The Duke and the Dude

The remake of 'True Grit' shows the enduring power of a genre

The Duke and the Dude 1

Skydance Productions, The Kobal Collection

Jeff Bridges with Hailee Steinfeld: updating John Wayne

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Skydance Productions, The Kobal Collection

Jeff Bridges with Hailee Steinfeld: updating John Wayne

"True grit"—once known as "sand" and not to be confused with cojones—is terse praise for the bedrock quality desired in the American male. Stoic, hard-edged, and laconic, the gruff embodiment of Hemingway's "grace under pressure" and Tom Wolfe's "the right stuff"; skilled in firearms, steady astride a horse or jockeying an F-16, he coolly performs the work at hand, usually a task involving the swift application of lethal force. No need to tell him to "man up."

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