Now, the Oscar-winning Coen brothers have made their own movie version of the classic western novel.
This time, Matt Damon co-stars as a Texas ranger searching for the man who killed a 14-year-old girl's father. His character teams with the girl, who's looking to avenger her dad's death.
Damon admits he never even saw the first "True Grit."
"I'm probably the one guy in America who missed the first movie," he tells "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith. "And when they called me about this one, I went out to get the movie and they said, 'Actually, what you should really do is read the book.
" … What they were interested in doing was a very faithful adaptation of the Charles Portis novel. And the novel was -- I mean, just a phenomenal novel, and I'm surprised that I missed it and (it) … should be in American classrooms. It's a really wonderful American novel.
Damon says the Coens had a "great" idea: "They tried to use as much of what Charles Portis (actually) wrote as they could in the adaptation. And, boy, he just had such an incredible ear for dialogue. It's just really beautiful writing."
The Coen brothers, Smith pointed out, are known for films with blood and gore.
But, Damon noted, "They said on this one, their default setting was classical. They really -- they love the book and they really wanted to honor the book with the film … which I thought was a great way to go. I'm really proud of the movie. I wouldn't change a frame of this movie, and I have only felt that way about one other movie I did."
Damon also addressed a movie about the late Liberace he's supposed to make, starring Michael Douglas, who's battling late-stage throat cancer.
It "feels like it's on track," Damon says. "It's certainly Michael's game, and everything is going great on that front."
With a chuckle, Damon added, "I just e-mailed with him last week and signed it, you know, 'Your boyfriend.' So, he's -- we're ready!"
To see the entire interview, click on the video below:}