In 1930, in Belgium, Gabrielle van der Mal is the stubborn daughter of the prominent surgeon Dr. Pascin Van Der Mal that decides to leave her the upper-class family to enter to a convent, ... See full summary »
Director Billy Wilder salutes his idol, Ernst Lubitsch, with this comedy about a middle-aged playboy fascinated by the daughter of a private detective who has been hired to entrap him with the wife of a client.
Odd Western about racial intolerance focuses around Kiowa claim that the Zachary daughter is one of their own, stolen in a raid. The dispute results in other whites' turning their backs on the Zacharys when the truth is revealed by Mother. Murphy plays Cash, the hotheaded brother who reacts violently to learning his "sister" is a "red-hide Indian." He leaves the family but returns to help them fight off an Indian raid during which Hepburn kills her Kiowa brother, thus choosing sides once and for all. Written by
The original writer J. P. Miller and original director Delbert Mann originally envisioned "The Unforgiven" as a gritty, unglamorous, but accurate picture of post-Civil War Texas life, much as John Ford had earlier done with Alan LeMay's "The Searchers." Hecht/Hill/Lancaster wanted to ensure its commerciality and change the film's direction. They wanted to cast Kirk Douglas as Lancaster's brother, which would throw off the balance in the brothers' relationship. His first effort at a rewrite did not work and after fifty pages into the second rewrite, the writer quit the film and broke off his relationship with the producers. Mann soon followed. They wee replaced by Ben Maddow, John Gay, and John Huston. When it was decided not to use Douglas, Tony Curtis and then Richard Burton were cast before Audie Muephy was ultimately chosen. See more »
In the copyright notice on "The End' screen, the year is given as MCMLVIX (it should be MCMLIX). See more »
[yelling at a cow eating grass growing on the Zachary family's roof]
Shoo now! Shoo! Ain't you got no better manners than to eat at the top of a house?
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I believe this western to be one of the most overlooked western films of the period. When one looks at the westerns made before 1960 it is difficult to find many that come close to comparing with the realism, adult themes and complex characterisation of this film. I have viewed this film multiple times over a period of years and enjoy it more with each viewing. The movie is brilliantly cast with especially great performances from Charles Bickford (Zeb Rawlins), Joseph Wiseman (Abe Kelsey), Lillian Gish (Mattilda Zachary)and June Walker (Hagar Rawlins). This western has it all; uniformly wonderful performances from the entire cast, excellent dialogue, and a real look and feel of the western frontier. I give this film a 9 out of 10.
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