Film and Food

Movies reviews with matching food – eat, watch, enjoy

Best Picture – Unforgiven (1992)

Starring Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman & Morgan Freeman

Rated 7/10

Cowboys, cowboys everywhere. While I love a good western, this one was only so-so. Like Eastwood, this film seemed to go on forever. It was slow, dark and a little depressing. Sigh. But on the up-side, a little intriguing as well. But it’s no Dances with Wolves that’s for sure.

Big Whiskey, Wyoming. A wild, ruthless cowboy slashes the face of a prostitute. The rest of the girls are beside themselves with incredulity and horror. The boss of the town, Sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Hackman) is a little less upset. He has no respect for these no good whores and dishes out a fairly mediocre punishment to the cowboys involved. So the girls decide to take matters into their own hands.They round up some money and put a price on the heads of the two cowboys involved in the slash attack.

Meanwhile ex-killer William Munny (Eastwood) buries his wife, looks after his two little kids and attends to the great stinky pigs he has on his farm. One fine day a young bushranger called ‘The Schofield Kid’ (Jaimz Woolvett) turns up to ask Munny to join him hunting down the bad cowboy slasher men.

Munny eventually agrees, picking up old partner Ned Logan (Freeman) for one last job. Meanwhile (part II) famous gunfighter English Bob (Richard Harris) struts into Whiskey with banned weapons and a cocky tilt to his head. The Sheriff quickly knocks some sense into the old timer and sends him packing. Drama, drama, drama… blood.

The outlaw boys arrive shortly after and are similarly kicked out of Whiskey. The prostitutes attend to Munny’s injuries as the boys ready themselves for their assassination job. Bang! Bang! Dead. But temperatures are rising in Whiskey as Logan is brought in by the Sheriff’s men. Out for revenge, Munny rocks into town for one last gun fight. His inner killer has been awakened and all hell breaks loose.

If you take the ‘Oscar’ tag off this film, you could say it’s a good story well told. But the fact that it won the Best Picture prize is a little puzzling. In 1992 it was up against The Crying Game, A Few Good Men, Howard’s End and Scent of a Woman. Perhaps there was some politics going on there. But enough of the cynicism. It is a good movie with solid performances, especially from Oscar Award winning actor Gene Hackman. It just didn’t tickle my ‘awesome film’ bone.

Unforgiven Trivia:

  • Budget – $14.4 million
  • One of 3 Cowboy movies to win Best Picture (along with our beloved Dances with Wolves and Cimarron)
  • Was shot in 39 days
  • The Big Whiskey set was built in only 32 days
  • ‘The Duke’ reference was a tribute to John Wayne
  • Gene Hackman was worried the film would glorify gun violence and shared this with Eastwood who promised him it would actually do the opposite

1993’s Best Picture was the incredible Schindler’s List. Do not miss this one. It is a deeply moving, brilliant film. Let us know what you think.


2 comments on “Best Picture – Unforgiven (1992)

  1. Andrew
    April 24, 2012

    Yeah you’re right, it was up against some big movies for Best Picture. But I’m a Hackman-aholic, and I love this movie, so I’m a little partial. Nice post, and way to bring this out of the woodwork. Haven’t watched it in forever.

  2. Pingback: Morgan Freeman Calls The Tea Party ?Racist? On CNN | -1

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