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Motley Movie Archives: Unforgiven

by Max Gosselin-Ildari on February 13, 2011.

Unforgiven is my absolute favorite Western. Only a handful of directors can say they have redefined an American genre. Arthur Penn is one. Arguably every Orson Welles’ film has done this, Sergo Leone did with it the Western, and then Clint Eastwood followed in his footsteps.

While Unforgiven incorporates many Western archetypes, a lone ranger taking on one last job, an overzealous sidekick, and an above the law sheriff, the film presents themes that are the antithesis of the wild west. Mainly the deglorifying of violence.

Eastwood is heroic yet jaded. His character demystifies the reality of the west and utterly destroys its convivial myth. Eastwood is not alone in this achievement, however. Morgan Freeman delivers an unsurprisingly terrific performance and Gene Hackman transforms into a man of filth, a man you will love to hate. Also, Jack N. Green’s cinematography is perfect.

This is one not to miss out on, Motley goers! If you have seen it, let me know what you think.


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Max Gosselin-Ildari