Unforgiven, Essential Revision Notes
dir. Clint Eastwood
Leaving Certificate English
© irevise.com 2018
© irevise.com 2018.
All revision notes have been produced by mockness ltd for irevise.com.
Table of Contents
In August, 1992, shortly before Unforgiven’s release, Clint Eastwood said this in a New York Times interview: "I'm not sure this will be my last western, but if it is it'll be the perfect one."
Even if some critics don’t consider Unforgiven the best Western movie of all time (there is a lot of competition for that title) it features prominently in many best-of-genre lists. And it also won the 1992 Oscar for Best Picture making it one of only three full-blooded Westerns ever to achieve that distinction. Unforgiven received 4 Academy Awards in total, including Best Director and Best Supporting Actor.
On its surface the plot is simple, Robin Hood-like even: a former outlaw named William Munny (Eastwood) comes out of retirement and returns to the murder-for-hire business only to find himself up against the equally evil sheriff of Big Whiskey, Wyoming, Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman).
Rife with moral dilemma and ambiguity, this film is incredibly dark, often literally so as much of the film is set at night – which is a significant reason why this Western stands above many others.
The reality of the Wild West often comprised murder, abuse of power, isolation, desperation, and fear. Clint Eastwood's Will Munny is a murderous loner tamed by domestic life. Gene Hackman's Little Bill is a psychopath and control freak who strains to maintain an air of sani...