John Wayne won an Oscar for his portrayal of boozy, one-eyed Federal Marshall Rooster Cogburn in True Grit, a performance that plays off the Duke’s legendary on-screen persona with a goofiness that’s also found throughout the rest of Henry Hathaway’s Western. Based on Charles Portis’ novel, Hathaway’s film concerns 14-year-old Mattie Ross (Kim Darby, looking a tad too old for the part), who hires the rascally Cogburn to track down Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey), who had gunned down her father in cold blood. Mattie’s feistiness is initially met with resistance by Cogburn, but cash sways the man to accept the job, and the two – along with Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell), who wants to collect a bounty on Cheney for murdering a senator – head out into Indian territories, with both men alternating between admiring and being exasperated by Mattie’s no-nonsense gumption. Hathaway’s scenic vistas don’t quite capture the rugged nastiness of the frontier yet his compositions – as with an early shot of Mattie framed by La Boeuf’s hip-holstered gun and just-removed spurs – are sharp. His script’s dialogue, however, has a self-conscious period authenticity that calls undue attention to itself, a fact made even more glaring by Campbell, who’s both tin-eared and one-note. As for Wayne, he grumbles, bellows, threatens and drunkenly falls off his horse in a starring role made for size. From his early card-playing with a Chinese friend to a final shootout against Robert Duvall’s bandit (in which the camera goes low so as to cast Wayne as a mythic gunslinger), the icon predictably goes for big over subtle, though far too often for True Grit to quite overcome, his larger-than-life turn flirts with, if not outright topples into, self-parody.