In 1880s Kansas, ageing gunslinger-turned-farmer William Munny (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly agrees to come out of retirement to help Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) collect the bounty on a wanted murderer. The man in question cut up a prostitute in a lawless town lorded over by the corrupt Sheriff Daggett (Gene Hackman), and if Munny and Logan want to catch him they are going to have to deal with Daggett first. A gritty western which brought a new level of critical respect to its director, Clint Eastwood, winning him the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director (it also picked up the Best Supporting Actor award for Gene Hackman).
Winner of four Academy Awards, including best picture, director, supporting actor and best editing, Clint Eastwood's 1992 masterpiece stands as one of the greatest and most thematically compelling Westerns ever made. "The movie summarised everything I feel about the Western," said Eastwood at the time of the film's release. "The moral is the concern with gunplay." To illustrate that theme, Eastwood stars as a retired, once-ruthless killer-turned-gentle-widower and hog farmer. He accepts one last bounty-hunter mission--to find the men who brutalised a prostitute--to help support his two motherless children. Joined by his former partner (Morgan Freeman) and a cocky greenhorn (Jaimz Woolvett), he takes on a corrupt sheriff (Oscar winner Gene Hackman) in a showdown that makes the viewer feel the full impact of violence and its corruption of the soul. Dedicated to Eastwood's mentors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel and featuring a colourful role for Richard Harris, Unforgiven
is arguably Eastwood's crowning directorial achievement. --Jeff Shannon