whats your favorite movie?

יום ראשון, 21 באוקטובר 2012



One of the most celebrated films of Clint Eastwood’s career, Unforgiven represented the pinnacle of Eastwood’s success as both actor and director. Released in 1992, Unforgiven is a powerful tale of revenge, action and drama set in the Old West with the lines between good and evil are blurred. Nominated for nine Oscars and winner of four including Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Best Supporting Actor for Gene Hackman and Best Director for Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven has taken its rightful place as one of the best films of the western genre. 

Unforgiven is set in the lonesome, rollicking town of Big Whisky, Sheriff “Little Bill” played by Hackman keeps a tight grip on his township while building a new home. The saloon girls and whores that have also settled in the town are rocked on night when two cowboys cut up one of their own. Not satisfied with the justice dispensed by “Little Bill”, the whores band together and put up a bounty on the assailants. 

News of the bounty attracts an eager young gun named “The Schofield Kid” played by Jaimz Woolvett and a retired killer William Munny played to grizzled perfection by Eastwood who was nominated for his performance. Munny had given up his killing ways to settle down on the farm with his young wife and two kids. But with the passing of his wife, Munny realizes that his place is not on the farm. So he recruits his old partner Ned played with great gusto by Morgan Freeman and sets off for Big Whiskey. 

While Unforgiven is set in the old west and contains many of the trademarks of a traditional western, it plays out more like a Greek tragedy with the hero embodied in Eastwood’s character far more reticent and interested reclaiming his lost ways rather than fighting for what is right. Unforgiven also features plenty of wonderful supporting characters such as Richard Harris as the aged, yet proper gunslinger English Bob and veteran TV actor Saul Rubinek as reporter W.W. Beauchamp who serves as a rather nervous witness to the events that unfold over the course of the picture. 

The climax of the film is simply one of the best ever filmed, full of intensity, raw nerve and unsettling action where all the combatants finally meet in a showdown inside the saloon. The understated power of Eastwood’s performance and Hackman’s complex character blurs the line between right and wrong. The ending of the film does not leave one with the feeling that all is settled, but rather that the survivors remain to live out the rest of their lives. 

Interestingly enough, the script for the film has been passed around for nearly two decades before Clint Eastwood, who had ignored it for several years himself, finally read it and realized the potential of Unforgiven. What’s even more bizarre is that Hackman had read and passed on the script years earlier before being convinced by Eastwood to play the role of Little Bill. 

Unforgiven became only the third picture to win Best Oscar, having achieved this a year after Dances with Wolves won the year before. It stands as a true testament to the power of Eastwood’s acting, directing and storytelling abilities.