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The Unforgiven (1960)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | 6 April 1960 (USA)
The neighbors of a frontier family turn on them when it is suspected that their adopted daughter was stolen from the local Kiowa tribe.



(screenplay), (based on a novel by) (as Alan LeMay)

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Complete credited cast:
Cash Zachary
Johnny Portugal
Mattilda Zachary
Charlie Rawlins
Abe Kelsey
June Walker ...
Hagar Rawlins
Georgia Rawlins
Jude Rawlins
Andy Zachary
Carlos Rivas ...
Lost Bird


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. Cash, the hotheaded brother, reacts violently upon learning his "sister" is a "red-hide Indian." He leaves the family but returns to help them fight off an Indian raid. Written by <rita.richardson@arch2.nara.gov>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Heroic Story That Stands Tall and Proud Among the Screen Giants! See more »


Drama | Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 April 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Denen man nicht vergibt  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to Audie Murphy's biographer Don Graham, the script called for Burt Lancaster to slap him. That enraged the war hero to such a degree that witnesses thought that Murphy, who carried a gun, might have killed Lancaster under different circumstances. John Huston eventually defused the situation. See more »


When Rachel goes riding bareback and first sees the old soldier, the cinch holding a saddle on is clearly visible as she sits on the horse talking. See more »


[first lines]
[yelling at a cow eating grass growing on the Zachary family's roof]
Rachel Zachary: Shoo now! Shoo! Ain't you got no better manners than to eat at the top of a house?
See more »


Referenced in The John Larroquette Show: The Unforgiven (1993) See more »


Down in the Valley
Sung by Georgia Rawlins and Hagar Rawlins
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A hidden gem, better than The Searchers
19 August 2003 | by (Staten Island, NY) – See all my reviews

I can't figure it out. Why does everyone love The Searchers? John Wayne's young sidekick in that film, and his absurd romance, sink the film like a stone. This film, which deals with a number of the same issues - racism, kidnapping, mass slaughter, etc. - treats them with greater seriousness and to better effect.

There's wonderful moral ambiguity to The Unforgiven, an ambiguity which was obviously built into the story from the beginning ... so we need not pat ourselves on the back by rooting for the Indians in this one and thinking of ourselves as so much wiser than the filmmakers. When a lot of Kiowa get killed during the course of the film it is unsettling, partly because one thinks in real life that their fighting tactics would be better, but mostly because it is upsetting to see so much bloodshed.

There are better westerns than this film - Open Range, Valdez is Coming, Destry Rides Again, The Long Riders, The Cowboys - but that doesn't stop The Unforgiven from being a first-rate movie filled with suspense and fascinating characters.

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