The battle of the Rooster Cogburns. Who did it better?
John Wayne won his only Oscar for the 1969 version
Jeff Bridges was nominated for the 2010 version
I love the newer True Girt more as a whole just a better ensemble performance but Bridges was my only complaint about the new True Grit. I felt he was way too gritty and needed to tone it down a little so I’m going with John Wayne
I would actually pick John Wayne’s performance in the 1975 film Rooster Cogburn. Jeff Bridges wasn’t especially believable, while the original True Grit didn’t offer much depth to his character.
The Coens adaptation was a much more faithful rendering of the novel by Charles Portis and rightfully placed Mattie center stage, but John Wayne made a far stronger impression than Jeff Bridges did as Cogburn, so I have to vote for Wayne.
Jeff Bridges is overall a far better actor. I feel like the Academy gave John Wayne the Oscar for that as a way of rewarding him for being one of the most definitive movie stars of all time. He’s good in it, but nothing that blew me away.
I think Bridges did the role better, and I think the Coens created a superior remake overall.