DIRECTOR: CLINT EASTWOOD
COUNTRY: AMERICA 1992
CINEMATOGRAPHY: JACK N. GREEN
MUSIC: LENNIE NIEHAUS
CAST: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, Jaimz Woolvett, Frances
SUPER FEATURES: Excellent film. Well done.
Clint Eastwood has always made a type of western that was personal. And it was a matter of time before he came
up with something to prove that he wasn't in it just for the money, or for whatever glory. To him, the western
is a sort of his heart, where he grew up, and where he will die...... UNFORGIVEN is a fabulous film, pure and
simple, and deserved its awards. And Clint Eastwood, has settled into being a solid director, doing serious and
meaningful work, rather than anything else just for fun.
Unforgiven is the story of a pair of ex-outlaws hustled into doing one more job before, being that the money is
tight, and they are struggling. Will has been alone for a long time since his wife died, and Ned, his neighbour
and friend also has the itch. They are being paid by a group of women bent of avenging the scars which a cowboy
left in a prostitute that made accidental fun of him.
The long journey takes them to the town where Big Bill happens to be mayor, and a ruthless one. He avenges many
of his insulting moments by having a law that mandates that all visitors must turn in the guns upon entering the
town. And he is vicious if you do not. Ned gets lynched and killed, and Will manages to survive because the
girls help him.
Eventually Big Bill gets his, but not before he exercises his ego with a lesson in story telling for a writer
that has been left behind by a visiting gunman that gets lynched for his violation of the rules, and for his
showing up Big Bill in earlier days. What is not clear is why this gunman came here in the first place, unless
he is also tipped of about the pending reward which the girls have come up with.
The film dedicates a large amount of time to the makings of these men and what ticks in them. It is something
that most films do not do at all, specially when they are so caught up inthe glory of a story and its resolution.
In this film, the resolution is almost inconsequential to the real story. The sad, and lonely Will, that is
reaching his old days and seems to miss a little action here and there. And he shows his dedication by not
talking about it too much, same as his close friend Ned. The others, whose talent and ability with the gun is
actually more questionable than not, spend a lot of time talking up a big storm.
In the end, Will's instincts get re-awakened and he does his job, while also taking care of the business at hand.
Big Bill gets his come uppance as do many of his honchos. And the story continues with the journalistic flavor
that the other gunmen used all along. Will did have an affair with the girl that had her face and body cut up by
the previous cowboy, and they end up with a child, though it isn't clear that they stayed together. Very much
the waqy many things went in those days, when sometimes things happened and sometimes they did not.
With an outstanding cast, from the top all the way down, this film is a visual treat to watch from the very
beginning. The cinematography seems to have a feel for when to tell a story, or when to be the story. It moves
when it is in action. It sits still when it is merely story telling allowing the actors to do their work......
which they do magnificently.
Both Gene Hackman and Clint Eastwood are simply way above average in what is a well filmed, and beautifully
designed film about the American west, probably more like it really was, than the movies tend to make it. There
is nothing glorious, or romanticized in this film. The memory really is that those days were violent and rough
on people, the girl with the scars only one example of that.... the other scars are the hurts that have made the
west the vivious country that it once was...scars that don't disappear in the night. They create an awesome
array of images in the hands of a director who is sensitive to them.
Please email me with questions and/or comments
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