Monday, December 13, 2010

Why a remake of True Grit?

Why a remake of True Grit? The original 1969 Western starring John Wayne, in which he won his only Oscar, is a classic that stands on its own without the need for being revisited and, as Hollywood in its wisdom apparently believes, improved upon.

I think the remake will do ‘okay’ in theaters and even in DVD/electronic download release, but not because it’ll be that spectacular of a movie. The acting, cinematography and music present in the remake won’t be noteworthy enough to carry the piece to serious profitability on its own—not without leaning on the name both of and behind the original. I believe a major portion of any success the remake garners will be due to the legend it uses as a crutch. I suspect the executives and investors behind the remake are counting on it. The True Grit storyline isn’t so remarkable that a comparable script couldn’t have been written for a modern-shot western. Lonesome Dove and Unforgiven are two prime examples. For translation into film, it isn’t the storyline but what the actors within bring to the final product—in this case, what John Wayne brought to the original.

I’m a big fan of Westerns, but this 2010 remake is one I won’t be supporting. I will, however, always support the original:


  1. They are capitalizing on the name, both John Wayne and True Grit. It's the same way for publishers to capitalize on popular authors to republish old works.

  2. Republishing old works is different than a remake, I think. But I guess uses such as Pride Prejudice and Zombies or The Wind Done Gone, would be close enough.