10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE intelligent western
This 2 disc special edition of the academy award winning film directed by Clint Eastwood is exactly what 'movie fans' have been waiting for. Its been impossible to hear anything about the man so comfortable in front of and behind the camera on any of his DVD releases until now, and although there's no 'director comentary' from the man himself theres plenty to...
Published on 9 Feb 2003 by Amazon Customer
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic film terrible quality
Basically I have owned this film on VHS since its release and it is a fantastic movie.Now I have DVD I have re-purchased most of my collection on DVD.I was very dissapointed with the picture quality on this particular film.It is still better than VHS there is no doubt but there are several points in the movie where the actors are in the dark and the imperfections of the...
Published on 7 Nov 2001
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE intelligent western,
This 2 disc special edition of the academy award winning film directed by Clint Eastwood is exactly what 'movie fans' have been waiting for. Its been impossible to hear anything about the man so comfortable in front of and behind the camera on any of his DVD releases until now, and although there's no 'director comentary' from the man himself theres plenty to rectify that omision.
The DVD itself is still lacking slightly in quality. The sound suffers from the rise and fall syndrome often experienced with old VCR's and although its not severe enough to detract from the film its the kind of detail you'd think they'd sort out for a 2 disc special edition. The film commentary is by Richard Schickel (authorised biographer and friend of Clint Eastwood) and is a very good one with plenty of anecdotes and insights to the creation of this film and the director himself. The second disc is the motherload. A new documentary on the making of the film, the original documentary, a 'featurette' on Eastwood himself and the 'Eastwood on Eastwood' 1997 documentary on the directors career narrated by John Cusack all go to making this THE Eastwood DVD to have. As a bonus Eastwoods one and only role in an episode of the TV series Maverick is included on this formidable extras DVD. It was soon after this that he was seen regularly in the Rawhide TV series.
The story itself is not greatly original- how many films have revolved around the 'one last job' from the retired gangster/ hitman/ ex special forces operative etc., only to have it all go wrong in the execution of the plan. Eastwood himself has taken this role a couple of times (Firefox, Josey Wales) and it is a staple plot drive from hollywood.
With Eastwood in the directors chair, this basic story becomes much, much more. Unforgiven is all about the characters and how they deal with the consequences of their actions and their following guilt. Eastwoods direction is aided by a stellar supporting cast including an award winning performance from Gene Hackman. It would be wrong of me not to mention also that Richard Harris, almost in cameo here as the gunslinger English Bob, shows again the talent that has seen him in so many diverse roles over the years. A power house of British talent who was only now getting the recognition he deserved, Richard Harris will be sorely missed.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A profound, thought-provoking and epic film,
This review is from: Unforgiven  [DVD] (DVD)
This film tells a story in a rather indirect way. From the prologue, which tells us about a comely and virtuous woman who marries a violent and angry man, we don't quite know where we are.
Then we see a gruesome attack of a prostitute and some rather unexpected summary justice from Little Bill (Gene Hackman). From this point onwards, the story, and the characters, tilt one way and the other. You like Little Bill, but he takes things too far. You like the Eastwood character, but you can't entirely forgive him, and you can see him sliding downwards.
The action has lingered with me for several days. What does this film have to say about hellraisers? What am I to make of the amazing denouement? Is there any justice in the ending?
Looking back there are scenes that you remember, like the mythical gunslinger missing a simple target over and over again, or Little Bill and his hopeless roof-building. The details ornament the story in delightful ways.
It's an absorbing film which confronts you with much complexity. Should law enforcers make examples of people? Do light punishments cause greater troubles? How do mythologies influence our actions? This is a very special film.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last great western..,
Fans of the classic Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns will love Unforgiven, not because of the style, or even the setting, but because its almost like a continuation of Eastwood's eponymous character from those films is making a final statement: He may be getting old, but he's still relevant. This mature, oscar winning movie ranks as a triumph, not because of the script by David Peoples (though,credit where credit is due, it is exceptional)simply because it succeeds in conjuring up genuine atmosphere, with some of the best character actors working in Hollywood today making the roles their own. Eastwood takes the central role as William Munny, a retired gunfighter coaxed back into the business by his ex-partner(an excellent,understated Morgan Freeman) to rescue a town from the benevolent sheriff Gene Hackman.
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.
The DVD extras are immensely satisfying;Personally I don't go crazy for special features as long as there is a good film to fall back on, but I have to admit this is a very solid package.
This includes an audio commentary with Eastwood's biographer Richard Schickel that is surprisingly interesting and informative, and various interviews with the cast and crew, trailers and documentaries about the making of the movie.
All of these are more than worth a look, and if you're a big fan of Westerns this is certainly an essential purchase.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgivable to not own this movie!,
Clint Eastwood dedicated his Western masterpiece Unforgiven "...to Sergio and Don." (Sergio Leone and Don Siegel) This was an entirely fitting tribute to the two directors who probably had the greatest impact on Eastwood's career. Leone, of course, cast Eastwood as The Man With No Name in the Dollars trilogy, whereas Siegel directed Eastwood in his other iconic role of Dirty Harry.
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!
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We all have it coming, Kid." A Superb Masterpiece,
"Unforgiven" is much more than a breathtaking Western, it's an amazing film altogether. With elements of drama and film noir, this is a picture that shows us that there are some demons you can never put to rest, no matter how hard you try.
Clint Eastwood stars as William Munny, a once notorious and violent killer and thief. If Munny didn't like you, chances were that you wouldn't live long enough for him to tell you so. However, that was in the old days. Now, he's just a quiet and tired farmer who is a devoted father still in mourning of his dead wife. He's been straight for years and is trying to put all of his demons to rest, but you still get the feeling that no matter how hard he tries, he will always be haunted. An opportunity comes to him in the name of 'The Schofield Kid.' He gives him a chance to be his partner and have him help on a bounty. Knowing that the money could help his family out, Munny finally decides to take the Kid up on the offer. He also brings with him Ned Logan; an old friend and partner. Little Bill Daggett is the Sheriff in town, and the thing he hates most are assassins. He will do anything in his power to take care of them and make sure they do not succeed on their killing. The last remaining part of the film stands out the most and is so well executed that it catches you off guard.
This really is a great film and it surprised me like I would've never expected. I don't like Westerns all that much, but this isn't your typical Western. That is probably why I enjoyed it so much. There is so much story and character development. You really are able to sympathize with Munny, despite his dark and violent past. You want him to be able to get on with his life and forget the past, although you know deep down that things will never be put to rest, and agreeing to go on this bounty only increases the chance of Munny returning back to his old ways. This isn't a Western where the line between good guys and bad guys are clear and the storyline is simple; good guy kills bad guys and gets the girl in the end. No, you won't find any of this here. In this story there are no clear good guys or bad guys, just regular people. This is a real story with real characters that you can feel for. There is a huge issue of morality that takes place, which is something you don't see much in Westerns.
Not only does Eastwood do a terrific job in acting, he also does an amazing job as director. He's a man with vision, and who more qualified to direct a film of this magnitude. I don't think the film would had been as successful had it been done by someone else. The cast is also outstanding. Morgan Freeman really does his role justice. Gene Hackman spreads fear inside of you as the mean and tough Sheriff. Richard Harris also deserves mention for his part as well. (He is sorely missed. He was a very gifted actor.) Everyone really did great in their roles and really knew how to bring the film together.
This new DVD edition really does the movie justice. Though it may not have the most special features, the one feature that stands out the most is the new digital transfer that really makes the picture look crystal clear. The sound is also very impressive as well. Special features included are as follows: Audio commentary by Film Critic and Eastwood Biographer Richard Schickel, Eastwood film highlights, awards list, trailer, and 4 documentaries.
"Unforgiven" is really a spectacular film that deserved the Academy Awards for "Best Picture" and "Best Director." And it is a true masterpiece in my eyes. I think anyone who is a lover of films should give this one a try. Remember, you do not have to be a Western fan to enjoy this, because I am certainly not one. Some people may be disappointed in the lack of action or shoot-outs, but the film is about so much more. It's about morals and trying to put the past to rest. It's also about accepting who you are and that there are some things you will never be able to change, no matter how hard you try. This will end up being one of my favorites in no time. I was very surprised, indeed.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE GREATEST WESTERN!,
Coming from a western fan like myself, it has not been easy to give Unforgiven the personal accolade of 'the greatest western'. I love The Searchers, The Magnificent Seven, Shane, High Noon, the Eastwood spaghettis and many, many more. But Unforgiven takes all the usual ingredients and shakes them into a whole new recipe for a rivetting story of has-been gunslingers on a mission to right some wrongs. Clint Eastwood is perfectly matured for the role of William Munny and Morgan Freeman adds dignity to his Ned Logan, as they ride with the young Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvett). They encounter trouble with Gene Hackman's Little Bill and the nasty, violent West becomes a reality.
Unforgiven won 4 Oscars but it deserves to be watched and studied by aspiring directors as the perfect example of a fine genre, served exceptionally well by many in the past, subjected to exploitation by boring 'oaters' across the years but given a golden prestige by Clint Eastwood that will be difficult to impossible to surpass.
Watch, listen and enjoy. It could be the last great western ever made!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unforgiven,
With such a pedigree of classic western films behind him you’d expect that by the time Clint Eastwood got around to both staring and directing one it would be of a pretty high standard and certainly this epic masterpiece is a brilliant film.
Like all western films should be, the plot idea is extremely simple, a story of righted wrongs and close shaves with the law makes this an extremely captivating film and ensures that the film gets the viewers close attention for the complete duration.
The small town of Big Whiskey isn’t the most attractive place in Wyoming and certainly for the town’s small population of prostitutes it’s a dangerous place especially for the poor girl whose face is terribly slashed and scarred for a visiting cowboy. The other bar girls club together their meagre resources and put up a bounty on the heads of the cowboy who did the dastardly deed and his companion. News of this reward filters down to a young hotshot called The Schofield Kid who although can’t see past the end of his nose plans to claim the reward, and offers the chance of a partnership to aged old time outlaw William 'Bill' Munny and his friend Ned Logan.
Who the threesome having counted on is the iron fist of Big Whiskey’s lawman Little Bill Daggett and the almost martial law that he rules the town with. Sending an outrageous outlaw called English Bob on his way is all in a day’s work for the vicious sheriff and when he hears of the price put on the cowboys’ heads he plans to do all in his power to stop anyone trying to claim that price.
The film is quite clichéd insomuch as it’s full of shadowy profiles and the jingle of spurs but it’s so well done that you instantly forgive it and just revel in the atmosphere of the whole picture. Eastwood as you would expect is at his gravely best and he’s given a great run for his money by both the warm fatherly Morgan Freeman and the evil eyed Gene Hackman. Plaudits too for young Jaimz Woolvett and Saul Rubinek who give their characters great depth.
The storyline is given great expansion by the English Bob story (Richard Harris) and the leaving of his biographer in the town gives another dimension to the storytelling.
It’s brutally violent at times but it also has its sweet and sentimental periods although it never takes the easy route out of any of these situations.
A great film and shouldn’t be missed.
25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'I'm just a regular fella now. I'm just like anyone else'..,
By A Customer
This Special Edition 2 disc set of the Western classic Unforgiven needs to be part of any serious film collection out there. Not only did it earn Best Picture and Best Director Oscars of 1992, but it is now seen as the pinnacle of Clint Eastwood's glittering career. Co-starring the likes of Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman and Richard Harris, it is easy to realise why Unforgiven is now regarded as 'a masterpiece'. Please read this review and own a genuinely brilliant piece of cinema on a great DVD package.
Clint stars as William Munny, a pig farmer with a vicious reputation for his doings in the past. When a young pretender by the name of The Schoffield Kid arrives at Munny's farm and offers him to collect the bounty for 'some no good cowboys' who cut up a young woman, Will is forced to go on the saddle for one last time. His old partner Ned (a terrific Morgan Freeman) also rides along, in search of some well needed cash.
The men however are oblivious to the fact the town of Big Whiskey is marshalled by vicious sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman), a man who wants to see his town free of assassins and fire arms. Even from an early stage, you know Unforgiven is heading for an almighty duel between the two lead characters, Munny and Little Bill. This comes to one of the best clixmaxes I have ever seen, which haunts the audience. This is as gritty and as realistic a western film you are ever likely to come across.
The extras are spread out on Disc two, which includes some nice short documentaries about the making of Unforgiven. There is a considerable amount of time spent focusing on Clint Eastwood's career, which I feel is perhaps not significantly important, but does give the viewer some good information about his past. The picture and sound quality on this DVD is summed up in one word: flawless. It really doesn't look a film made 12 years ago and the tranfer is really as good as it gets. The comparisons between this and the old VHS are quite extroarinary to be honest. It's top quality stuff, believe me.
If you are looking for a film with a great story, top-drawer performances and powerful themes, you have come to the right DVD. Much can be learned from this story and much can be feared: it asks the question, can a person really change? This is simply Hollywood and Eastwood at its finest.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last great western,
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This review is from: Unforgiven  [DVD] (DVD)
When a prostitute is mutilated by two cowhands, and justice is not seen to be done, her friends and fellow prostitutes offer a $1000 reward for the murder of the two cowhands as an act of revenge. Amongst those who travel to the town to collect the reward are an English gunman (with his own biographer), and a widowed farmer who sets out with an old friend and a reckless teenager. Seeing himself as the nemesis of these would-be assassins is the town sheriff, who uses increasingly brutal methods to prevent the $1000 being claimed.
The simple story does not do justice to the compelling power of this movie - like The Searchers before it (and to a lesser extent, The Outlaw Josey Wales), this is the story of a man in search of his identity and his soul. Eastwood looks suitably grizzled and tormented as a man haunted by his violent past - and the love of the woman for whom he gave it up to become a husband and father. The end of the movie mirrors the beginning, and is especially poignant because we now know both sides of the main character.
Eastwood the director gives this movie the look and feel of the Anthony Mann/James Stewart Westerns from the 1950's, and also draws out some superb performances from his cast (Hackman, Harris, & Freeman). Gene Hackman deserved the Academy Award for his performance as the malevolent town sheriff - watch the two set pieces with Richard Harris as "English Bob", when Hackman goes from smug humour to pure evil in the blink of an eye.
The DVD I have is the older 1998 release and it shows up a lot of the flaws of early DVD masters - artefacts, motion-ghosting, and lip-sync problems. On the 5.1 sound, the central area sounded "phasey", not giving full dynamic range to the voices (so bad at one point I re-ran the THX calibration to check it wasn't a problem at my end).
The 2003 re-release (10th Anniversary) has been remastered and fixes the sound & vision problems - suggest anyone looking for a copy this movie on DVD sticks with the later version
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clint Eastwoods Masterpiece,
By A Customer
Everyone is entitled to at least one 'Magnum' Opus (forgive the pun), and this is undeniably Clints. He shows his mastery of the genre (hard worn through long experience) with every shot, and never fails to entrall the viewer. He also draws superb performances from his co-stars : - Old hands Morgan Freeman and Gene Hackman both chew up the scenery in their respective roles, and the denouement is as satisfying as it is disturbing.
The ultimate question asked by the film is : - can a man really gain redemption for his sins? Whether or not you feel the film answers the question depends on your personal views, but one thing that will happen is that you will give thought to the question. Which is all Clint really asks of you.
In summary, must see, must own. Anyone who has any affection for film in general (or westerns in particular) has no business ignoring this film. Quite probably the last great western that will ever be made.
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Unforgiven [Blu-ray + UV Copy]  [Region Free] by Clint Eastwood (Blu-ray - 2013)