After escaping death by the skin of her teeth, the horribly disfigured prostitute, Delilah Fitzgerald, and her appalled and equally furious co-workers summon up the courage to seek retribution in 1880s Wyoming's dangerous town of Big Whiskey. With a hefty bounty on the perpetrators' heads, triggered by the tough Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett's insufficient sense of justice, the infamous former outlaw and now destitute Kansas hog farmer, William Munny, embarks on a murderous last mission to find the men behind the hideous crime. Along with his old partner-in-crime, Ned Logan, and the brash but inexperienced young gunman, the "Schofield Kid", Munny enters a perilous world he has renounced many years ago, knowing that he walks right into a deadly trap; however, he still needs to find a way to raise his motherless children. Now, blood demands blood. Who is the hero, and who is the villain?Written by
This movie was shot in 39 days, coming in four days ahead of schedule. The town had to be built very quickly, with a relatively short run-up time (two months) to the start of filming. The stunt coordinator used the construction period to work on actors' riding skills and stunt choreography. See more »
(at around 1h 45 mins) The whiskey that the kid is drinking from under the tree after the killings is not "Southern Comfort" as noted elsewhere. The name on the label identifies it as "Johnathan Collier Whiskey". However there is a problem with that bottle nonetheless. In the close-up when he takes a drink the bottle's contents info can be seen embossed in the glass around the bottom of the side of the bottle. Bottles were not marked that way in 1881. See more »
At the end of the credits, there is caption reading, "Dedicated to Sergio and Don". This is a reference to late directors Sergio Leone (who directed Clint Eastwood in the Dollars trilogy) and Don Siegel (who directed Eastwood in Dirty Harry and Escape from Alcatraz). See more »
Amazingly Thought-Provoking on How Much a Life is Worth and the Inner Workings of a Man With a Regrettable Past.
In 1992, Clint Eastwood created the last and greatest western; 'Unforgiven'. A tribute to the previous masters, Sergio Leone and Don Siegel, who died within a mere 3 years before this brutal masterpiece.
Eastwood stars as William Munny a retired gunslinger with a guilt-filled past. He lives alone with his two children and grave of his young wife outside. One day a young cowboy, The Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett), comes in need of his service to hunt down some men who cut up a whore. William reluctantly accepts and with the help of Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) they work together to track down the criminals. Meanwhile, the sheriff of the town, Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman) is also looking for them. This then leads to a bloody showdown climax, welcoming back a sort of 'Man With No Name' character to the genre.
William Munny is a cold-blooded killer. The Schofield Kid wants to be one. But, all the murders and sins Munny used to commit has affected him in an extraordinary way. He takes no hesitation in killing. In the climax he just walks past a man he shot who didn't die and shoots him dead. It may sound like nothing now, but he just took a life for no apparent reason. When the Kid kills his first man, of which deserved it, he hesitates. This is The Kid who is so eager to kill people as he thinks it will make him a man. But after the assassination, he breaks down. He realized what he had done. He had wiped another man of the earth. And Munny does it with ease. So does Little Bill. He is a violent and brutal cop who uses torture to get what he wants from the prisoners. Logan also finds it hard to take lives.
The film studies on how much a life is worth. Sometimes it is worthless (see Tarantino or Scorsese films) and sometimes it is a major feature. Usually a film only does one. Unforgiven does both. A life isn't worth the same amount to each person. When a life is taken, it is the killer who decides how much it is worth by how much it affects him. Whether he just lets it slide (Munny and Little Bill) or kills someone and calls it a day (Kid and Logan), because they can't bring themselves to forgetting it. This is the most thought-provoking thing for me personally, ever.
Unforgiven in my opinion is the greatest western. Actually, its the greatest film of all-time. It shows how violent it was back then, and the fact everybody was beaten. It is more realistic than any of Leone's 'Man With No Name' films (though I will admit they were set in a sort of fantasy land). But, Munny is not proud of his violent nature. He blames it on alcohol; which his wife persuaded him to quit to explain why he also gave up being a murderer. The film shows the cowboys as they really are, either cowards or killers. The choice of word 'coward' is to say that they should be killers, as that is apparently what a man is (an exaggeration) as most westerns glorify violence, but the men can't handle it.
Clint Eastwood did an amazing job as William Munny. He showed how he regretted his past very well by admitting to it in a shameful way; like when asked if he killed women and children he replied "I've killed just about anything that walked or crawled at one time or another, and I'm here to kill you ". He even admits that he will meet Little Bill in Hell. Gene Hackman delivers one of the greatest performances of the decade, the tension he makes is incredible. Woolvett and Freeman remain in solid above average performances throughout.
The script, written by David Webb Peoples, buzzed around Hollywood for nearly 20 years, even being rejected by some of the cast, before Eastwood picked it up. Clint Eastwood deserved his Oscar for best direction. The plot flowed fluently with some surprises and memorable lines. An instant classic. The cinematography is much different that of 'The Good, The Bad and The Ugly' or the others westerns Eastwood appeared in. It is a much cleaner and crisp view, yet also being extremely raw. The score, though not used often is very refreshing and moving.
'Unforgiven' is an unforgettable look on life, man and the real west. One of the most powerful films of the '90s. A true triumph exploring important morals. Do not miss it.
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