Saturday, 19 November 2011


So another Western on the list, and another involving the simply sublime Clint Eastwood. Have I been converted to the joys of Westerns yet? Not even close...

I certainly prefer this film to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which is surprising considering their positions on the list. What I am struggling with is an explanation of why I prefer Unforgiven.

I suppose part of it has to come down to the film containing two of my favourite actors, in Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman. If I ever get the opportunity to cast a villain in a movie it would without a doubt be Hackman, and if you need a trusty sidekick I can't look past Freeman.

In this movie however I don't think either of them are really at their best, and it is partly down to the fact that I don't think we really get to grips with why they are doing what they are doing. Why is it that Freeman decides to follow Eastwood? He seems happy in his life, he doesn't seem desirous of the money, and indeed seems to spend most of the initial meeting trying to persuade Eastwood not to go. Similarly we never really understand why Hackman is so against violence.

Reading reviews of the film you get the idea that it demonstrates the "darkness" of the genre, and the horrific-ness of Western killings. Sure I can see that, particularly Freeman and Eastwood's response when they kill the first cowboy, or the kid's response after killing the second. What I don't see is the depth of that feeling.

The final issue I have is in the rather bizarre role played by Richard Harris. Great actor, but why is he in this movie? What possible need is there for his character?? To me it seems rather superfluous.

So I'm still not a Western fan, the movie is good, acting is good, but it's not in my Top100.

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