Movie Under the Stars – Fort Smith National Historic Site

images-1FORT SMITH – “How well do you know the original True Grit movie? Are you willing to put your knowledge to the test? Fort Smith National Historic Site is giving you the opportunity to do just that.

On Saturday evening, May 23rd, from 6 to 9 pm the historic site will host a True Grit evening that will feature a trivia challenge, prizes for the top scoring teams, and an outdoor showing of the original 1969 True Grit film starring John Wayne. Also on hand will be food vendors selling your favorite movie snack foods.


Released in 1969, True Grit starred John Wayne playing Deputy U.S. Marshal Reuben “Rooster” J. Cogburn, Glen Campbell playing Texas Ranger La Beouf, and Kim Darby playing Mattie Ross. The film also featured other well-known talents including Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper. Based on the 1968 novel True Grit by Charles Portis, the film follows the three main characters as they travel into Indian Territory to capture the man who murdered Mattie’s father so that they can bring him back to Fort Smith to stand trial. The film earned Wayne his only Academy Award for his role as Cogburn, who many historians believe was based on the real life Deputy U.S. Marshal Heck Thomas. Although none of the film was actually shot on location in Fort Smith, True Grit brought thousands of new visitors to the park to see the courtroom of Judge Parker and the Fort Smith gallows which plays a prominent role in an early scene of the movie.


The 2-hour movie offers many opportunities for trivia questions and behind the scenes discussion. For example, did you know that there is one scene where a car can be seen in the background? Or that there is a prop carried by one of the main actors that is years before its time?. These are the kinds of trivia questions that will challenge the game participants. This is not a trivia game for the faint of heart.


The trivia game will be a team competition format with two rounds of questions before the movie and a final round at the end of the film. Teams with the highest score of each round wins the prize for that round, and one lucky team will win the prize for the overall top score of all three rounds. Teams must be present to win their prizes.


B&W Food Solutions will be on site selling burgers, nachos, funnel cakes, cold beverages, and other outdoor favorites.


Make plans now to spend a fun evening under the stars. Bring a date, phone some friends, pack up the family, and put together a winning trivia team. Don’t forget to pull along the cooler with your favorite snack foods and/or beverages (no glass bottles please!). Pack the lawn chairs, blankets, bug spray, and tote along the umbrella – just in case. The fun and festivities begin promptly at 6:00 PM. May the best teams win!


Date: Saturday May 23, 2015
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 PM
Location: Frisco Railroad Station parking lot – end of Garrison Avenue at the base of the Arkansas River Bridge.


Cost: Movie and games are free.


For additional information contact Pat Schmidt, Park Ranger, at 479-226-3725.


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