True Grit (2010 film)

2010 film directed by Ethan and Joel Coen

True Grit is a 2010 film about a tough U.S. Marshal who helps a stubborn young woman track down her father's murderer.

Directed and written by Joel & Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Charles Portis.
Punishment comes one way or another. taglines

Reuben "Rooster" Cogburn

  • You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him.
  • [LaBoeuf has been talking about malum prohibitum and malum in se] I'm struck that LaBoeuf has been shot, trampled, and nearly severed his tongue, and not only does he not cease to talk but he spills the banks of English.
  • If he [Tom Chaney] is not in a shallow grave somewhere between here and Fort Smith, he is gone, long gone. Thanks to Mr. LaBoeuf we missed our shot! He barked and the birds have flown. Gone, gone, gone! Lucky Ned and his cohort, gone! Your fifty dollars, gone! Gone the whiskey — seized as evidence. The trail is cold if there ever was one. I'm a foolish old man who has been drawn into a wild goose chase by a harpy in trousers and a nincompoop. Mr. LaBoeuf can wander the Choctaw nation for as long as he likes. Perhaps the local Indians will take him in and honor his gibberings by making him chief! Sister, you may go where you like. Our engagement is terminated. I bow out.

Mattie Ross

  • [Opening voice-over, as an adult] People do not give it credence that a young girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood, but it did happen. I was just 14 years of age when a coward by the name of Tom Chaney shot my father down and robbed him of his life and his horse and two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band. Chaney was a hired man and Papa had taken him up to Fort Smith to help lead back a string of Mustang ponies he had bought. In town, Chaney had fallen to drink and cards and lost all his money. He got it into his head he was being cheated and went back to the boarding house for his Henry rifle. When Papa tried to intervene, Chaney shot him. Chaney fled. He could have walked his horse, for not a soul in that city could be bothered to give chase. No doubt Chaney fancied himself scot-free, but he was wrong. You must pay for everything in this world, one way and another. There is nothing free, except the grace of God.
  • And "futile," Marshal Cogburn, "pursuit would be futile"? It's not spelled "f-u-d-e-l."
  • [Final voice-over, as an adult, after learning of Rooster's death] I had the body removed to our plot, and I have visited it over the years. No doubt people talk about that. They say, "Well, she hardly knew the man. Isn't she a cranky old maid?" It is true, I have not married. I never had time to fool with it. I heard nothing more of the Texas officer LaBoeuf. If he is yet alive, I would be pleased to hear from him. I judge he would be in his seventies now, and nearer eighty than seventy. I expect some of the starch has gone out of that cowlick. Time just gets away from us.

Col. Stonehill

  • I do not entertain hypotheticals. The world as it is, is vexing enough.
  • I would not pay three hundred and twenty-five dollars for winged Pegasus!

Condemned men

  • Repentant condemned man: [sobbing] Ladies and gentlemen, beware, and train up your children in the way that they should go. You see what has become of me because of drink. I killed a man in a trifling quarrel over a pocket knife! If I had received good instruction as a child … I would be with my wife and children today. I do not know what is to become of them, but I hope and pray that you will not slight them and compel them to go into the low company!
  • Unrepentant condemed man: Well, I killed the wrong man is the which of why I'm here. Had I killed the man I meant to, I don't believe I'd have been convicted. I see men out there in that crowd that's worse than me. [to executioner] Okay.
  • Condemned Indian: Before I am hanged, I would like to say— [executioner places hood over his head]


Rooster Cogburn: The jakes is occupied.
Mattie Ross: I know it is occupied, Mr. Cogburn. As I said, I have business with you.
Rooster: I have prior business.
Mattie: You have been at it for quite some time, Mr. Cogburn.
Rooster: There is no clock on my business! To hell with you! How did you stalk me here?
Mattie: The sheriff told me to look in the saloon. In the saloon they referred me here. We must talk.
Rooster: Women ain't allowed in the saloon!
Mattie: I was not there as a customer. I am fourteen years old.
Rooster: [long pause] The jakes is occupied, and will be for some time.

Col. Stonehill: I will pay two hundred and twenty-five dollars and keep the grey horse. I don't want the ponies.
Mattie Ross: I cannot accept that. There will be no settlement after I leave this office. It will go to law—
Col. Stonehill: All right! This is my last offer: two hundred and fifty dollars. For that, I get the release previously discussed and I keep your father's saddle. The grey horse is not yours to sell!
Mattie: The saddle is not for sale. I will keep it. Lawyer Dagget will prove ownership of the grey horse. He will come after you with a writ of replevin.

Prosecutor: [questioning Cogburn about the shoot-out with the Wharton family] What did you do then?
Rooster Cogburn: Well, I backed away from the axe and tried to talk some sense into him [Aaron Wharton]. While this is going on, C.C., he edges over to the wash pot there behind the steam and picks up the shotgun. Potter seen him, but it was too late. C.C. Wharton pulled out on Potter with one barrel and turned to do the same for me and I shot him. The old man raised the axe and I shot him. Otis lit out and I shot him. [pause] C.C. Wharton and Aaron Wharton were dead when they hit the ground. Otis was just winged.
[a few minutes later; Cogburn is being cross-examined]
Defense Lawyer: I believe you testified you backed away from Aaron Wharton.
Rooster: That's right.
Defense Lawyer: Which direction were you going?
Rooster: I always go backwards when I'm backing up!

LaBoeuf: I've just come from Yell County.
Mattie Ross: We have no rodeo clowns in Yell County.
LaBoeuf: A saucy line will not get you far with me.

LaBoeuf: You give out very little sugar with your pronouncements. While I sat there watchin' I gave some thought to stealin' a kiss, though you are very young, and sick, and unattractive to boot. But now I have a mind to give you five or six good licks with my belt.
Mattie Ross: One would be just as unpleasant as the other.

LaBoeuf: You are getting ready to show your ignorance now, Cogburn. I don't mind a little personal chaffing but I won't hear anything against the Ranger troop from a man like you.
Rooster Cogburn: How long have you boys been mounted on sheep down there?
LaBoeuf: My white Appaloosa will be galloping when that big American stud of yours is winded and collapsed. Now make another joke about it. You are only trying to put on a show for this girl Mattie with what you must think is a keen tongue.
Rooster: This is like women talking.
LaBoeuf: Yes, that is the way! Make me out foolish in this girl's eyes.
Rooster: I think she has got you pretty well figured.

Rooster Cogburn: We'll sleep here and follow in the morning.
Mattie Ross: But we promised to bury the poor soul inside!
Rooster: Ground's too hard. Them men wanted a decent burial, they should have got themselves killed in summer.

Lucky Ned Pepper: What is your intention, Rooster? You think one on four is a dogfall?
Rooster Cogburn: I mean to kill you in one minute, Ned, or see you hanged in Fort Smith at Judge Parker's convenience. Which will you have?
Ned: I call that bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!
Rooster: Fill your hand, you son-of-a-bitch!

Mattie Ross: If I had killed Chaney, I would not be in this fix, but my gun misfired.
Lucky Ned Pepper: [Chuckling] They will do it. It will embarrass you every time. Most girls like to play pretties, but you like guns, do you?
Mattie: I do not care a thing about guns. If I did, I would have one that worked.


  • Punishment comes one way or another.
  • Retribution.


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