True Grit:Best Movie made about Arkansas

Linda Caillouet reported in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette today in her column that True Grit author Charles Portis of Little Rock spent News Year Day watching the film with longtime pals Ron Farrar and Phyllis Brandon. Caillouet observed:

The trio go way back — they all studied journalism together at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and all worked on the student newspaper, The Traveler, with Farrar serving as editor.
Portis’ New Year’s Day trip to the Little Rock theater was the first time he’d seen the Coen brothers’ remake of the 1969 film, which starred John Wayne and Glen Campbell, but added he might catch it again sometime in the future.
No one in the half-full theater — except the pair of pals he went with — knew the noted novelist was among the audience watching the film.

My 14 yr old son Wilson and I loved the movie, and I especially loved the music. I had told Wilson that the author of the book was born in Arkansas and has lived for many years in Little Rock. Furthermore, I told him that the original story took place in Arkansas and Oklahoma. He quickly asked me if it was filmed here, and I had to tell him that it was filmed in New Mexico.

Max Brantley in the Arkansas Times Blog  (“Why True Grit wasn’t filmed in Arkansas,” Dec 22) quotes Ethan Coen:

You know what? That’s one thing that’s not faithful to the novel. The landscape is a total cheat, but we kind of thought people will think it’s a Western, and some things you just can’t mess with. People want that.

Wilson is still mad about that, but we both enjoyed the movie a lot. It did have a few curse words, and there was one scene of violence. However, there were many biblical references throughout the movie, and the issue of justice was highlighted. I did come away with the same opinion that John Brummett did when he wanted to choose the fictional Mattie Ross “Arkansan of the Year.”

True Grit has to be the best movie made about Arkansas. I can not think of any other that comes close up to this point of time. Many movies have had small parts of Arkansas in them (Gone with the Wind, The Firm), but none of the movies that focus on Arkansas (White Lightning, Sling Blade, and  The Legend of Boggy Creek) are better than True Grit. I had to get over my bias toward Boggy Creek since my wife’s uncle Hub Dugan was actually in the movie playing the monster (not kidding).


The Lawmaker I am profiling today is Jeremy Gillam.

About Jeremy.

Jeremy has been married to his wife, Carissa, for ten years. They have two wonderful boys, Alexander, age 5, and Jaxon, age 2.

  • Owner of Gillam Farms
  • Graduate of Beebe High School
  • Attended ASU Beebe and Jonesboro where I received degrees in Criminology and Psychology
  • Member of the ASU Beebe Development Council
  • Member of the White County Farm Bureau Board of Directors
  • Arkansas Farm Bureau Horticulture Chairman
  • Served on the American Farm Bureau Horticulture Committee
  • Recently named to the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Advisory Committee
  • Member of Trinity Baptist Church
  • Deacon at Trinity Baptist Church


Although there are many issues that confront our district I believe that we must focus on the two things that will most immediately impact our day to day lives.

Economic Development is the key to growing the opportunities that our district needs. As a business owner, I know how difficult it can be to survive in these difficult times. Conventional thinking is not going to be sufficient now. We need leaders that can think outside of the box and bring new economic growth to our communities.

Improving our Infrastructure is something I believe will impact the daily lives of our citizens in a very real and dramatic way. I believe that we need to improve more than just our roads. We need to improve our communications infrastructure as well as our basic utilities.

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