In Clint Eastwood's acclaimed Western, Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman), a sadistic, dictatorial sheriff, enforces gun control on a tiny frontier town, doling out his own brand of due process as he sees fit. When he denies justice to the prostitutes of the town brothel, one of whom has been slashed by a client, the women hire Bill Munny (Eastwood), a reformed gunslinger, to gain vengeance. However, Munny must contend with his new moral code in the face of revisiting the life he left behind. Eastwood's directorial masterpiece also stars Morgan Freeman and Richard Harris.
Clint Eastwood's tenth western and sixteenth directorial effort explores the darker side of the myths of the old west. When retired gunslinger Bill Munny accepts a $500 offer to shoot two men who viciously knifed a prostitute, he discovers just how difficult it is to escape his past as a notorious outlaw.
"I ain't like that no more."--Bill Munny (Clint Eastwood)
New York Times
"...Time has been good to Clint Eastwood....The cast is splendid..." 08/07/1992 p.C1
"...The film is full of sly or amusing touches....Deftly placed emotional moments..." -- 3 1/2 out of 4 stars 08/07/1992 p.1D
"...Engaging....Enjoy it for the handsome wide-screen vistas, the interplay of the actors, the classical sweep of its story line..." 08/14/1993 p.36-7
"...The screenplay by David Webb Peoples has dialogue as spare and evocative as Hemingway..." 12/27/1992 p.3
"Eastwood's a true icon..." 03/01/2004 p.9
"[An] intense, complex meditation on the corrupting nature of violence." 02/01/2003 p.106
Golden Globe, Clint Eastwood, Best Director - Motion Picture,Golden Globe, Gene Hackman, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture,Oscar, Clint Eastwood, Best Picture,Oscar, Clint Eastwood, Best Director,Oscar, Gene Hackman, Best Actor in a Supporting Role,Oscar, Joel Cox, Best Film Editing
Golden Globe, Unforgiven, Best Motion Picture - Drama
"Nearly every year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences faces some amount of controversy over its choice for Best Picture. But occasionally, the Oscar goes to a film that is, without a doubt, worthy of that honor. Unforgiven is just such a picture - a gripping dissertation on the nature of violence and Clint Eastwood's directorial masterpiece...The brilliance of Unforgiven lies in the perfect pairing of a sublimely crafted screenplay - which Eastwood left virtually untouched - and a director with the right sensibility to handle the material...Unforgiven is often labeled a revisionist Western, and while this is true, its strength comes not from its spin on the specific genre, but from its dramatic impact."
"The film reflects a passing era even in its visual style. The opening shot is of a house, a tree, and a man at a graveside. The sun is setting, on this man and the era he represents...If Clint Eastwood had not been a star, he would still figure as a major director, with important work in the Western, action and comedy genres, and unique films like ""Bird"" (1988), his biography of the saxophonist Charlie Parker, the love story ""The Bridges of Madison County"" (1995), and the wonderful ""A Perfect World"" (1993), which seems to be about a hunt for an escaped convict, but seems oddly distanced from the chase, and more concerned with the values and histories of the characters. It has the elements of a crime picture, but the freedom of an art film. ""Unforgiven,"" too, uses a genre as a way to study human nature."
DVD, Pan and Scan (TV Format), Widescreen, English, French, Spanish, Subtitled, No Longer Produced
John Hartl, Film.com
...a cast that's close to unimprovable.
Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
A Western for the ages...
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide
Powerful examination of morality and hypocrisy...Exquisitely shot by Jack N. Green.
Mike Clark, USA Today
Eastwood's best movie--and the best Western by anybody in over 20 years.
Nicholas Sylvain, DVD Verdict
...a worthy film to grace the shelves of any Western aficionado or fan of Clint Eastwood.