IMDB 250 Challenge: #104: Unforgiven

Made: 1992

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman

Director: Clint Eastwood

My Thoughts

  • Watching this made me realize how much America and indeed the world has changed over the past 100 – 150 years; surely more than at any other point in human history. I have been thinking about this quite a bit and the barren footage in Unforgiven made me think more. In 1880, Los Angeles had a population of 11,200: smaller than my home town of Enniskillen. Now it is almost 4 million. Sure, the plains of Nebraska and Wyoming haven’t come on as quickly as that, but I still find it quite disconcerting that the population boom in America is so huge (and continuing).
  • Clint Eastwood has done awfully well, considering his repertoire is so limited. I am not suggesting he is not talented: he has made and starred in some excellent movies. But he seems to play the naval-gazing hard man in almost each one. That said, I found his role in Unforgiven quite moving. His character, Will, struggles to come to terms with the ageing process, realizing he can’t do all the things he once could. True to life?
  • The last movie I saw of Eastwood’s was Gran Torino, which I thought was absolute rubbish. This one, however, is superb. It’s beautifully shot, travels at a nice pace and has some great characters (reminds me of a McCarthy book/adaptation). One of the best Eastwood movies I’ve seen.
  • Gene Hackman is a great and underrated actor. His character, Little Bill, was my favourite. Looking at his filmography (Mississippi Burning, Poseidon Adventure, French Connection, Royal Tenenbaums), it’s surprising that his name is not often mentioned amongst the greats. And he played one of the best baddies of all time in Lex Luther.
  • Clint Eastwood can’t shout very loud. I would imagine it’s quite frustrating for him. I would place him alongside Phil Mitchell in the inability to shout stakes. I remember feeling very frustrated at Phil’s attempts to roar in Eastenders a few years back. There is a downside to having a husky, cowboy’s growl.
  • Cowboys don’t eat very much. This is one thing I always wondered about when watching Westerns, I felt it a bit of an anomaly. Surely in such a taxing line of work, they need to eat more than a tin of beans? I know it wouldn’t make for a great movie if it was Clint, Morgan and Gene filling their faces for two hours, but an acknowledgement that they need regular nutrition would satisfy me.
  • Overall, a very impressive movie and one I’m happy to have checked off the list.

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