You get a lot of film genre bang for your buck with this Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino) film. Set against a Western backdrop you also get film noir and drama for your watching efforts.
Violent killer William Munny (Clint Eastwood – Dirty Harry, Sudden Impact) has left a trail of bodies in his wake over the years. But as he got older he got wiser. Or maybe just tired of killing. Now he lives a quiet farmer’s life. Munny’s wife is dead and he is raising their children alone. Due to his family any time his past rears its ugly head he is able to turn away from it, but you get the feeling that he won’t be able to do that forever.
Out of the blue Munny is approached by The Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett – Dead Presidents) to become partners. Munny would get his share of the bounty case that The Schofield Kid is working on. Needing the money for his family, Munny agrees. To bolster the outfit, Munny brings old friend and partner Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman – The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight) with them.
In the town they arrive in Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman – The French Connection, Superman) is the sheriff and there is no type of person he hates more than an assassin. He wants them out of his town.
Even if you are not a fan of Westerns you might like this one because there is nothing typical about it. No one wears a white hat or a black hat. The line between the good guys and the bad guys is rather fuzzy. Nothing is clear cut. The story is simple either. No real happy ending or resolution.
Lots of character development and story are the hallmarks of Unforgiven. Both and the slower pace of the film allow you to really get involved and pulled into the story and lives of the characters. You do care about what happens to them.
As a director, like him or hate him, you have to admit that Clint Eastwood has a vision. He really made the film what it was. He did not fall into the trap of making this a Western that just relies on shootouts. It is a film about morals, trying to put the past to bed and accepting who you really are.
- Audio Commentary by Clint Eastwood biographer Richard Schickel
- Four Documentaries
- Classic Maverick Episode – Duel at Sundown
- Original Theatrical Trailer