Monday, September 13, 2010


Donna And Cowboy
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
I'll admit I have a prejudice against remaking classic movies. If a movie was done magnificently in the first place, why do a remake? Hello, Vince Vaugh, I love you man, but Psycho again? What was the point?

And who would dare to remake Casablanca? The Wizard of Oz? The Muppet Movie?!

Why mess with a classic?

Add to that blasphemy, the notion of casting someone in a role who is so completely DIFFERENT from the original star, what can come of that but EVIL?? Can you imagine Pauly Shore in Peter O'Toole's Lawrence of Arabia?? Jean Claude Van Damme as lovable George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life?? With his lovely sweet wife played by Angeline Jolie??? To Sir, With Love with Chris Rock in Sidney Poitier's role???!!!

What disastrous ideas!

And yet, I say all of that to say this:

I can't wait to see the new remake of True Grit!

With hippie dippie Jeff "the Dude" Bridges playing the role immortalized by John "the Duke" Wayne!! Can't you just imagine uber-patriot John Wayne hurling and whirling in his grave at the very thought of a commie like Bridges stepping into his boots?

And to top it all off, to be directed by the Coen Brothers!

On one hand, I LOVE True Grit. I love John Wayne's Rooster Cogburn as well as the other characters - and not just Glen Campbell's pretty "Texican" La Boeuf and Kim Darby's spunky Mattie Ross, but an amazing Robert Duvalle as "Lucky" Ned Pepper (to be played by BARRY Pepper in the new movie, I hear), Dennis Hopper and Strother Martin. AND the perfectly cast John Fiedler as the Lawyer, J. Nobel Daggett. Perhaps it's just some old movie sentimentalism, but I thought John Wayne richly deserved that Oscar.

And having the Coen Brothers doing a movie that seems so far removed from their typical wacky or gruesome genres, that just doesn't seem like a logical fit. And speaking of illogical fits, Bridges? As Marshall Rooster Cogburn?? A man with "true grit?"

None of it seems to make sense and it seems like the type of movie I'd typically eschew.

BUT, I do love me some Coen Brothers, and I love me some Coen Brothers working with Jeff Bridges, and I love me some True Grit. I'm thinking that they can pull off the seemingly impossible and make something interesting, compelling and humorous out of their magic hats.

What do you think? Is this a disaster waiting to happen or possible big screen magic? Could it really be a whole new classic movie which honors and adds to the original classic?


Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I have to admit that while I do love the original, it seems, well, dated in a way that, say, Casablanca doesn't (I know, sounds funny). Actually, Jeff Bridges is perfect for the role because he has become, just as Wayne had by the time the original was made, a true character actor. The original has some great stuff, awesome one-liners ("That's a lot of talk from a one-eyed FAT man."), and even Cogburn's cat is a pretty cool character, all stuff the Coen Brothers can use to their benefit.

All in all, I think I would enjoy it.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm looking forward to it. There ARE a lot of great lines in the original. And great character development, for that type of movie.

Marshall Art said...

This might be THE uniting topic of the century! I am about as tight with your sentiments as can be possible. True Grit is a great movie with an incredible cast (don't forget Dennis Hopper) with incredible dialogue from start to finish. Wayne gives his best performance ever and seems to really have gotten into the role. I never tire of watching it.

I don't know about Jeff Bridges being a commie. In fact, I believe he's quite the family man. But in any case, he's an actor more than capable of handling this role. (He did a great job with Wild Bill.) I recall hearing something specific about why Bridges will wear the patch on the other eye, but I can't recall the details. I think he's actually wearing it on the proper eye and the Duke was the one with some reason for choosing the "wrong" eye. Anyway, I await this film with great anticipation AND trepidation, hoping they do it justice.

Dan Trabue said...

Old evil Hollywood, bringing people together around a good story. How 'bout that?