Friday, December 31, 2010


Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon, Jeff Bridges
Stephen Bly

TRUE GRIT.... whoa!  What a great film.  Classic story.  Terrific acting.  Breathtaking cinematography.  And the theme song is the old hymn "Leaning On the Everlasting Arms."  A tip of the Resistol cowboy hat to the Coen brothers. They nailed it. 

Hailee Steinfeld
In TRUE GRIT the Coen brothers deliver a classic western with splendor and humor.  Good triumphs over evil.  A hero that you can root for.  A heroine, actually.  Young Hailee Steinfeld fits the part like a seasoned pro.  This film version definitely leaped into my Top Ten Westerns category (see list at right hand sidebar) and I'm a tough critic…ask author James Scott Bell. Yeah, they got the weapons…and gun reports…right this time . . . as well as the costumes, sets and towns. Historicity is crucial, in my way of thinking.

Matt Damon
Notice that character, Texas Ranger LaBoeuf (Matt Damon) carries a converted Sharps carbine.* His long distance shot saves Rooster Cogburn's (Jeff Bridges) life.

Brazos Fortune also carries one throughout my western novel series, "Fortunes of the Black Hills."  That converted Sharps carbine is a turning point in the Christy Award winning book, The Long Trail Home.

A great gun.  And a blast to shoot.  I should know.  I have one of the originals in my gun rack, one of the few non-Winchesters that I own.

2 views of Steve's Sharps carbine

TRUE GRIT…the kind of film that makes me proud to be called a western novelist.


Jeff Bridges
What did you think about the newly released version of True Grit?

Compared to the John Wayne version?

* The Sharps Rifle Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut, sold 100,000 percussion rifles to the Union Army during the Civil War.  This rifle uses a percussion cap instead of the older flintlock or matchlock types.  The ball, wadding and powder (and cap) was loaded one at a time.   After the war, the Army still had possession of about 50,000 of these weapons.  By the late 1860s, ammunition had evolved to the metallic cartridges that we know today.  So, the military decided to convert as many of these Sharps rifles and carbine to the new metallic cartridges.  Around 30,000 were so changed.


Connie Sue said...

We did go see True Grit this afternoon and I must say, you were right in your estimation of the movie. I am amazed that the older Jeff Bridges gets, the better actor he becomes. Thanks for letting us know your thoughts so we could go and not be hesitant. Wahoo!

Stephen Bly said...

Connie Sue: Glad you enjoyed it. When I looked at Jeff Bridges, I didn't see the actor, I saw Rooster Cogburn. Should be that way in a good enactment.

brendalottakamaggiebrendan said...

Then, I must go see it. I've been wanting to but had coming and Christmas. I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

Stephen Bly said...

Just learned today that True Grit received 10 Oscar nominees. Guess who we are rooting for?

Kym McNabney said...

I wanted to see this movie before your post. Now I want to see it all the more.

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