True Grit

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Article in Adult Fiction and Big Read categories.

There is a printable version of the adult list.

About the Author

Works by Charles Portis


Short pieces:

Guns for Hire and Hardscrabble Heroes: Adventures & Untamed Characters

Home on the Range: Tales from the Frontier

Classic and Not-so-Classic Westerns

Lawmen & White Hats: Featuring Texas Rangers and US Marshals

Gals with Gumption: More Tenacious Heroines


Movies and Music

Music on CD

Film Adaptations of the Book and Sequels


Feature Films

  • Cheyenne Autumn - John Ford's last Western, this 1964 epic portrays the Northern Cheyenne Exodus of 1878-9, and the mistreatment of Native Americans during that time.
  • Dances with Wolves - Based on the 1988 novel by Michael Blake, this film garnered many awards in 1990 and revitalized the Western genre. Kevin Costner plays a Union soldier who becomes involved with the Lakota Sioux when he is stationed at a frontier outpost.
  • Django Unchained - A recent take on the classic trope of revenge and adventure with Western flair, Quentin Tarantino directed this ultra-violent 2012 award winner.
  • The Outlaw Josey Wales - Based on the novel Rebel Outlaw: Josey Wales (also published as 'Gone to Texas') by Forrest Carter, this 1976 film features Clint Eastwood as a Civil War veteran driven to avenge the murder of his wife and son.
  • Open Range - Kevin Costner plays a Civil War veteran - turned cowboy fighting a corrupt Marshall in this 2003 Western romance based on the novel "The Open Range Men" by Lauran Paine.
  • The Quick and the Dead - Sharon Stone plays a female gunslinger avenging her father in this modern Western.
  • The Searchers - In this 1956 classic, John Wayne is an ex-Confederate soldier searching for his niece, who has been captured by Comanches.
  • Shoot Out - Gregory Peck stars in this 1971 tale of an outlaw saddled with the responsibility of looking after a feisty orphan girl. Made by the same team that made the 1969 John Wayne version of True Grit, and features many of the same locations.
  • Unforgiven - In 1992, Clint Eastwood re-examined the romanticization of the Western film genre with this Academy Award Best Picture winner about an aging outlaw asked to kill again.

Television Series

  • Justified - based on stories and characters from Elmore Leonard, this series features US marshals in modern-day Kentucky.


  • The Real West - This eight-part documentary series brings to life the most legendary cowboys and notorious outlaws of America's western frontier.
  • Wild Horse, Wild Ride - This documentary tells the story of the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge, an annual contest that dares 100 people to each tame a totally wild mustang in order to get it adopted into a better life beyond federal corrals.

Books for Teens



  • Venom, by Marilyn Singer

Books for Youth

Wild West - Fiction for Older Children

Wild West - Nonfiction for Older Children

Wild West - Nonfiction Picturebooks

Cowboy Stories! - Picture Books

External Links