← Back to Reviews
Review #76: Unforgiven.

Another western from me.

After a prostitiute is attacked by a bunch of cowboys and slashed with a knife, the fellow prostitutes put out a bounty on the men responsible.
Much to the town's disapproval, various people come calling but are dealt with swiftly by a brutal and unbending Sheriff.
Eventually, word of the $1000 bounty comes to William Munny through a young wannabe assassin called The Schofield Kid. Munny was a brutal and murderous drunkard in his past and The Kid thinks that Munny can help him in killing the cowboys.
Now though, Munny is an aging failing farmer, a failing father of two and a widower. The invite of money catches his attention and he calls upon his past mentality and an old friend from the past too called Ned Logan, to get his hands on some cash to save his farm and make a better life for his children.

The story itself of 'one last job' has been used many a time before but what makes Unforgiven so special is the character writing, the acting, the shooting style and, by far the screenplay.
It's incredibly well made.

There's also mild touches of 'time orientated' humour which gives the film an authenticity as a western.
The dialogue too is extremely real and authentic. Munny is always wrestling with his thoughts and his conversations with Ned over what they're about to do is wonderfully realistic.

Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman have collaberated more than once on screen but Unforgiven is by far their best work together. They just feel like old mates, doing something they used to do but have become rusty at it. They're very real and occasionally funny too.
Jaimz Woolvett as The Kid is brilliantly annoying to Munny and Ned and seriously full of sh*t when he starts telling stories about his past. Woolvett really nails the role.
Gene Hackman as the brutal Sheriff is another plus point. Many regard him as an antagonist because he's against Munny and his friends, others say he's the protagonist as he's simply doing his job.

They're a brilliantly executed bunch of characters by the writers, being that you care some much about the assassins, you never really know how to feel about the Sheriff.
You also know what the Sheriff is doing and why, so you never know how to feel about the assassins.

The action is relatively held back, even at the climactic shootout but when it gets going it's exciting and gives the viewer a thrill.

To be honest, there's very little wrong with the film.

All in all, it's by far one of the best westerns, and most importantly one of the best overall films to have ever been made. Top drawer in every respect.
My rating 100%