Where Was True Grit Filmed? A Classic Coen Brothers Western Drama!


Joel and Ethan Coen, commonly known as the famous Coen Brothers are mainly known for their psychological thriller dramas with intense plot lines and nuanced characters. Having said that, with the 2010 western drama, True Grit, the Coen brothers have certainly knocked it out of the park. Now, when it comes to western movies, filming locations are vital. So, in this article, we’ll discuss the movie and tell you Where Was True Grit Filmed?

True Grit stars an ensemble cast that includes established actors like Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin, Matt Damon, and Hailee Steinfeld. The movie received a number of constructive reviews from critics and was nominated in ten categories at the Academy Awards. It was also praised for its impeccable direction, storyline, background score, and acting.

However, now getting back to the question about the movie’s filming location, we have to say that it was filmed in the United States of America, particularly in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Granger in Texas. These are the two main locations where the movie’s filming took place.

Plot Of True Grit (2010) | It’s All About Serving Justice!

Where Was True Grit Filmed? A Classic Coen Brothers Western Drama!

The story of True Grit revolves around the character of Mattie Ross played by Hailee Steinfeld, a 14-year-old girl whose father was brutally murdered by a man named Tom Chaney played by Josh Brolin. Now, determined Mattie in order to catch the killer of his father, hires an unconventional lawman, a former Deputy US Marshall, Rooster Cogburn played by Jeff Bridges to get hold of Chaney, so that she could avenge her father.

In time, Mattie and Cogburn come across another man, LaBoeuf played by Matt Damon, a Texas Ranger who is also searching for Chaney but for his own reasons. Soon, the trio teams up to find Chaney and serve some good old west justice.

Where Was True Grit Filmed?  

Where Was True Grit Filmed? A Classic Coen Brothers Western Drama!

So, without wasting any more time, let’s dig deeper and find out in detail about the filming locations of the highly rated and critically acclaimed western drama, True Grit.

Santa Fe | New Mexico, United States of America

Where Was True Grit Filmed? A Classic Coen Brothers Western Drama!

It is common knowledge that the story of True Grit (2010) mostly takes place in and around Fort Smith, Arkansas. But in reality, the movie was not filmed in Arkansas and neither was the 1969 original film. As the 1969 original movie was shot across Colorado, the 2010 remake was filmed in places across New Mexico and Texas.

Principal photography of the film began in March 2010 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, followed by other locations like Granger, Texas. A major portion of the movie was shot in the Indian Territory where Mattie, Rooster, and LaBoeuf start tracking Chaney’s trail. Most of these outdoor scenes were filmed in the Santa Fe area, particularly the Buena Vista Ranch located in New Mexico.

The Buena Vista Ranch is situated on the northeastern side of New Mexico and comprises a diverse natural habitat including parts of the Mora River, Sapello River, Coyote Creek, and Cebolla Creek. We can go as far as to say that these locations are perfect and ideal for shooting western movies.

The Horseman, another high-budget movie was shot in Buena Vista Ranch. The 2014 western drama starring actors like Meryl Steep and Tommy Lee Jones was also a box office hit. 

However, apart from the outdoor scenes, a number of interior scenes were filmed at the Garson Studios in the college of Santa Fe. And not to mention, the neo-western, No Country For Old Men which was released in 2007 was also shot here in the Grason Studios.

Granger | Texas, United States of America

Where Was True Grit Filmed? A Classic Coen Brothers Western Drama!

The scenes that were set in Fort Smith, Arkansas at the beginning of True Grit, were in reality shot in the not-so-big city of Granger, located in the state of Texas. The specific reason for which the Coen Brothers selected this location was because of abundant empty lots between brick buildings and rail terminus. For the portrayal of Fort Smith in the movie, the production unit had to construct a wooden building.

Other than Granger, a number of sequences were also filmed in different locations throughout the state of Texas. Remember the courthouse scenes? Those scenes were shot at the Old Blanco Courthouse in the city of Blanco. Later the building was converted into an establishment where different kinds of events take place. A few other locations where additional scenes were filmed are Austin, Bartlett, and Smithville.

The 2003 horror movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, was filmed in Granger, and also the Edward Norton movie 25th Hour. These are a few of the popular movies that were shot in the small city of Granger, Texas.

Final Word

Well, now that you’re aware of all the interesting locations of the western drama, True Grit, try to visit the locations if you stay in New Mexico or Texas or in any nearby State. We can guarantee it would be a different kind of experience. But most importantly do watch the movie, if you haven’t yet. You can stream True Grit on Hulu, as well as on a number of free independent websites that allow you to stream in HD quality.

True Grit is one of the Coen Brothers’ finest movies, with an extraordinary direction. This movie comes highly recommended and should not be missed out on. Also, if you want to find out about more such fascinating filming locations, then do check out where was Being There and Frozen In Love filmed.

Who Wrote The Film, True Grit?

Ethan Coen and Joel Coen wrote the film, True Grit.

Who Produced The Movie, True Grit?

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, and Scott Rudin produced the movie, True Grit.

What Is The Duration Of The Film, True Grit?

1h 50m is the duration of the movie, True Grit.

Who All Acted In The Movie, True Grit?

The cast of the movie, True Grit includes actors like Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin, Hailee Steinfeld, and Barry Pepper.

Is True Grit Based On A Novel?

Yes, True Grit is based on a 1968 novel of the same name by Charles Portis.

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


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