master thespian, he had a distinctive-yet-similar way of carrying himself in every film that audiences found appealing. What has made this film one of his more identifiable roles (the questionable Best Actor notwithstanding) has more to do with the fact that it had Wayne usurping Portis' original Cogburn character, and somehow twisting it into an extension of his own screen persona. The Marguerite Roberts screenplay has been criticized for manhandling Portis' novel—won't be the first time that happens, won't be the last—yet after all these years it is still remembered as a John Wayne vehicle. We don't think all that much about the mountains of bad dialogue uttered by Glen Campbell, because this seems exclusively built for Wayne.

Looking back on this one today does reveal some meandering narrative dead spots in the 2-plus-hour runtime, and the overall pacing seems less content with action than it does talking about action. The scenery, however, is fetching, and the expected stereotypical genre elements are there for the three leads to intersect with, and through it all it is indelibly stamped as one of the last nails in the old-school Western coffin, and one that is nearly eclipsed by the star power of John Wayne—with an eyepatch.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: B


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer looks like a marginal improvement over the 2000 release, with things looking much better for a good portion of the film. Colors in general appear brighter and fleshtones have a more natural hues, though definition and edges still look soft throughout, rendering some of the big vista shots fairly lackluster. Significant edge enhancement is apparent on a regular basis, and there are major blocks of grain visible often.

Hardly a stunner, but certainly tolerable, even with its flaws.

Image Transfer Grade: B-


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital

Audio Transfer Review: Paramount has included the same perfectly suitable English 2.0 Dolby Digital mono track found on the 2000 release, and has sweetened the deal here with a new Dolby Digital 5.1 offering. This new mix is essentially just a goosed up mono track, but it does try to add some spatial spread to things without appearing too artificial. Overall voice quality is clear and discernible—and not all that much of a dramatic improvement over the original mono—but where the biggest improvement is revealed is with Elmer Bernstein's rousing theme and the occasional random bit of gunfire. Surround usage is understandably minimal, with the biggest change a wider three channel spread across the front.

A French 2.0 mono dub is also included.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 13 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
4 Featurette(s)
1 Feature/Episode commentary by Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Boze Bell, J. Stuart Rosebrook
Packaging: Amaray with slipcase
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: There's a neat wood-grain-looking slipcover on this new collector's edition, which when removed reveals the identical cover art found on the 2000 release. The big new extra is a commentary track from a trio of genre historians, namely Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Boze Bell, and J. Stuart Rosebrook. Much like those wonderful Tom Weaver commentaries on the Universal horror titles, this one is absolutely crammed with history, and not just another recitation of how a film was shot. There's a wealth of great info here, including western lore and how it relates to True Grit and the genre overall, even so far as addressing the adaptation from book to screenplay. Outstanding stuff.
True Writing (04m:29s), which pays homage in large part to the story's author, Charles Portis, and has comments from a number of people, including cast members Jeremy Slate and Kim Darby. Working with The Duke (10m:16s) talks of Wayne's iconic image, and Glen Campbell mentions that the biggest thrill in his life was getting to ride a horse alongside the Hollywood legend. Aspen Gold: The Locations of True Grit (10m:19s) takes a quick look at where the film was shot in Colorado while The Law and The Lawless (05m:47s) traces the history of real-life outlaws like Billy The Kid and how western towns hired lawmen to keep things under control

There's a couple of Duke-related trailers, a slim 13 chapter stops, and optional English subtitles

Extras Grade: A-


Final Comments

The transfer isn't the greatest, but this new collector's edition sports a knowledge-packed commentary from a trio of Western historians that is almost worth a purchase on its own. The film itself is a late-model version of the old-school Western, with John Wayne pulling an Academy Award by playing one of the genre's most iconic characters.



Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


television, the good wife, cush jumbo, archie panjabi, julianna margulies, bbc3, class, doctor who, buffy the vampire slayer, hunger games, steven moffat, brian minchin, movie, the revenant, leonardo dicaprio, tom hardy, alejandro g. inarritu, christmas day release, comedy channel, trevor noah, daily show, jon stewart, music, global citizen festival, pearl jam, byonce, ed sheeran, eddie vedder, cbs, csi, ted danson, elisabeth shue, elisabeth harnois, william petersen, marg helgenberger, big brother, abc, liz, steve, vanessa, julia chen, dr. will, dancing with the stars, bindi irwin, derek, hough, chaka khan, emmys 2015, laurence fishburne, tracee ellis ross, anthony anderson, will forte, jeffrey tambor, kym johnson, shark tank, robert herjavec, jungle book, cgi, scarlet johansson, bill murray, ben kingsley, idris elba, christopher walken, drama, celebrity apprentice, arnold schwarzenegger, donald trump, nbc, taylor swift, bad blood, emmy award, original interactive program, the late show, stephen colbert, ashley madison, horror, silent, epcot international food & wine festival, walt disney world, the chew, october, celebrity, jimmy fallon, tonight show, dj khaled, all i do is win, country music awards, eric church, little big town, miranda lambert, kenny chesney, sam hunt, maddie & tae, kacey musgraves, chris stapleton, late night, jeb bush, george clooney, war room, straight outta compton, faith-based drama, a walk in the woods, robert redford, september 8, documentary, history, movies, steven spielberg, the bfg, dreamworks, walt disney company, fashion police, melissa rivers, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, mtv vma, njcki minaj, miley cyrus, anaconda, jennifer lawrence, amy schumer, billy joel, uptown girls, chicago

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store