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.
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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.