IMDB Rating 8.3/10 131 min - Rated 15 Western | Drama
Stars: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, M Freeman Director: Clint Eastwood
When Little Bill Daggett (Hackman), a sadistic, dictatorial sheriff of a small frontier town, denies justice to the prostitutes of the local brothel, one of whom has been viciously slashed by two clients, the women hire Bill Munny (Eastwood), a retired once-ruthless gunfighter, now a gentle widower and hog fanner for $500 to shoot the culprits. He accepts the job to help support his two motherless children, and is joined by his former partner (Freeman) and a cocky greenhorn (Woolvett), However, Munny must contend with his new moral code in the face of revisiting the life he left behind. Dedicated 'to Sergio and Don', the two directors, Leone and Siegel, who served as his most important mentors, Unforgiven, according to Clint Eastwood 'summarized everything I feel about the Western. The moral is the concern with gunplay.' Eastwood's tenth western is also his crowning achievement in the genre in which he made his name. He had acquired the script some ten years earlier, but he had wanted to 'age' into it. At 62, he was ready to play the role to perfection. This 'revisionist' Western, exploring the darker side of the myths of the Old West, gave the kiss of life to the genre. It is striking in its willingness to confront the effects of violence on both those who commit it and those who suffer it, and for the sense of the characters' realization of their own mortality. Gene Hackman at 63, as a brutal sheriff, is a worthy opponent and contrast to Eastwood's compassionate hero.