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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 10.45%
Average: 4.48%
Pretty Bad: 2.99%
Total Crap: 4.48%

6 reviews, 98 user ratings

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Unforgiven (1992)
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by Cochise

"Unforgiven is the quintessential western."
5 stars

Unforgiven, directed by Clint Eastwood, has to be his magnum opus. It is a celebration of the Western and a tribute to the mythological Old West. The film also explores some serious issues.

WARNING - In order to review this film and discuss its meaning, I have to reveal the ending. So . . . if you don't want to know what happens in the end, please don't read this until after you have seen the film.

A very interesting point the film brings up is the nature of rumor.

When the Schofield Kid approached William Munny to get his help with the killings, he told Munny what had happened to the prostitute. What the Kid told Munny was an embellishment of the story due to the nature of rumors. That is, like Chinese Whispers, the story grows in detail with every new telling of it.

The Kid tells untruths about himself so that he will appear to be tough. This was done by a lot of bad men. It is rumored that Doc Holliday did not kill as many men as his reputation said he did, and that Holliday himself contributed to the false stories to enhance his reputation and make people afraid of him. Holliday was in reality a tough man, but historians are not sure he did everything he claimed to have done.

That brings up the issue of Munny's reputation. In the film it is said that he killed woman and children. That may not be true as bad men would embellish their reputation by letting rumors grow about themselves. Maybe Munny is bad, but not a killer of women and children. Be that as it may, Munny was an evil man and did certainly have a reputation that would really scare people. For example, he is able to walk right out of town in the end.

The nature of justice is also explored in the film.

In a frontier society vigilante justice was more common than in modern times. In the film the hiring of the men to kill the cowboys is vigilante justice. Little Bill's beating of English Bob is also vigilante justice. Killing Ned is vigilante justice as well. Finally, Munny killing the cowboys for putting Ned on display is vigilante justice.

The film also explores the nature of evil.

We see evil in the idea of hiring the gun men, the cutting of the prostitute, the murders by the gun men, and the beating of English Bob.

Men can do evil and still be ordinary people as well. For example, Little Bill is building a house, Munny had been a farmer, and Ned was also a farmer.

The seductiveness of evil is seen in the way the Kid looks up to Munny.

The film is about an Old West that did not exist exactly as the film shows it. But the writers have done their research and created a feeling of reality about the world of the film. For example, Little Bill's comments about how a gunfighter takes his time, echoes comments by real people of the time, Wyatt Earp being one of them.

The cutting of the prostitute, and the fact that the cowboys only have to give skinny some horses as compensation shows the perceived worthlessness of prostitutes in the Old West.

This film is a beautiful work of art by the director and is a quintessential western that will become a classic. If you havenít seen this film, make sure and do. You will not be disappointed.

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originally posted: 02/11/09 07:51:50
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User Comments

2/21/17 morris campbell low key but potent Eastwoods great 4 stars
12/31/11 Simon Lovely moral ambiguity, turns western theme on its head; any viewer finds something to like 5 stars
2/03/11 Josie Cotton is a goddess Classic neo-western 5 stars
8/17/10 TravisN One of the few movies in the 90's that deserved its BP award. 5 stars
7/19/10 forest gump Really good western 4 stars
6/08/10 Flathead King Some of the dialogue in this film is a bit odd and the ending lacks credibility. 3 stars
3/08/10 Samantha Pruitt this movie was boring and overrated! 2 stars
1/08/10 Dane Youssef Just maybe the last great western. Eastwood and Hackman scorch. Still have the west in them 5 stars
9/15/09 MB Ignore the morons who don't get it...this film is a masterpiece 5 stars
5/24/09 bud cham very good film. Bit slow in the middle but a rousing last 20 minutes makes up for it. 4 stars
3/22/09 james obrien the very best of this kind of film 5 stars
2/23/09 Caryl Yantis I loved this movie 5 stars
2/15/09 whentempersflare I'm not a big fan of westerns, but this was pretty good. 4 stars
2/12/09 Ming Clint still make my days..Great movie 4 stars
1/26/09 Pamela White Very overrated for a western, weak plot for great actors. 2 stars
1/26/09 Anonymous. the best western i've ever seen. 5 stars
10/22/08 Shaun Wallner Thought this was a good film. 5 stars
9/28/07 mr.mike slightly overrated , but still a classic 4 stars
1/20/07 AJ Muller This, Josey Wales, and The Wild Bunch are the best Westerns ever. Period. 5 stars
9/05/06 MP Bartley Majestic, mythic, moody and magnificent. Deeply and darkly brooding. 5 stars
7/19/06 David Cohen The Hollywood Western can never go back to what it was before "Unfogiven," Thank God! 5 stars
7/06/06 Brian Mckay Only second to the Josey Wales - Godamighty! 5 stars
6/08/06 Peggy Doty Loved this movie deserved all the awards 5 stars
5/12/06 SpyV I love this movie. Fantastic study of character, in a western backdrop. 5 stars
5/10/06 perempe one of the best westerns of today 5 stars
3/04/06 lawyer J.Noble Daggett damn fine! Eastwood, Freeman, and especially Hackman are NATIONAL TREASURES 5 stars
12/09/05 Frank Rountree Excellent story and great acting 5 stars
10/10/05 Agent Sands Darker than your average western. 4 stars
9/13/05 ray mero Clint breaks off his golfing for another bit of squinty gnashing about, um, violence. 1 stars
8/25/05 ES A movie that requires multiple watches for true appreciation 4 stars
8/18/05 Jake Clint Eastwood's Masterpiece 5 stars
7/11/05 sbpat21 a fucking great movie 5 stars
6/05/05 Ubu the Ripper Not the greatest western of all time, but very good. 5 stars
3/18/05 indrid cold The "take away all he's got ..." scene is classic, but otherwise I was somewhat let down. 4 stars
3/12/05 Richard Betts The greatest western ever. Brilliant. 5 stars
2/09/05 Dan Great Movie. 5 stars
1/30/05 Bob Barton This ranks right at the top of all-time greatest western movies ever made 5 stars
7/08/04 Stevo "Take away all he's got, and all he's ever gonna hav." 5 stars
7/04/04 Luiz Gilberto de Oliveira Messias This movie show how the murder really is: Ugly and dirty. 5 stars
5/14/04 Trentus Whitbread POO FACE 1 stars
3/25/04 Lord Haw Haw We all got it comin', kid. 5 stars
1/03/04 A F I hate westerns, yet I rather enjoyed this film. 4 stars
12/14/03 john a powerful film and a great cast 5 stars
11/24/03 Edler One of the greatest ever! 5 stars
11/22/03 adguy Want to see the real west? Take a look. Top notch. 5 stars
9/28/03 Nasty_Gnorc proves that western's aren't dead. 5 stars
8/30/03 Evilmasterfoo Hell of a thing killin' a man. 5 stars
8/03/03 Lord Jiggy Powerful story of a descent into Hell. Superior to most films of the last 10 years 5 stars
7/02/03 AD overated my arse 5 stars
5/16/03 mr. Pink One of the most overrated movies of the 90s. Finale doesn't gel with everything before that 3 stars
3/20/03 May Q. Horney Possibly most overrated Best Pic winner ever, maybe soon to loose distinction to Shitcago. 3 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby A bit underdeveloped, but it's still an outstanding piece of work. 4 stars
2/11/03 Ubu the Ripper Not "Josey Wales". Too much "F" word and a bad guy who cuts prostitute's breasts. Goofy. 2 stars
12/24/02 Dominic We all got it coming kid. 5 stars
10/30/02 Monster W. Kung Quite unique, actually. Awesome. 5 stars
10/09/02 Charles Tatum Eastwood has done better westerns! 3 stars
9/30/02 Own too loose when my pie are gain her High on my "Why the heck did that win best picture?" list 3 stars
9/27/02 Tom Fleeman A very gripping tale with that powerful Clint Eastwood demeanor. 5 stars
9/07/02 Ramblin Wreck This could be argued to be the greates Western movie........and I love Westerns!!! 5 stars
8/14/02 sdfr an instant classic! 5 stars
7/18/02 terry finnegan great film great actors great story 5 stars
3/20/02 Brian Holly Possibly the greatest western movie ever made 5 stars
12/02/01 R.W. Welch Hackman performance boosts this one up from the ordinary. 4 stars
11/26/01 cg perfect debunking of the american ideal 5 stars
10/21/01 Andrew Carden Totally Dull Script, and Very Disturbing To Watch. Not Recommended. 1 stars
8/31/01 spaceworm I still say this film is underrated... 5 stars
7/04/01 jim dyer realism - rare in westerns, very strong here 5 stars
6/15/01 zombie not the best western, but pretty close 5 stars
5/03/01 BrainPan The ultimate anti-western. Glorious. 5 stars
3/08/01 master.node THE best western ever made. And one of the best films. 5 stars
2/17/01 Jake classic 5 stars
11/28/00 Cristopher Revilla the best western ever made, you don't like it, your probably a fucking idiot!!!! 5 stars
11/12/00 john linton roberson To the western what WATCHMEN is to comics 5 stars
8/30/00 Chris Drake Tiresome overblown Eastwood tripe. Enough, already! 1 stars
8/21/00 Matthew Bartley Mean, moody, thought provoking magnificence 5 stars
6/29/00 Terrie Smith Brooding western; last half hour unlike anything I've seen in films. Great cinematography. 5 stars
6/24/00 Naushad Khanji Slept all way.Jury who handed award should be sued 1 stars
5/19/00 tank A masterpiece and arguably the greatest western ever made.The Academy were finally right 5 stars
4/19/00 Avery Everything the western is supposed to be. 5 stars
2/10/00 Mic Booooring 2 stars
1/17/00 Corey Clint is the man, one of if not his best movie. 5 stars
11/17/99 DES Without doubt, the greatest western of all time 5 stars
10/29/99 Neil Harrington One of the greatest westerns of all time 5 stars
10/27/99 Vance Hi-Caliber Western! Deserving of it's Oscars! 5 stars
8/19/99 Jesse Oh baby it rules!!! 5 stars
8/11/99 Phil Mielke Eastwood's Best! Redefined westerns. 5 stars
5/27/99 GothamDK Thinking man's Western. Better than that Tombstone cartoon. 5 stars
4/06/99 Mikef This shit just didn't float my boat. 1 stars
1/02/99 tarkin666 Made me wanna get a six-shooter. 5 stars
12/16/98 Binky Eastwood's best. 5 stars
11/26/98 Mr.Pink Overrated, the shoot-out ending undermines everything that was told before. 3 stars
11/23/98 Peter Eastwood, different for once 5 stars
11/22/98 little jerry Like a western directed by Ingmar Bergman.Incredibly,Bergman couldn't improve on this. 5 stars
11/17/98 Jules Hey, you don't need good guys to have a good movie! 4 stars
10/28/98 Silent Rob A Western that de-glamorizes the myths, and sets a mind to thinkin'. 5 stars
9/05/98 pooky the bald What a great fuckin' movie. 5 stars
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  07-Aug-1992 (R)



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