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Unforgiven ultimately conforms to the expectations of the genre, while subverting quite a few of them on the way. There's brooding on the consequences of violence ("It's a hell of a thing to kill a man"), as Munny's ineptitude with a rifle is matched by his feelings of penitence for his younger wrongdoings. Finally, however, Eastwood casts aside age and inhibition in a chillingly ruthless shootout, his powers miraculously (improbably?) restored, in what could also be seen as an assertion on the part of the ageing Eastwood of his own potency as a major player in Hollywood.
On the DVD: Unforgiven is presented in this Special Edition release in a 2.35:1 widescreen transfer that gives due emphasis to what critic David Thomson described as the "drained, wintry" feel of the movie. There are numerous bonus features in addition to the original trailer. Eastwood official biographer Richard Schickel offers a particularly copious and detailed audio commentary which touches on all aspects of the film. The 64-minute 1997 documentary Clint on Clint offers a detailed if inevitably worshipful account of Eastwood's career. Finally, there's a 47-minute 1959 episode of Maverick, the old James Garner TV series, guest-starring a 29-year-old Clint, several years away from his big Hollywood break. --David Stubbs
When watching Unforgiven it is clear that Eastwood learnt valuable lessons from both of these great directors: Leone's rugged, unromantic view of the West and Siegel's flare for staging action. However, Clint Eastwood is a director with talent all of his own and in Unforgiven we are given a special treat.
This 10th anniversary edition does full justice to the film Eastwood wanted us to see, most notably in its 2.35:1 widescreen presentation. The extra features are also useful and interesting additions serving as more than just padding.
Unforgiven is a Western and as such a genre piece. However, more than that it is a powerful story, a cautionary tale, and above all intelligent and emotionally gripping. It would be unforgivable of you not to embrace it!
However, if all this is beginning to sound like a cliche, thats certainly where those accusations will stop. Watching Unforgiven is like sitting back in a bar watching real people-its not melodramatic, it's not overacted, it's sombre and thoughtful.
Eastwood's performance as Munny takes him away from the cheesy nonsense of the later Dirty Harry movies that he had been trapped in throughout the eighties, and demands work from the actor.Eastwood portrays a tortured character with immense skill,reminding us that, when he is at his best,he's untouchable.
That he worked so well with the entire cast to be rewarded with all round blinders is a fantastic acheivement.
Unforgiven is a violent film in certain places, but again this isn't Over the top, it's compulsively gritty.That Eastwood has been churning out empty-headed 'Pensioner thrillers' of late is all the more tragic when you look back ten years ago and realise he was capable of great work like this.Read more ›