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The Unforgiven
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The Unforgiven (1960) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   4,531 votes »
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Down 18% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Ben Maddow (screenplay)
Alan Le May (based on a novel by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Unforgiven on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
6 April 1960 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
A NEW TRIUMPH FROM ACADEMY AWARD WINNER JOHN HUSTON (original ad - all caps) See more »
Plot:
The neighbors of a frontier family turn on them when it is suspected that their adopted daughter was stolen from the local Kiawa tribe. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
NewsDesk:
(7 articles)
365 Days, 100 Films #92 - The Unforgiven (1960)
 (From Flickeringmyth. 25 January 2012, 11:42 AM, PST)

Angelina Jolie Considering Unforgiven ?
 (From Comingsoon.net. 25 August 2010)

Clip joint: rooftops
 (From The Guardian - Film News. 11 August 2010, 8:01 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
The Most Ambitious Western Ever See more (73 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Burt Lancaster ... Ben Zachary

Audrey Hepburn ... Rachel Zachary

Audie Murphy ... Cash Zachary

John Saxon ... Johnny Portugal

Charles Bickford ... Zeb Rawlins

Lillian Gish ... Mattilda Zachary

Albert Salmi ... Charlie Rawlins

Joseph Wiseman ... Abe Kelsey
June Walker ... Hagar Rawlins
Kipp Hamilton ... Georgia Rawlins
Arnold Merritt ... Jude Rawlins

Doug McClure ... Andy Zachary
Carlos Rivas ... Lost Bird

Directed by
John Huston 
 
Writing credits
Ben Maddow (screenplay)

Alan Le May (based on a novel by) (as Alan LeMay)

Produced by
Harold Hecht .... presents (as Hecht Hill and Lancaster)
James Hill .... producer
Burt Lancaster .... co-producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin 
 
Cinematography by
Franz Planer (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Russell Lloyd 
 
Art Direction by
Stephen B. Grimes  (as Stephen Grimes)
 
Costume Design by
Dorothy Jeakins 
 
Makeup Department
Frank La Rue .... makeup artist (as Frank LaRue)
Frank McCoy .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Gilbert Kurland .... executive production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tom Shaw .... assistant director
Emilio Fernández .... second unit director (uncredited)
Carlos Villatoro .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Ramón Rodríguez Granada .... associate art director (as Ramon Rodriguez Granada)
Ross C. Burke .... property master (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Basil Fenton-Smith .... sound recordist
Leslie Hodgson .... sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Dave Koehler .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Jack Conner .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Herron .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Terhune .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Inge Morath .... still photographer (uncredited)
James Saper .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia .... orchestra: recorded in Rome Italy with (as The Santa Cecilia Orchestra)
Richard Nash .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
Dimitri Tiomkin .... musical director (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Harold Hecht .... presents (as Hecht Hill and Lancaster)
James Hill .... presents (as Hecht Hill and Lancaster)
Burt Lancaster .... presents (as Hecht Hill and Lancaster)
'Chema' Hernandez .... head wrangler (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
125 min | USA:121 min (Turner library print)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:12 | Netherlands:6 (re-rating) | Norway:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating: feature and trailer) (2003) | UK:PG (video rating) (1995) (1996) | USA:Approved (PCA #19245) | West Germany:12 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Audrey Hepburn's weight fell to 98 lbs during filming, and she increased her smoking habit to three packs a day.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: In the copyright notice on "The End' screen, the year is given as MCMLVIX (it should be MCMLIX).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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
Down in the ValleySee more »

FAQ

How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
Did Rachel and her brothers know that she was Kiowa?
What was the name of Rachel's horse?
See more »
61 out of 88 people found the following review useful.
The Most Ambitious Western Ever, 24 January 2006
Author: aimless-46 from Kentucky

Not to be confused with Clint Eastwood's 1992 film "Unforgiven", "THE Unforgiven" is a 1960 John Huston film that is almost worthy of joining Eastwood's as one of the top ten westerns of all-time. That it falls slightly short of that status could be because Huston withdrew from the project in post-production, after the studio insisted on toning down his message of racial tolerance to give the film more commercial appeal. Although this tampering tends to cloud his political message, it is still there if you do conduct a little analysis. "The Unforgiven" does lay claim to the distinction of being the most ambitious western of all time.

Based on an Alan LeMay novel, as was John Ford's "The Searchers", "The Unforgiven" presents the flip side of the search for a missing sister. Here it is an Indian looking for his sister who was abducted as a baby by a white man and then adopted by his family. The obvious complaint is that the Indians are the villains in both films, by a kind of damned if you do-damned if you don't logic. But there is a distinction as the little girl in "The Searchers" was abducted when she was nine years old and she retained a desire to be reunited with her white family. The girl in "The Unforgiven", Rachel (played by Audrey Hepburn), has only known her adopted family.

John Huston once said that a good story should have "excitement, color, spectacle and humor, adventure, high drama, tragedy, good conversation, truth and irony". Even the studio version of "The Unforgiven" does a pretty good job of bringing all these elements to the screen. The most obvious sign of studio tampering is the inconsistency in John Saxon's character (Johnny Portugal), a half-breed who is often harassed by the local cowboys and is meticulously set up to be Ben's (Burt Lancaster) rival for Rachel's affections. But Portugal mysteriously disappears from the film by the half-way point and there is no attempt to resolve his situation with Ben and Rachel.

Ben is the eldest son of a ranching family. Audie Murphy is the middle brother Cash. Doug McClure is Andy, the youngest brother. Lillian Gish is their mother Mattilda. Since their father's murder by the Kiowas Murphy has been a violent racist.

The film's title refers to the attitude of Abe Kelsey (Joseph Wiseman-later to play Dr. No), a bearded half-crazy avenger who has tormented the family for many years, ever since his son was abducted by the Indians and Ben's father refused to trade Rachel for Abe's son. The twist is that only Wiseman and Gish know that Rachel's biological parents were Indians, everyone else (including Rachel) believes that she was the only survivor of a massacred settler family.

Rachel has grown up to be a loving and happy young woman. Huston's intention is to demonstrate that one race is not inferior to another; that while cultural differences are very real, there is no biological reason for racism. When Rachel's actual parentage is revealed it divides the family; Cash leaves to go on a wild bender, the other two brothers distance themselves from Rachel and she from them, and the surrounding settlers shun the family.

One scene is absolutely riveting, Rachel is comforting the mother (played by June Walker) of the boy she was to marry. Walker slowly looks up at her and then suddenly goes absolutely ballistic. Hepburn's stunned reaction appears to be absolutely genuine, as if Huston had altered the script and not told her about the change.

Interestingly, the climax actually occurs just after this and before the final shoot-out. The Indians come to the homestead to take Rachel. She attempts to join them, reasoning that they will spare her family once they have her. Ben physically restrains her and has Andy shoot one of Indians, rendering Rachel's intended sacrifice useless because the Indians will now attack to avenge the killing. But more important, this demonstrates to Rachel that they still consider her their sister, the first sign of this since everyone learned of her Indian parentage.

You can quibble that Hepburn is physically miscast, at a minimum they should have made her hair darker, but the story requires that the character look "non-Indian" as she has been successfully passing for a white girl for many years. Watch for the scene where she is on the corral fence watching the cowboys break horses. She simply glows in this shot. How ironic that someone who was so closely associated with high fashion and glamor would look her most beautiful as a dusty tomboy and a dirty-faced flower girl.

My only real criticism of the film is the moronic nature of the final shootout. There was no need for a war party, a handful of Indians would have been better. Otherwise this is a thoughtful and entertaining story that moves along briskly as Huston nicely crafts a number of rounded characters. He utilizes a variety of camera angles and positions, which enhance the story without drawing attention to the technique. Lancaster is excellent as man of character and conviction who manages to convey the conflict between brotherly love for his adopted little sister and the growing sexual attraction between them. Gish is amazing and Murphy turned in the best performance of the whole ensemble, playing against type and showing an unexpected range..

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.

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Kinda anti-racist, kinda racist robschmidt
Identifying Audrey - SPOILER, maybe? klramsey123-1
Joseph Wiseman Bobster36
Huston's Worst pero_k2
Worst western ever made icyrain
Western Logistics polsixe
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