Daddy Film School #6: TRUE GRIT (1969)

One of my favorite critics and fellow Letterboxer Adam Kempenaar made a valid point about his anxiety over showing his son John Wayne movies to young:

 “You run the risk of (your kid) looking from the Duke, then back to you, and feeling profoundly disappointed.”

I definitely worried about this. But I chose this film because the kids asked about film scores, and this soaring Elmer Bernstein introduction came to mind.

Plus, better to start with the older, fatter John Wayne, just in case Adam’s on to something.

Plus, this movie is available free on Comcast, and NOTHING is free on Comcast.

THE WORRIES: The only ‘G’ rated movie that begins with a hanging and ends with a  rattlesnake bite. Who rated this film, the man who shot Bambi’s mom? (Spoiler alert)


  1. Revenge is important…or is it?
  2. It’s fun to go around calling everyone “baby sister” in a John Wayne voice (i.e. your mother asks you to set the table, and you say, “Look here, baby sister…”)

The kids and I have a good time with this one. A Daddy Film School rebound movie (CITY LIGHTS didn’t go over so well), and I enjoy it more with them than I did on my own.

Plus, the kids HATE Glenn Campbell. They think he’s a terrible actor, and well, they’re right. They may be learning something about films, after all.

FINN (9): “He’s (The Rhinestone Cowboy) the worst.”

ME: “He (The Wichita Lineman) was a big, big star back then.”

FINN: (incredulous look) “Wow. People were weird back then, huh?”

ME: “We didn’t have Google.”

CHARLIE (11) SAYS: “Sometimes revenge doesn’t happen the way you want it to. You have to make compromises. Some processes take a long time. I loved John Wayne. I love that he was funny, serious and brave…all at the same time. 3.5 stars.”

FINN SAYS: “I like Rooster! He has ‘grit!’ You hear me, baby sister?”

Up Next? More. John. Wayne. The kids want more Duke. I start to doubt my decision-making. Surely, my place as family patriarch is prime for being “wrassled” away by a Missourian-born named Butch who reminds the kids to not “dig for water by the outhouse.”

Better class up these proceedings…and quick!


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