Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by Henry Hathaway
USA 1969

In 1970, John Wayne earned an Academy Award for his larger-than-life performance as the drunken, uncouth and totally fearless one eyed U.S. Marshal, Rooster Cogburn.

The cantankerous Rooster is hired by a headstrong young girl (Kim Darby) to find the man who murdered her father and fled with the family savings. When Cogburn's employer insists on accompanying the old gunfighter, sparks fly.

And the situation goes from troubled to disastrous when the inexperienced but enthusiastic Texas Ranger (Glen Campbell) joins the party. Laughter and tears punctuate the wild action in this extraordinary Western which features performances by Robert Duvall and Strother Martin.

***

A wonderful/rueful running gag in El Dorado involves the Edgar Allan Poe line "Ride, boldly ride" being mangled by toupee-wearer Wayne into "Ride, baldy, ride." Two years later, in True Grit, Wayne put the joke in italics by donning an eyepatch and several inches of girth to play cantankerous territorial marshal Rooster Cogburn. Critics belatedly noticed that he could be a marvelously entertaining actor, and Hollywood finally gave him the Oscar they'd failed to nominate him for in Red River, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, et al. But make no mistake: True Grit is a splendid movie, with lovingly textured storytelling and sturdy characters, Henry Hathaway's finest high-country action set-pieces, intoxicatingly ornate frontier language, and a couple of formidable bad guys (Jeff Corey's Tom Cheney and Robert Duvall's "Lucky" Ned Pepper). It's a compliment to say that, from a technical standpoint, the movie could have been made any time in Hathaway's 40-year career, yet its feeling for the reality of violence ceded no ground to The Wild Bunch, released around the same time. Still, the film's most sublime passage falls between bursts of gunplay: Rooster sitting on a hilltop at night recounting his life story, as John Wayne metamorphoses ineluctably into W.C. Fields.

Richard T. Jameson located on Amazon HERE

 

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 11th, 1969

Reviews        More Reviews         DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. Paramount  - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

2) Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

   

   

The original edition is also available (very reasonably) in the John Wayne DVD Gift Set (The Shootist / The Sons of Katie Elder/ True Grit/ El Dorado/ The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)

    

The original edition is also available (super cheap!) in the John Wayne DVD Collection - Amazon.com Exclusive (10-Disc Set) (1965) El Dorado, Hatari!, In Harm's Way, Rio Lobo, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Shootist, Donovan's Reef, Big Jake, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, True Grit)

 

Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Paramount Home Video (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC Paramount Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 2:07:52  2:07:52  2:08:04.677
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.37 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s
1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.61 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 40,272,143,701 bytes

Disc Size:  36,963,403,776 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 31.92 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Bitrate: Special Collector's Edition

Bitrate: Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)   English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital mono), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0)   DTS-HD Master Audio English 3238 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3238 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -4dB
Subtitles English, None English, None English, English (SDH), French, Portuguese, Spanish, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Theatrical trailer (3:38)

DVD Release Date: May 13th, 2001 (Repackaged - August 2005)

Keep Case
Chapters:
13

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Boze Bell and J. Stuart Rosebrook

• Featurette: True Writing (4:29)

• Featurette: Working With the Duke (10:08)

• Featurette: Aspen Gold: Locations of True Grit (10:14)

• Featurette: The Law and the Lawless

• Theatrical trailer (3:38)

DVD Release Date: May 22nd, 2007

Keep Case inside cardboard box
Chapters:
13

Release Information:
Studio: Paramount Home Video

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Feature: 40,272,143,701 bytes

Disc Size:  36,963,403,776 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Bitrate: 31.92 Mbps

Edition Details:

• Commentary by Jeb Rosebrook, Bob Boze Bell and J. Stuart Rosebrook

• Featurette: True Writing (4:29)

• Featurette: Working With the Duke (10:08)

• Featurette: Aspen Gold: Locations of True Grit (10:14)

• Featurette: The Law and the Lawless

• Theatrical trailer (3:38)

Blu-ray Release Date: December 14th, 2010
Standard
Blu-ray case
Chapters:
13
 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Paramount - Region FREE Blu-ray - December 2010': The HD Master used for the 2007 DVD has found its way to the new Blu-ray. So it supports the same color scheme (without the green haze) - although a more passive, and possibly realistic, palette. Skin tones are notably more authentic. Detail bumps a few notches but the print still looks a bit dirty at times and background grain can be clunky. Overall though - a decent presentation - may be a shade below what I was expecting but the outdoor Fall colors are impressive and visuals aren't overly glossy. The flat video-like DVDs can hold a candle to this new digital appearance even with a smidgeon of DNR. It remains in the 1.78:1 framing.

Audio rises up sounding very healthy. This is prevalent in the gun shots echoing in the open spaces and anxious rattler shakes. Elmer Bernstein's score includes Glen Campbell crooning and it's winner in lossless. Subtitles are a more civilized white than the gaudy yellow of the DVDs.

Same extras - also in SD. Solid commentary, and standard featurettes - pretty good stuff actually.

Fabulous western with brilliantly outrageous Rooster Cogburn as a walking caricature. The Duke certainly deserved his Oscar. 

The film is getting some exposure due to the forthcoming Coen Brothers remake with Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Barry Pepper. This is a classic story and Bridges has some big shoes to fill. I can't wait - I'm expecting greatness... as is the original. Fans shouldn't hesitate but some may dislike the digitized image and lack of grain. It's kind of a shame.

***

ADDITION: Special Collector's Edition - May 07': I was anticipating that this transfer might actually be the same as the original, but it is in fact quite different. Still anamorphic, progressive and 16X9'ed to 1.78 from the original 1.85 but for about 2/3's of the film it shows a definite improvement in clarity but near the final 1/3 we start to see the heavy greenish haze of the CE start to impinge upon the detail. The screen captures below begin to bear this out to some degree. It borders on some digital deficiencies like moiring and edge enhancement but not prevalent enough for most to point fingers. Overall I would say the CE is a strong improvement with less artifacts and colors that do not bleed as much as the original, but it is shame what happens near the conclusion. Mostly the new CE has more information in the frame - mostly on both edges.

The audio has a bumped 5.1 option which sounded a shade dynamic and more buoyant in some of the later scenes (gunshots, snake hiss etc.)

Supplements are quite extensive on the new CE. Worth the extra $5 alone. First we have a commentary. It is fairly good. Three knowledgeable individuals sharing opinions and answering each other's queries. They discuss and compare the film incongruities to the novel and one even makes a representation to the narrative approaching a kind of Shakespearean cadence. Casting details such as Mia Farrow being the first choice for Mattie Ross' character - the comparison of Darby's performance to that of a female Huck Finn etc. There are a few gaps but overall it seems relatively prepared and certainly informative.

There are also 4 featurettes - True Writing runs 4:29 and focuses on the strong Charles Portis story of which the film is based. Next we have Working With the Duke, a little over 10 minutes, and it looks very familiar to me and I may have seen it as an extra on another DVD but anyway - individuals discuss what John Wayne was like off screen and the general consensus is that he wasn't too far from most of his larger-than-life characterizations. Another 10 minute featurette is Aspen Gold: Locations of True Grit which talks about Colorado where the film was shot and some of the details behind the sites where filming took place. Finally we have a very interesting 5 minute ditty called The Law and the Lawless - it discuses some of the real badmen and noble law enforcement of the west and their memorable nicknames. It is kind of fun how he lauds The Duke as such being able to have his performances be recognized on the same level as these western legends. Finally we have some the same theatrical trailer as found in the original and some other Wayne-DVD previews.

Great film - that one tends to forget until you bother to see it again. It has a real western nostalgia-ode to it and Wayne is at his flamboyant best though the real strength is in the story.

***

On the original: Again, this is the same transfer of the original Paramount release - exact same disc in fact. The DVD has simply been reissued and repackaged to be included in a few Boxset options (of which we recommend the 10-disc'er, exclusive to Amazon, if you don't own any part of these or just one or two already). The image appears to be in need of a good cleaning but otherwise looks very strong. The film is certainly a candidate for a thorough cleaning/restoration, but certainly now is quite passable - original audio - those awful yellow subtitles and a trailer as the only extra, but the price is right - especially when bundled in one of the boxsets. For western fans this will be another of Wayne's solid and enduring performances. A bona-fide must own for his fans... and don't forget Glen Campbell too! 

Gary W. Tooze


DVD Menus

 

(Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC - RIGHT)

 
 
 
 

 

Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


Subtitle Sample

 

NOTE: Not exact frame match

 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

Screen Captures

 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Paramount - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Paramount (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1- NTSC - MIDDLE

3) Paramount - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Caps!

 


Recommended Reading for Western Genre Fans (CLICK COVERS or TITLES for more information)

Check out more in "The Library"


DVD Box Cover

   

   

The original edition is also available (very reasonably) in the John Wayne DVD Gift Set (The Shootist / The Sons of Katie Elder/ True Grit/ El Dorado/ The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)

    

The original edition is also available (super cheap!) in the John Wayne DVD Collection - Amazon.com Exclusive (10-Disc Set) (1965) El Dorado, Hatari!, In Harm's Way, Rio Lobo, The Sons of Katie Elder, The Shootist, Donovan's Reef, Big Jake, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, True Grit)

 

Distribution Paramount Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC Paramount Home Video (Special Collector's Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC Paramount Home Video - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 





 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

Mail cheques, money orders, cash to:    or CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Mississauga, Ontario,

   CANADA

Thank You!

n Wayne DVD Review Henry Hathaway True Grit John Wayne DVD Review Henry Hathaway True Grit John Wayne DVD Review Henry Hathaway True Grit John Wayne DVD Review