Posted by benjamin on October 21, 2010
Runtime: 131 minutes
Plot: Two retired sharp-shooters and a would-be gunslinger team up to claim a $1,000 reward for killing two cowboys who brutally disfigured a prostitute. — Yahoo! Movies
One of my hidden loves is a good western, but I’m very selective in what I categorize as “good”. Just so that we are all on the same page, my short list includes the Man with No Name trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), Tombstone, and 3:10 To Yuma (remake). Well, it now seems that I have a new movie to add to that list with Unforgiven. Maybe the 4 Oscars (Picture, Supporting Actor, Director, and Film Editing) should have been a clear hint here.
As the movie progressed, I initially didn’t believe that I would enjoy it as much as I did. It was slow paced and I was left questioning just how good William Munny’s (Clint Eastwood) character once was and now is as a gun slinger. In my westerns, I like gun fights. I want confrontation. For those who are patient, the reward is worth the wait and the slow building has purpose as we are provided depth to the main cast of gun slingers. I must say that in all of the Eastwood movies that I have seen, William Munny is probably now my most terrifying of them all.
Clint Eastwood isn’t the only one that shines here, which is no surprise, because this film is littered with other notable names: Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, and Gene Hackman A list this large is usually saved for movies that fall apart but not this one. Every film needs a great villain and Gene Hackman does a great job in that role even though everyone in this film seems to be a “villain” at some point in their character’s lives. One of those notable performances is with Hackman as the town’s over protective sheriff. He was vile enough and the circumstances bad enough that, as a viewer, you are wanting Eastwood and Freeman to succeed in killing the two cowboys that started the whole mess. I even found myself accepting of Little Bill Daggett’s (Gene Hackman) clobbering of English Bob (Richard Harris) for a short period of time. I never thought I’d find Dumbledore revolting.
On my quest to complete my book of 501 Must-See Movies, I’ve now been able to knock another one from the list. So many more to go but so much more enjoyment to find.