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The Unforgiven (1960)

 -  Drama | Romance | Western  -  6 April 1960 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 4,410 users  
Reviews: 72 user | 24 critic

The neighbors of a frontier family turn on them when it is suspected that their adopted daughter was stolen from the local Kiawa tribe.

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(screenplay), (based on a novel by)
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Title: The Unforgiven (1960)

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Cast

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

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 <rita.richardson@arch2.nara.gov>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

6 April 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Denen man nicht vergibt  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"The Unforgiven" was Audrey Hepburn's only Western. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the piano is delivered, Lancaster's hair style changes again and again, from trimmed to long, from wind swept to coiffured. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Featured in The 43rd Annual Academy Awards (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Hymn of the Republic
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
Music by William Steffe
Sung by Abe Kelsey
Also used as a theme when Portugal pursues Abe
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
John Huston Starts Trouble in Durango
23 May 2010 | by (Earth) – See all my reviews

In the old American West, an apocalyptic horseman startles lovely, dark-haired Audrey Hepburn (as Rachel) with some prophetic proclamations. Later, matriarchal widow Lillian Gish (as Matilda Zachary) takes aim at the old codger, but he leaves without enticing a bullet from Ms. Gish's shotgun. Gish runs her ranch with three very able bodied sons - Burt Lancaster (as Ben), Audie Murphy (as Cash), and young Doug McClure (as Andy). Ms. Hepburn is the fair-haired clan's adopted sister. As it turns out, a local Native American (Kiowa) tribe wants to right an old wrong by taking Hepburn away from her adopted family. Or else, everyone dies!

John Huston's "The Unforgiven" is a flawed, but excellent film. It does seem like some positive thesis regarding race relations - explicitly "Injuns" / implicitly others - was being attempted. But, however well-meaning the project started out, the end result is a negative. All was lost, for me, the moment Mr. Lancaster orders young Mr. McClure to make a pivotal killing. That doesn't mean the movie isn't exciting or aesthetically appealing. Hepburn's authenticity should invite no criticism; remember, she is supposed to be fooling even Mr. Murphy's keen sense of "Injun" smell; yet, she sounds too liltingly "finishing school" sophisticated for the role.

As good as he is, Lancaster doesn't really command the film's attention, either. He and Hepburn are saddled (sorry) with a love story subplot dependent upon the characters being aware they are not really brother and sister, and Hepburn being ready for action. This goes nowhere. There are several other great performers in the cast, but the film belongs to the "Zachary" family members. McClure as Lancaster's wide-eyed younger brother is nicely cast. But, the real energy comes from the characters played by Gish and Murphy; both have a couple of great cinematic moments, though, like others involved here, they had off-screen problems during the filming.

******* The Unforgiven (4/6/60) John Huston ~ Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, Lillian Gish, Audie Murphy


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