UNFORGIVEN (1992)

   Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, Clint Eastwood (director)
   Nominated for nine Academy Awards and winner of four—including best picture, best director, and best supporting actor (Hackman) —Unforgiven has often been touted as the Western that brought Westerns back. The 1990s, which also saw the release of Dances with Wolves(1990), was a great decade for Westerns and one that changed the genre significantly. While some reviewers saw Bill Munny (Eastwood) as simply a much older Man with No Name from Eastwood’s spaghetti Western days, this film departs considerably from those antimyth Westerns. Munny is not an antihero. Nor is he a Shane-like ex-gunfighter who badly wants to put the past behind him.
   The complication is that this character is a genuine family man. The legacy of his wife forces him, not reluctantly, to settle into farming, and only desperation sends him on a very reluctant questwith his guns. There is much good humor in the film as the beaten-down farmer, Munny, sets off with his sidekick (Morgan Freeman), and a nearly blind kid gunfighter, The Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett), to exact justice for the brutal disfigurement of a prostitute. Unforgiven does not merely question the great Western myth, it ignores it and develops its narrative not on a premise that this story is special or mythical, but on the premise that this story is one of many that happened in the long ago. The West as a concept, as a special moment does not matter in this alternative Western.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

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