John Wayne classic still majorly entertains (9/10)
True Grit is a special movie at the end of the 1960s (1969) when Vietnam had become a major issue and crime was a concern for many Americans. I was 20. Initially receiving a II-S (student) deferment then subsequently drawing a high number in the draft lottery, I managed to avoid that expedition to the southeast Asian tropical paradise. Grit was two Duke movies after The Green Berets, a cartoon piece of corporate-government propaganda likening US military aggression on the Vietnamese people to nourishing the roots of the Liberty Tree. In that time I was a sucker for movies like Beret, and seriously considered volunteering when I walked out of the theater after watching Patton in 1970!
I grew up believing John Wayne was a god, and even had a letter to the editor published in Time Magazine—actually, I recall the letter was in response to a critic’s praising of True Grit—where in my young prose I exclaimed how the “John Wayne kind of hero” is essential for our great country. The movie was controversial, mainly because John Wayne was not a “John Wayne” kind of character, and back in the day I wasn’t sure what to make of that. What I now realize is how magnificently textured Rooster Cogburn was drawn in this suis generis film and how exactly the real John Wayne fit the character. Continue reading