AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
True Grit
Director: Joel Coen (Dir)
Release Date:   22 Dec 2010
Premiere Information:   Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 Dec 2010
Production Date:   22 Mar--27 Apr 2010
Duration (in mins):   110
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Cast:   Jeff Bridges (Rooster Cogburn)  
    Matt Damon (LaBoeuf)  
    Josh Brolin (Tom Chaney)  
    Barry Pepper (Lucky Ned Pepper)  
  and Hailee Steinfeld (Mattie Ross)  
    Dakin Matthews (Col. Stonehill)  
    Elizabeth Marvel (40-year-old Mattie)  
    Domhnall Gleeson (Moon, The Kid)  
    Paul Rae (Emmett Quincy)  
    Leon Russom (Sheriff)  
    Jarlath Conroy (Undertaker)  
    Roy Lee Jones (Yarnell)  
    Ed Lee Corbin (Bear man)  
    Bruce Green (Harold Parmalee)  
    Candyce Hinkle (Boarding house landlady)  
    Peter Leung (Mr. Lee)  
    Don Pirl (Cole Younger)  
    Joe Stevens (Cross-examining lawyer)  
    David Lipman (First lawyer)  
    Jake Walker (Judge Parker)  
    Orlando Smart (Stableboy)  
    Ty Mitchell (Ferryman)  
    Nicholas Sadler (Repentant condemned man)  
    Scott Sowers (Unrepentant condemned man)  
    Jonathan Joss (Condemned Indian)  
    Maggie A. Goodman (Woman at hanging)  
    Brandon Sanderson (Indian Youth at Bagby's)  
    Ruben Nakai Campana (Indian Youth at Bagby's)  

Summary: One winter around 1878, strong-willed, fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross of Yell County travels to Fort Smith, AR to retrieve the corpse of her father who was killed by his hired hand, Tom Chaney, during a horse-buying trip. Although Chaney has fled into Choctaw territory beyond the jurisdiction of Fort Smith’s sheriff, Mattie is intent that the murderer receives retribution for her father’s death. After shrewd negotiations with horse trader, Col. Stonehill, Mattie obtains compensation for her family’s two horses that were stolen by Chaney from Stonehill’s stables and she sells back all the Mustang ponies bought by her father, except one, which she keeps for herself and names “Little Blackie.” She then inquires about hiring a deputy marshal to track down Chaney. Although three marshals are suggested to her, Mattie determines that the middle-aged, one-eyed, alcohol-sodden Reuben “Rooster” Cogburn is the best person for her purpose because of his reputation for an unrelenting lack of pity toward his quarry. Offering money from the sale of the ponies, she tells Rooster that he has “true grit,” and asks him to help her bring Chaney to justice. At first Rooster brushes her aside, but she stubbornly persists until he agrees. Meanwhile, La Boeuf, a Texas Ranger who has been pursuing Chaney for the killing of a Texas senator, has tracked the fugitive as far as Fort Smith and asks to partner with Rooster. La Boeuf offers his knowledge of Chaney, who he has pursued for several months, in exchange for Rooster’s knowledge of Indian Territory. Mattie is obstinately against La Boeuf ‘s participation in their search, because she wants to see Chaney hanged in Arkansas for her father’s murder and he wants Chaney tried in Texas where bounty money is offered. Mattie also insists that she accompany Rooster and Le Boeuf on the chase, but when she shows up at the appointed time to meet them, she discovers they have left without her. She follows them and, when refused a ride on a ferry, stubbornly fords the river on horseback. When she catches up, La Boeuf is annoyed by her feistiness and whips her until Rooster forces him at gunpoint to stop. As they travel, Rooster and La Boeuf constantly bicker and compete with each other, prompting La Boeuf to terminate their partnership and ride off alone. Mattie and Rooster continue riding to Bagby’s, a remote trading post, where they learn that someone, possibly one of Lucky Ned Pepper’s outlaw gang, recently bought supplies there and paid with a rare California gold piece that Mattie recognizes was stolen by Chaney from her father. Rooster points out that it is unclear whether Chaney has joined the gang or if the gang robbed and killed him. Guessing that the gang went north and that Chaney may be with them, Rooster and Mattie follow. Along the way, they encounter a rustic healer wearing a bearskin who directs them to a dugout cabin where they can spend the night. At the cabin they find Emmett Quincy and young Moon, who is suffering from an untreated gunshot wound. When asked about Chaney and Pepper, Quincy feigns ignorance, but Moon, who wants medical attention promised by Rooster, confirms that the gang was at Bagby’s two days earlier. To stop Moon from talking, Quincy chops off his fingers then throws a knife, mortally wounding him, and Rooster shoots Quincy dead. Before dying, Moon relates that Pepper’s gang is expected at the dugout that night. Rooster and Mattie lie in wait for the outlaws, but it is La Boeuf who arrives first. Before La Boeuf can be warned, the gang captures him with a lasso and drags him behind a horse. Rooster shoots several of the outlaws, and in the exchange of gunfire during which at least one outlaw escapes, La Boeuf bites his tongue and is shot in the shoulder, possibly by one of Rooster’s bullets. The next day, Rooster, Mattie and La Boeuf ride to a mine where they expect Pepper may take refuge, but instead find it deserted. Rooster’s drinking and his quarreling with La Boeuf cause the lawmen to again part ways. As La Boeuf prepares to leave them, Mattie asks to go with him, as she now believes she chose the wrong man for her mission. The dejected La Boeuf, however, says that the trail is cold and he is returning to Texas. The next morning, Mattie goes to the river for water and unexpectedly encounters Chaney. Armed with her father’s old gun, she tries singlehandedly to arrest him, but Chaney refuses to cooperate. She shoots, superficially wounding him, and the sound of the report alerts Rooster, as well as Pepper and other members of his gang. Pepper abducts Mattie and, threatening to kill her, calls out to Rooster to leave the area. After they are certain that Rooster is far away, the gang prepares to move on, but because they are short on horses, Chaney is left with Mattie until a horse can be sent to him. Pepper threatens to withhold Chaney’s pay if Mattie is harmed, but Chaney tries to kill her after the gang leaves. Responding to the sound of Mattie’s gunshot, La Boeuf arrives and knocks Chaney unconscious. From their location on a rock ledge, La Boeuf and Mattie can see Rooster in a clearing far in the distance. On horseback, Rooster faces off with Pepper and three gang members. Charging at them with his reins in his mouth and shooting guns with both hands, Rooster kills three of the men, but his horse is shot out from under him, pinning him to the ground. Although Pepper is wounded and possibly dying, he takes advantage of Rooster’s inability to move and aims to shoot him. However, from the rock ledge, La Boeuf shoots his high-powered Carbine rifle, killing Pepper before he can harm Rooster. Meanwhile, Chaney regains consciousness while Mattie’s and La Boeuf’s attentions are diverted and temporarily knocks out La Boeuf. Grabbing La Boeuf’s rifle, Mattie shoots Chaney, but the recoil knocks her backward into a snake pit, where she is bitten in the arm by a rattlesnake. Arriving soon after, Rooster climbs into the pit to get Mattie and La Boeuf pulls them out. La Beouf remains with Chaney’s body until Rooster can send help to him, but Rooster, aware that Mattie’s condition is critical, carries her in his arms and, on Little Blackie, races off for a doctor. After passing the outlaw’s corpses strewn along the meadow, Rooster and Mattie ride for hours, into the wintery night. As snow falls and Mattie turns delirious, Rooster pushes the pony beyond its endurance until the animal dies from exhaustion. Rooster then walks the remainder of the distance, carrying her. Breathing hard by the time they get near Bagby’s, Rooster shoots his gun in the air as a call for help and admits to himself that he has grown old. Mattie remains unconscious and, to save her life, her arm must be amputated by the doctor. When Mattie awakens, Rooster is gone, but she learns that he remained with her until he was certain she would survive. For a long time, Mattie does not hear from Rooster, who ignores her offer to pay him the money she owes for his services. Twenty-five years later, Mattie, a spinster and as strong-willed as ever, receives a brief message from Rooster that includes an announcement of his appearance in Cole Younger and Frank James’s Wild West Show. Mattie travels to Memphis where the show is playing, but learns from Younger that Rooster died three days earlier. She takes Rooster’s body home to bury in the Ross family plot. Although she would have welcomed hearing from La Boeuf, she never again sees him. 

Production Company: Mike Zoss Productions  
  Skydance Productions  
Production Text: A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss Production
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures (A Viacom Company)
Director: Joel Coen (Dir)
  Ethan Coen (Dir)
  Robert Graf (Unit prod mgr)
  Betsy Magruder (1st asst dir)
  Bac DeLorme (2d asst dir)
  Stephen Clarke (2d 2d asst dir)
Producer: Scott Rudin (Prod)
  Ethan Coen (Prod)
  Joel Coen (Prod)
  Steven Spielberg (Exec prod)
  Robert Graf (Exec prod)
  David Ellison (Exec prod)
  Paul Schwake (Exec prod)
  Megan Ellison (Exec prod)
Writer: Joel Coen (Wrt for the screen)
  Ethan Coen (Wrt for the screen)
Photography: Roger Deakins (Dir of photog)
  Paul Elliott (Splinter unit DP/Op, Austin unit)
  Roger Deakins (Cam op)
  Don Howe Jr. (Splinter unit asst photog, Austin unit)
  Andy Harris (1st asst photog)
  Liza Bambenek (2d asst photog)
  Jessica Ramos (Film loader)
  Giovanni Carranza (Prod asst)
  Christopher Napolitano (Chief lighting tech)
  Jess Tango (Asst chief lighting tech)
  David Kohn (Asst chief lighting tech, Santa Fe unit)
  Allen Eaves (Elec, Santa Fe unit)
  James A. Garcia (Elec, Santa Fe unit)
  Chad Watters (Elec, Santa Fe unit)
  Scott Conn (Elec, Austin unit)
  Wes Dixon (Elec, Austin unit)
  Robert Janecka (Elec, Austin unit)
  Brandon Roberts (Elec, Austin unit)
  R. Michael De Chellis (Chief rigging elec)
  Troy K. Anderson (Asst chief rigging elec)
  Jeff S. Anderson (Rigging elec, Santa Fe unit)
  Garrett Lee Dawson (Rigging elec, Santa Fe unit)
  Benjamin w. Estrada (Rigging elec, Santa Fe unit)
  Brian M. Harman (Rigging elec, Santa Fe unit)
  John Hyeoma (Rigging elec, Santa Fe unit)
  Charles C. Lee (Rigging elec, Santa Fe unit)
  Christopher H. Sipes (Rigging elec, Santa Fe unit)
  BJ Thomas (Rigging elec, Santa Fe unit)
  Nate Brown (Rigging elec, Austin unit)
  Cesar Quintanilla (Rigging elec, Austin unit)
  Bobby Sledge (Rigging elec, Austin unit)
  Eric Cunningham (Rigging elec, Austin unit)
  John Eschberger (Rigging elec, Austin unit)
  Mitch Lillian (1st company grip)
  Paul Candrilli (2d company grip)
  Kurt A. Kornemann (2d company grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Donis Rhoden (2d company grip, Austin unit)
  Jeff Bettis (Grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Tobin Espeset (Grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Adam T. Flores (Grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Ian J. Hanna (Grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Brian B. Malone (Grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Lea Miller (Grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Chip Huntington (Grip, Austin unit)
  Steve Urban (Grip, Austin unit)
  Ezra Venetos (Grip, Austin unit)
  Aaron Vyvial (Grip, Austin unit)
  Charley Gilleran (1st company rigging grip)
  Kevin Fahey (2d company rigging grip)
  Leonardo Baca (Rigging grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Rolland Lock Feight (Rigging grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Michael T. Hester (Rigging grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Michael Lucero (Rigging grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Chris Maestas (Rigging grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Ronald Romero (Rigging grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Terry J. Sanchez (Rigging grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Jacob Vernon (Rigging grip, Santa Fe unit)
  Peter Stockton (Rigging grip, Austin unit)
  Jason Keene (Rigging grip, Austin unit)
  Erik Untersee (Rigging grip, Austin unit)
  Craig Wadlin (Rigging grip, Austin unit)
  Rich Bond (Rigging grip, Austin unit)
  Leif Ulvog (Rigging grip, Austin unit)
  Phillip Renke (Rigging grip, Austin unit)
  Bruce Hamme ("A" dolly grip op)
  Rick Marroquin (Dolly grip op)
  Lorey Sebastian (Still photog-NM)
  Wilson R. Webb (Still photog-TX)
  Chris W. Wagganer (Video assist)
  Scott Wetzel (Video assist-NM)
  Matt Bizer (Video assist-TX)
  Bill Waltman (Gen op, Santa Fe unit)
  Otto Nemenz (Cam by)
Art Direction: Jess Gonchor (Prod des)
  Christy Wilson (Supv art dir)
  Stefan Dechant (Art dir)
  J. Todd Anderson (Drawboy)
  Ellen Lampl (Graphic des)
  Gregory Hill (Illustrator)
  Adele Plauche (Draftsperson/Set des)
  John Frick (Draftsperson/Set des)
  Jeff B. Adams Jr. (Draftsperson/Set des)
  Loïc Zimmermann (Concept artist)
Film Editor: Roderick Jaynes (Ed)
  Katharine McQuerrey (Assoc ed)
  Neil A. Stelzner (Assoc ed)
  Gershon F. Hinkson (Asst ed)
  David O. Rogers (Asst ed)
  Randy Yang (Post prod asst)
  Final Cut Pro (Ed on)
Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh (Set dec)
  Mark Weissenfluh (Lead person)
  Sage Connell (Lead person, Santa Fe unit)
  Sara Philpott (Buyer)
  Scott G. Jones (Foreperson)
  Michael Smothers (Labor foreperson/Tools person, Austin unit)
  Keith Walters (Prop master)
  John C. Cameron (Asst prop master)
  Joseph A. Torres (Foreperson, Santa Fe unit)
  Carl Zeller (Foreperson, Santa Fe unit)
  Tommy Fine (Foreperson, Austin unit)
  David Menefee (Foreperson, Austin unit)
  Richard M. Moore (Foreperson, Austin unit)
  Dirk Clark (Foreperson, Austin unit)
  Brian Cross (Foreperson, Austin unit)
  Kyle Safarick (Foreperson, Austin unit)
  Charles Seale (Foreperson, Austin unit)
  Alan R. Serotta (Foreperson, Austin unit)
  Jesus Ornelas Jr. (Propmaker foreperson, Santa Fe unit)
  David D. Baumann (Props-NM)
  Koen Wooten (Props-TX)
  Paul J. Barreras (Tools person/Propmaker, Santa Fe unit)
  Richard Hurff (Propmaker, Santa Fe unit)
  Matthew P. Johnson (Propmaker, Santa Fe unit)
  Jeffrey I. Lamm (Propmaker, Santa Fe unit)
  Macario Rivera (Propmaker, Santa Fe unit)
  Thomas G. Studer (Propmaker, Santa Fe unit)
  Doug Worman (Propmaker, Santa Fe unit)
  JP Barrow (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Ezra Bellows (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  James P. Cavalucci (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Brian S. Daly (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Travis Dean (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Jimmy Lee Dennard (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Scott Duncan (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Travis Eisenberg (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Micah Goldfarb (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Allan Holder (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Kris Landers (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  John Miller (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  James Benson Moore (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Neal Smith (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Paul Steele (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  William F. Sterling (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  James Toole (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  David Trombley (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Zachary Ward (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Ronnie White (Propmaker, Austin unit)
  Angelo Tomarchio (Sculptor, Santa Fe unit)
  David Tye (Sculptor, Austin unit)
  Brandon Campbell (Sculptor, Austin unit)
  Kit Casati (Sculptor, Austin unit)
  Ulrike Auer-Erdoes (Plasterer foreperson, Santa Fe unit)
  Ronald F. Savini Jr. (Plasterer, Austin unit)
  Tom Ward (Const coord)
  Noah Bradley (Addl const coord, Santa Fe unit)
  Jerry Kilber (Const foreperson)
  Steve Kahn (Const foreperson, Santa Fe unit)
  Thomas E. Brown (Lead scenic artist)
  Randy E. Ortega (Lead scenic, Santa Fe unit)
  Graham Griswold (Set dresser, Santa Fe unit)
  Chris Painter (Set dresser, Santa Fe unit)
  Tom Christopher (Set dresser, Austin unit)
  Chris Clayton (Set dresser, Austin unit)
  Chris Combs (Set dresser, Austin unit)
  Phil Shirey (Set dresser, Austin unit)
  Lawrence Glass (Set dresser, Austin unit)
  Colin Zaug (On-set dresser, Santa Fe unit)
  Elliott Hostetter (On-set dresser, Austin unit)
  Pedro Barquin (On-set greensperson)
  Duprelon Tizdale (On-set greens, Santa Fe unit)
  Daniel Gillooly (Lead greens, Santa Fe unit)
  Jose Orozco (Lead greens, Austin unit)
  David Flaherty (Greens, Santa Fe unit)
  Chris Keim (Greens, Santa Fe unit)
  Orlando Robert Montoya (Greens, Santa Fe unit)
  Ray Mark Provencio (Greens, Santa Fe unit)
  Leonard Sanchez (Greens, Santa Fe unit)
  Eric Henshaw (Greens, Austin unit)
  Marc Dabrusin (Greens, Austin unit)
  Hap Weaver (Greens, Austin unit)
  Mike White (Greens, Austin unit)
  Jason Critchfield (Paint foreperson, Santa Fe unit)
  George A. Kruft (Paint foreperson, Santa Fe unit)
  Randy Paul Ortega (Paint foreperson, Santa Fe unit)
  Robert Ortega (Paint foreperson, Santa Fe unit)
  Eric S. Saperstein (Paint foreperson, Austin unit)
  Stacy Clinger (Paint foreperson, Austin unit)
  Rick Brondum (Paint foreperson, Austin unit)
  Patrick Martine (Paint foreperson, Austin unit)
  Randal Woodward (Paint foreperson, Austin unit)
  Tim Dingle (Sign painter, Austin unit)
  Patrick Boyles (Painter, Sante Fe unit)
  Loren Schoel (Painter, Sante Fe unit)
  Francisco Whitson-Brown (Painter, Sante Fe unit)
  Tyler Noel (Painter, Austin unit)
  Rob Perkins (Painter, Austin unit)
  Dennis Collins (On-set painter, Santa Fe unit)
  Sonia L. Garcia (On-set painter, Austin unit)
Costumes: Mary Zophres (Cost des)
  Jenny Eagan (Asst cost des)
  Lori DeLapp (Cost supv)
  Celeste Cleveland (Cutter/Fitter)
  Seda Tufenkjian (Table person)
  Claire Sandrin (Cost)
  Corrine Larson (Cost)
  Lauren Pratto (Cost)
  Barnaby Smith (Cost for Mr. Damon)
  Eva Prappas (Cost, Austin unit)
  Mitzie Corbin (Cost, Austin unit)
  Keely Kuykendall (Cost, Austin unit)
  Brenda Chambers (Cost, Austin unit)
  Carol De Marti (Head ager/Dyer)
  Dominick De Rasmo (Ager/Dyer)
  Bren Cook (Ager/Dyer, Santa Fe unit)
  Janice Janecek (Ager/Dyer, Austin unit)
  Heidi Hanson (Prod asst)
  Emily Egge (Set cost, Santa Fe unit)
  Erica Ciaglia (Stitcher, Santa Fe unit)
  Debra Chapman (Stitcher, Santa Fe unit)
  Nikki Kelly (Prod asst, Santa Fe unit)
  Charlotte Harrigan (Prod asst, Austin unit)
Music: Carter Burwell (Mus)
  Todd Kasow (Mus ed)
  Mick Gormaley (Asst mus ed)
  Carter Burwell (Orchestra cond by)
  Carter Burwell (Orch)
  Sonny Kompanek (Orch)
  Sandra Park (Orchestra contractor)
  Tony Finno (Copyist)
  Dean Parker (Comp's asst)
  The Manhattan Center (Mus rec at)
  The Body (Mus mixed at)
  Michael Farrow (Mus scoring mixer)
  Lawrence Manchester (Addl engineering)
Sound: Skip Lievsay (Supv sd ed)
  Peter F. Kurland (Prod sd mixer)
  Douglas Axtell (Prod sd mixer)
  Randy Johnson (Boom op)
  Kay Colvin (Cable person)
  Craig Berkey (Sd des)
  Jay Wilkinson (Sd eff ed)
  Byron Wilson (Dial/ADR ed)
  Kenton Jakub (ADR ed)
  Katy Wood (Dial ed)
  Joel Dougherty (Foley ed)
  Phil Barrie (Asst sd ed)
  Sarah Bourgeois (Asst sd ed)
  Marko A. Costanzo (Foley artist)
  George A. Lara (Foley mixer)
  Howard London (ADR mixer-LA)
  Bobby Johanson (ADR mixer-NY)
  Skip Lievsay (Re-rec mixer)
  Craig Berkey (Re-rec mixer)
  Greg Orloff (Re-rec mixer)
  Sony Pictures Studios (Re-rec at)
Special Effects: Mark Rappaport (Puppeteer)
  Todd Minobe (Puppeteer)
  Steve Cremin (Spec eff coord)
  William Lee (Spec eff foreperson)
  Lee McConnell (Spec eff foreperson)
  Wes Mattox (Spec eff tech)
  Brandon Keys McLaughlin (Spec eff tech)
  Dennis A. Yeager II (Spec eff tech)
  Bob House (Spec eff tech, Santa Fe unit)
  Gary Petersen (Spec eff tech, Santa Fe unit)
  James W. McCormick (Spec eff tech, Austin unit)
  Brian Montgomery (Spec eff tech, Austin unit)
  Damien Lund (Spec eff tech, Austin unit)
  Creature Effects, Inc. (Mechanical horse eff)
  Mark Rappaport (Mechanical horse eff)
  Todd Minobe (Mechanical horse eff)
  Robert Newton (Mechanical horse eff)
  Tinsley Studios (Corpse creation/Eff make-up)
  Christien Tinsley (Corpse creation/Eff make-up)
  Jason Hamer (Corpse creation/Eff make-up)
  Luma Pictures (Visual eff)
  Payam Shohadai (Managing visual eff supv)
  Vincent Cirelli (Visual eff supv)
  Steven Swanson (Sr visual eff prod)
  Steve Griffith (Visual eff prod)
  Justin Johnson (Digital eff supv)
  Richard Sutherland (CG supv)
  Pavel Pranevsky (CG supv)
  H. Haden Hammond (Seq supv)
  Marla Neto (Visual eff coord)
  Katie Godwin (Visual eff coord)
  Catherine Hughes (Visual eff coord)
  Justin Porter (Tech coord)
  Michael Perdew (Tech coord)
  Alexandre Cancado (Lead compositor)
  Jared Simeth (Lead compositor)
  James Waterson (Compositor)
  Joey Sila (Compositor)
  Michael Cashore (Compositor)
  Jennifer Gutierrez (Compositor)
  Michael Stewart (Compositor)
  Ryan Trippensee (Compositor)
  Gautama Murcho (Jr compositor)
  Satoshi Harada (Lighter)
  Sonia Yu (Lighter)
  Julie Garcia (Lighter)
  Glenn Morris (Roto & paint supv)
  Jessica Bakke (Lead roto & paint)
  Tony Lyons (Roto & paint)
  Brian Fortune (Roto & paint)
  Marcel Caue (Roto & paint)
  Tom Piedmont (Roto & paint)
  Ray Chang (Roto & paint)
  Matt Donnan (Roto & paint)
  Ruy Santos Delgados (Roto & paint)
  Anthony Grant (Roto & paint)
  Safari Sosebee (Roto & paint)
  Schiller Jean-Louis Jr. (Roto & paint)
  Thanapoom Siripopungul (Rigging TD)
  Andy Burmeister (Matchmover)
  Lenny Gordon (Matchmover)
  John Cassella Jr. (Sr eff TD)
  Brandon Young (Eff TD)
  Nick Damico (Eff TD)
  Brandon Davis (Eff TD)
  Chad Dombrova (Sr pipeline TD)
  Paul Molodowitch (Pipeline TD)
  John Hazzard (Pipeline TD)
  Devin Smith (Pipeline TD)
  Big Film Design (Title Des)
  Randy Balsmeyer (Title des)
  Pat Clancey (Digital opticals)
Make Up: Thomas Nellen (Dept head make-up artist)
  Beate Petruccelli (Key make-up artist)
  Troy Breeding (Key make-up artist)
  Jacenda Burkett (Make-up artist, Austin unit)
  Chrissie Beveridge (Make-up for Mr. Damon)
  Kay Georgiou (Dept head hairstylist)
  Geordie Sheffer (Key hairstylist)
  Deborah Ball (Hairstylist, Austin unit)
Production Misc: Ellen Chenoweth (Casting)
  Rachel Tenner (Addl casting)
  Tracy Kilpatrick (Addl casting)
  Amelia McCarthy (Casting assoc)
  Marie A. Kohl (Casting assoc)
  Katrina Wandel (Casting asst)
  Hannah MacPherson (Casting asst)
  Jo Edna Boldin (Local New Mexico and Texas casting by)
  Elizabeth Gabel (Background casting-NM)
  Debbie DeLisi (Background casting-TX)
  Amy Kim (Background casting asst-TX)
  Karen Ruth Getchell (Prod supv)
  Catherine Farrell (Post prod supv)
  Thomas Johnston (Scr supv)
  Buster Coen (Mr. Damon's abs double)
  Rachael Lin Gallaghan (Prod coord)
  Crystal McAlerney (Asst prod coord, Santa Fe unit)
  Karen Ramirez (Asst prod coord, Austin unit)
  Shanti Delsarte (Travel coord)
  Tyson Bidner (Supv loc mgr)
  Robbie Friedmann (Loc mgr, Austin unit)
  Kat Donahue (Asst loc mgr)
  Justin T. Williams (Asst loc mgr, Santa Fe unit)
  Pablo Kelly (Asst loc mgr, Santa Fe unit)
  John Crowley (Asst loc mgr, Austin unit)
  Steve White (Asst loc mgr, Austin unit)
  Cheryl Kurk (Prod accountant)
  Jennifer Luther (1st asst accountant)
  Ryan Hintz (2d asst accountant)
  Megan Brown (2d 2d asst accountant)
  Kera Darcy (Asst accountant)
  David C. Romano (Payroll accountant)
  Lisa Kurk (Const accountant)
  Michael Carey (Clerk)
  Matthew C. Taylor (Payroll clerk)
  Trevanna Post (Post prod accountant)
  Louise A. Spencer (Unit pub)
  Drew Houpt (The New Duke)
  Rusty Hendrickson (Head horse wrangler)
  Cody Haynes (Horse wrangler, Austin unit)
  Eleanor Boatwright (Horse wrangler, Austin unit)
  Monty Stuart (Horse trainer)
  Mark Warrack (Horse trainer)
  Animal Actors of Hollywood (Wild animal trainers)
  Lisa Brown (Prod asst)
  Matthew J. Miller (Prod asst)
  Luke A. Crawford (Prod asst)
  Mary Beth Chambers (Prod asst)
  Vanessa Gaitan (Prod asst)
  Will Rimmer (Prod asst)
  Joshua Fritel (Prod asst)
  Todd Manes (Prod asst)
  Desirae Wallace (Prod asst)
  Franciscus P. Laimbock (Prod asst, Santa Fe Unit)
  Sam Rypinski (Prod asst, Santa Fe unit)
  Mollie A. Gallagher (Prod asst, Austin unit)
  David Kennedy (Exec asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Allie Moore (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Nick Zayas (Asst to Mr. Rudin)
  Kristie Macosko Krieger (Assoc to Mr. Spielberg)
  Clinton Trucks (Asst to Mr. Graf-LA)
  Cayley Bell (Asst to Mr. Graf-NM)
  Alex Burunova (Asst to Mr. Ellison)
  Michelle Beress (Asst to Mr. Schwake)
  Naomi Reeves (Asst to Mr. Bridges)
  Jessie Bridges (Asst to Mr. Bridges)
  Colin J. O'Hara (Asst to Mr. Damon)
  Amy Draughn (Asst to Mr. Brolin)
  Timothy P. Ryan (Transportation coord)
  Edward A. Lassak (Transportation capt)
  Paul Ripple (Transportation capt)
  Tommy Roberts (Transportation co-capt)
  Al Cantu (Transportation capt, Santa Fe unit)
  Michael Hitch (Transportation capt, Austin unit)
  Cecilia M. Cardwell (Studio teacher)
  Stan Garner (Train coord)
  Tony's Catering (Catering by)
  Ivan Kerum (Catering by)
  Isha Sunflower Downs (Prod secy, Santa Fe unit)
  Jessica Attel (Prod secy, Austin unit)
  R. Elliott Guinn (Medic, Santa Fe unit)
  John Arszyla (Medic, Austin unit)
  Melody Lloyd (Const medic, Austin unit)
  Lisa Van Allen (Craft service, Santa Fe unit)
  Dave Dorn (Craft service, Santa Fe unit)
  Saul Sanchez (Craft service, Austin unit)
  Joe Forlini (Craft service, Austin unit)
  Brent Hensarling (Sr systems admin)
  Drew Rosen (Systems admin)
  Nathan Rich (Systems admin)
  Lindsay Hallett (Head of bus development)
  Evan Wischik (Finance mgr)
  Marissa J. Walker (Facility mgr)
  Kevin Curtin (Facility coord)
  Justin O'Reilly (Prod asst)
  Tayla Ealom (Prod asst)
  Chris Robertson (Research and clearances)
  United States Post Office  
  Patricia Mary Murphy Esq (Serious matters)
  Ken Lebre (Dailies prod)
Stand In: Courtney Cunningham (Mattie's double)
  Monty Stuart (Stunts)
  Mary Warrack (Stunts)
  Cassidy Vick-Hice (Stunts)
  Loyd Catlett (Stunts)
  Scout Hendrickson (Stunts)
  Craig Branham (Stunts)
  Mike Watson (Stunts)
  Brian Lee Brown (Stunts)
  Jery Hewitt (Stunts)
  Danny Downey (Stunts)
  Willie Weber (Stunts)
  Pedro Barquin (Stunts)
  Tim Buchanan (Stunts)
  Eliza Coleman (Stunts)
  Mickey Giacommazzi (Stunts)
  Donald J. Hewitt (Stunts)
  Doran W. Ingram (Stunts)
  Ian McLaughlin (Stunts)
  Mike Ortiz (Stunts)
  Paul Willis (Stunts)
  Jennifer Lamb (Stunts)
  Tony L. Boggs (Stunts)
  Thomas E. Bentley (Stunts)
  Casey O'Neill (Stunts)
  Loyd Catlett (Stand-in for Mr. Bridges)
  Johnny Cicco (Stand-in for Mr. Damon)
  Amy Baklini (Stand-in for Ms. Steinfeld)
Animation: Raphael Pimentel (Anim supv)
  Elaine Wu (Anim)
  Marcos D. Romero (Anim)
  Ryan Sivley (Anim)
Color Personnel: EFILM (Digital intermediate and dailies by)
  Mitch Paulson (Supv digital colorist)
  Loan Phan (Digital intermediate prod)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Country: United States
Language: English

Songs: "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," written by Elisha A. Hoffman and Anthony J. Showalter; "The Glory-Land Way," written by J. S. Torbett; "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand," written by Franklin L. Eiland; "Talk About Suffering," traditional; "What a Friend We Have in Jesus," written by Charles C. Converse; "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," written by Elisha A. Hoffman and Anthony J. Showalter, performed by Iris DeMent, courtesy of Flariella Records.
Composer: Charles C. Converse
  Franklin L. Eiland
  Elisha A. Hoffman
  Anthony J. Showalter
  J. S. Torbett
Source Text: Based on the novel True Grit by Charles Portis (New York, 1968) and the serialized story of the same name in Saturday Evening Post (May—Jun 1968).
Authors: Charles Portis

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Paramount Pictures Corporation 22/12/2010 dd/mm/yyyy PA1712295

PCA NO: 46488
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Digital; dts; SDDS Sony Dynamic Digital Sound in selected theatres
  col: Deluxe
  Lenses/Prints: Kodak Motion Picture Film

Genre: Western
Subjects (Major): Adolescents
  Texas Rangers
  United States. Marshals
Subjects (Minor): Aged men
  Boardinghouse mistresses
  Bounty hunters
  Death and dying
  Farm hands
  Fathers and daughters
  Fort Smith (AR)
  Horse traders
  Frank James
  Jurisdiction, Territorial
  Snake bites
  Undertakers and undertaking
  Cole Younger

Note: After the title card the film opens with a Biblical quote (“The wicked flee when none pursueth. Proverbs 28:1”). Voice-over narration by Elizabeth Marvel as the older “Mattie Ross” is heard at the beginning and end of the film. The Coen brothers’ credit reads: “Written for the screen and directed by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen.” The brothers each received an additional credit as producers. Buster Coen, the fifteen-year-old son of Ethan Coen who served as the script supervisor’s assistant, was credited as “Mr. Damon’s abs double.”
       All cast and crew onscreen credits appear in the end credits. The end credits contain an acknowledgement from the producers, thanking: New Mexico Film Commission; The Town of Granger, TX; Omega Cinema Props; Bill Hudson; Suzanne Lindburgh; and Beverly Wood. The end credits state that the United States Post Office in the film appeared “courtesy of the United States Post Office (with Sonic Eagle).” In addition, the end credits reported that the train used in the film was provided by the North Texas Pacific LLC Entertainment Group in association with Historic Reader Railroad and the following individuals: Richard Grigsby, Charles Greathouse, Joe Allen Williams, Steven Greathouse, George Ernst, Everett Leuck and Marty Wolf.
       True Grit is based on Charles Portis’ 1968 best-selling novel bearing the same name, which was condensed and serialized in May-June 1968 issues of Saturday Evening Post . Portis (1933--) was born and reared in Arkansas, the setting of True Grit , his second of five novels. For many years, Portis wrote for the New York Herald-Tribune and became the newspaper’s London correspondent. He has been noted for his archetypal American characterizations, his feel for the linguistics of the South and his deadpan humor. His character, Mattie Ross, has been compared by some literary scholars to classic American writer Mark Twain’s “Huck Finn.” According to studio production notes, actor Barry Pepper, who portrayed “Lucky Ned Pepper” in the Coen brothers’ film, likened the dialog in Portis’ work to “cowboy poetry done by Shakespeare.”
       According to the National Park Service website’s Fort Smith, AR page (, Portis claimed that the character of Rooster was a compilation of historical figures. However, a minor character in the film, “Judge Parker “ (Jake Walker), was based on the real Isaac C. Parker (1838—1896), who was known as “the hanging judge” and who presided over the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas for twenty-one years. According to the film’s production notes, the story’s sequence in which Mattie falls into a snake pit may have been inspired by the actions of Deputy U. S. Marshal John Spencer of Fort Smith, AR, who collected evidence from a snake pit in order to win the 1883 conviction of a double murderer and horse thief.
       In 1969, a film based on the novel was produced by Hal B. Wallis and distributed by Paramount. That film, which was directed by Henry Hathaway and also titled True Grit (see entry), starred John Wayne, whose performance won his only Academy Award for Best Actor, and Glen Campbell and Kim Darby.
       Forty years later, the Coens became interested in making another film based on Portis’ novel. According to the film’s studio production notes, they were drawn to the project because of the irrepressible character of Mattie and her coming-of-age story told as part of a tale of revenge. According to a 23 Mar 2009 DV news item announcing the Coens’ plan to make the film, the brothers reported that they planned to follow Portis’ book more closely than the 1969 film, which had been a showcase for Wayne. The same article reported that the project originated at DreamWorks when the studio was in partnership with Paramount, but because True Grit was originally part of Paramount’s film library, the property remained with that studio when its relationship with DreamWorks ended.
       The Coens version, like the book, tells the story from the point of view of Mattie and follows her into middle age. As in the novel but unlike the 1969 film, the 2010 picture ends after Rooster’s death. As noted in the DV review, Rooster, as written by Portis for the book, was in his forties, but in both film versions the character is portrayed by actors in their sixties.
       As mentioned in several reviews, the Coens’ film retains some of Mattie’s nineteenth-century Presbyterian outlook and is faithful to the novel in its depiction of the amputation of Mattie’s arm, which was omitted in the 1969 film. As noted in several reviews, thirteen-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, who portrays Mattie in the Coens’ version, was about the same age as the character in the book, unlike Kim Darby, who was twenty when she portrayed Mattie in the 1969 film. Although Texas Ranger “La Boeuf” (as portrayed by Campbell) dies in the 1969 film, in the Coens’ version, as well as the book, La Boeuf (Matt Damon) remains alive. The sequence in which La Boeuf leaves Mattie and Rooster was written by the Coens and not in the book or the earlier film.
       According to the production notes, the Coens knew from the beginning that they wanted Jeff Bridges, who worked with them on The Big Lebowski (see entry), for the role of Rooster. However, a nation-wide search was conducted to find the right actress to portray Mattie, as her character was key to the success of the film. According to a 12 Jan 2011 HR news item, over fifteen thousand girls were auditioned via video submissions and open casting calls were held in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, as well as several major cities in other states, for a twelve to seventeen-year-old girl who was “sassy, fearless and sure of herself.” Eventually, according to the production notes, they found Steinfeld, who had appeared on television but marked her feature film debut with True Grit .
       The production notes stated that costume designer Mary Zophres, who researched nineteenth-century clothing at the Western Research Library and Fort Smith Historical Society, chose for Mattie a wide-brimmed Stetson “Boss of the Plains” style hat that was popular in Texas during the 1870s. Zophres learned that Texas Rangers of that era did not wear uniforms, so she dressed the dandified La Boeuf in a fringed buckskin coat. In the production notes, Zophres reported that the hardest costume to design and build was for a minor character, a bearskin clad, vagabond healer who Rooster and Mattie encounter on the trail and who, when first seen, appears to be a bear riding a horse. According to a 3 Feb 2011 LAT article, the costume made for Ed Lee Corbin, the six foot four inch actor who portrayed the “Bear man,” was pieced together from a bearskin rug and four bear skins bought from a taxidermist in Albuquerque, NM. In the production notes, Zophres states that facial hair was a sign of virility during the era of the film's story and that all male actors grew beards and/or mustaches for their roles. The production notes reported that the Coens allowed Bridges to choose the eye on which he would wear the eye patch and, as noted in the HR review, Bridges covered his right eye, while Wayne, in the 1969 film, covered his left.
       Portions of the film were shot in various locations in Texas and New Mexico. In a 10 Feb 2011 DV news item, cinematographer Roger Deakins stated that they scouted “wild places” in Utah, but decided the area would not work during the months of Mar and Apr when shooting would take place. According to the production notes, the agricultural community of Granger, TX was chosen to depict the nineteenth-century Fort Smith, AR, because of its wide streets, post-Civil War era brick buildings and historic train tracks running through town. The production notes stated that some visual effects were used to transform the town, and that the horse-trading sequence was shot in an auto body shop and the undertaker’s establishment in a gutted building. A Victorian home was used to depict a boarding house in which Mattie stays in Fort Smith.
       The production notes also reported that the following locations were used for filming: Rooster’s bedroom in Fort Smith was built on a soundstage in Santa Fe, NM. A community building in Blanco, TX was used for a courthouse sequence seen early in the film. Bagby’s Outpost was built in Las Vegas, NM and the dugout cabin in which the characters, “Emmett Quincy” and “Moon” (Paul Rae and Domhnall Gleeson, respectively) meet their deaths was built in a box canyon on San Cristobal Ranch in Lamy, NM. The interior of the snake pit in which Mattie falls was built on an Austin, TX soundstage and, according to production notes, was the single biggest set used in the film. However, the exterior was an old turquoise mine on the Charles R Ranch outside Las Vegas, NM. Also located on the Charles R Ranch was the meadow used for Rooster’s iconic charge against four outlaws, as well as the rock ledge from which Mattie and Le Boeuf watched him. To shoot close-ups of Rooster’s charge, special rigs of mechanical horses on crane arms were used, according to the production notes, while stuntmen performed for long shots. According to the production notes, the sequence in which Mattie fords the river on horseback was difficult, because horses are not typically comfortable with water. In preparation for filming, crew members chose the exact location for the crossing, then checked the river bottom for debris.
       In addition to being named one of AFI’s Movies of the Year, True Grit was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Leading Actor (Bridges), Supporting Actress (Steinfeld), Writing based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Cinematographer, Costume Design, Art Direction, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing. As noted in a 21 Dec 2010 Var news item, Carter Burwell’s score, which incorporated several nineteenth century hymns, was deemed ineligible for Academy Award consideration because of a rule that disallows pre-composed music. SAG nominated Bridges for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role and Steinfeld for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. Other plaudits for the film included nominations by the WGA for Best Adapted Screenplay, by the PGA for The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures and by the Art Director’s Guild for Excellence in Production Design for a Period Feature Film. The film was also included on the National Board of Review’s Top Ten Films for 2010.
       The character of Rooster appears in other films besides the 1969 picture. Wayne reprised his role in the 1975 production, Rooster Cogburn (see entry), which was directed by Stuart Millar and co-starred Katharine Hepburn. A television sequel, also called True Grit , starred Warren Oates as Rooster and Lisa Pelikan as Mattie, and was directed by Richard T. Heffron. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Daily Variety   23 Mar 2009   pp. 1, 11.
Daily Variety   3 Dec 2010   pp. 2, 51.
Daily Variety   9 Dec 2010   p. 5.
Daily Variety   10 Feb 2011.   
Hollywood Reporter   1 Dec 2010.   
Hollywood Reporter   12 Jan 2011   pp. 62-65.
Los Angeles Times   22 Dec 2010   p. 1.
Los Angeles Times   3 Feb 2011.   
New York Times   21 Dec 2010.   
Time   13 Dec 2010.   
Variety   21 Dec 2010   p. 3.

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