Unforgiven: Clint Eastwood's Final Western is a Good One, and never forget, "Deserve's got nothing to do with it"
"Unforgiven" (1992) is Clint Eastwood's last Western, and it is a good one. "Unforgiven" also is trite, derivative and wanders all over the place, but "Unforgiven" has something simple to say, says it, and then lets it go. You really can't ask much more from a Western like "Unforgiven." It is great seeing Clint in "Unforgiven" play an unredeemed tough guy one last time. However much you may sympathize with his quest in "Unforgiven," there is no question about one thing: Clint's character still, throughout, is nothing but a despicable killer who deserved far worse than he got. Bill Munny looks good only in comparison to his opponents in "Unforgiven," and that's not saying much.
|Bill Munny retired from gunfighting for this|
|"English Bob" and W.W. Beauchamp|
|Bill Munny hasn't come to talk|
|Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett|
|This is as iconic a shot as you will find of Clint Eastwood|
|"Anyone who wants to live better go out the back right now."|
|Clint Eastwood as Bill Munny|
Munny has another companion in "Unforgiven," another flawed man simply called "The Schofield Kid" (Jaimz Woolvett), but Munny rides into town and wreaks vengeance on his own because it is just something he has to do. It is not giving anything away to say that when Munny and Little Bill finally meet at the end of "Unforgiven," there is a brief but epic exchange. "I don't deserve to die like this," Little Bill says. "'Deserve's got nothing to do with it," Munny replies. The whole meaning of the Munny character and, indeed, "Unforgiven" is encapsulated in that one line, in the same way that, say, "A Few Good Men" comes down to "You can't handle the truth." Little Bill is pleading his case at the end of "Unforgiven," as a member in good standing of the community. He thinks his entire life's work should be taken into account before he is sentenced for what both of them know are unpardonable crimes. Munny unhesitatingly rejects that defense out of hand in "Unforgiven" while still acknowledging it and his own fallibility. Little Bill unfortunately had broken a tacit code of tough men: you may kill people that you must, but you don't take pleasure in their humiliation. A lady of the evening must not be deprived of the only thing she could be proud of, a harmless visitor should not be unnecessarily disgraced, a dead but honorable foe should not be publicly mocked. That sort of sadism shall be "Unforgiven." There shall be no mitigating factors whatsoever when you cross that line. "Unforgiven gave voice to the true unspoken code of the West, a code that survives to this day.
|Munny, Ned, The Schofield Kid|
|Clint Eastwood collects his two Oscars for "Unforgiven"|
Below it the trailer for "Unforgiven."
"I don't deserve this."