The Unforgiven

1960

Drama / Romance

3
IMDb Rating 6.7

Synopsis


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2.22G
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English
25.000 FPS /
125 min
P/S 6 / 0
1.41G
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G
English
25.000 FPS /
125 min
P/S 2 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by aimless-46 8/10

Not to be confused with Clint Eastwood&#39;s 1992 film &quot;Unforgiven&quot;, &quot;THEUnforgiven&quot; is a 1960 John Huston film that is almost worthy of joiningEastwood&#39;s as one of the top ten westerns of all-time. That it fallsslightly short of that status could be because Huston withdrew from theproject in post-production, after the studio insisted on toning downhis message of racial tolerance to give the film more commercialappeal. Although this tampering tends to cloud his political message,it is still there if you do conduct a little analysis. &quot;The Unforgiven&quot;does lay claim to the distinction of being the most ambitious westernof all time.<br><br>Based on an Alan LeMay novel, as was John Ford&#39;s &quot;The Searchers&quot;, &quot;TheUnforgiven&quot; presents the flip side of the search for a missing sister.Here it is an Indian looking for his sister who was abducted as a babyby a white man and then adopted by his family. The obvious complaint isthat the Indians are the villains in both films, by a kind of damned ifyou do-damned if you don&#39;t logic. But there is a distinction as thelittle girl in &quot;The Searchers&quot; was abducted when she was nine years oldand she retained a desire to be reunited with her white family. Thegirl in &quot;The Unforgiven&quot;, Rachel (played by Audrey Hepburn), has onlyknown her adopted family.<br><br>John Huston once said that a good story should have &quot;excitement, color,spectacle and humor, adventure, high drama, tragedy, good conversation,truth and irony&quot;. Even the studio version of &quot;The Unforgiven&quot; does apretty good job of bringing all these elements to the screen. The mostobvious sign of studio tampering is the inconsistency in John Saxon&#39;scharacter (Johnny Portugal), a half-breed who is often harassed by thelocal cowboys and is meticulously set up to be Ben&#39;s (Burt Lancaster)rival for Rachel&#39;s affections. But Portugal mysteriously disappearsfrom the film by the half-way point and there is no attempt to resolvehis situation with Ben and Rachel.<br><br>Ben is the eldest son of a ranching family. Audie Murphy is the middlebrother Cash. Doug McClure is Andy, the youngest brother. Lillian Gishis their mother Mattilda. Since their father&#39;s murder by the KiowasMurphy has been a violent racist.<br><br>The film&#39;s title refers to the attitude of Abe Kelsey (JosephWiseman-later to play Dr. No), a bearded half-crazy avenger who hastormented the family for many years, ever since his son was abducted bythe Indians and Ben&#39;s father refused to trade Rachel for Abe&#39;s son. Thetwist is that only Wiseman and Gish know that Rachel&#39;s biologicalparents were Indians, everyone else (including Rachel) believes thatshe was the only survivor of a massacred settler family.<br><br>Rachel has grown up to be a loving and happy young woman. Huston&#39;sintention is to demonstrate that one race is not inferior to another;that while cultural differences are very real, there is no biologicalreason for racism. When Rachel&#39;s actual parentage is revealed itdivides the family; Cash leaves to go on a wild bender, the other twobrothers distance themselves from Rachel and she from them, and thesurrounding settlers shun the family.<br><br>One scene is absolutely riveting, Rachel is comforting the mother(played by June Walker) of the boy she was to marry. Walker slowlylooks up at her and then suddenly goes absolutely ballistic. Hepburn&#39;sstunned reaction appears to be absolutely genuine, as if Huston hadaltered the script and not told her about the change.<br><br>Interestingly, the climax actually occurs just after this and beforethe final shoot-out. The Indians come to the homestead to take Rachel.She attempts to join them, reasoning that they will spare her familyonce they have her. Ben physically restrains her and has Andy shoot oneof Indians, rendering Rachel&#39;s intended sacrifice useless because theIndians will now attack to avenge the killing. But more important, thisdemonstrates to Rachel that they still consider her their sister, thefirst sign of this since everyone learned of her Indian parentage.<br><br>You can quibble that Hepburn is physically miscast, at a minimum theyshould have made her hair darker, but the story requires that thecharacter look &quot;non-Indian&quot; as she has been successfully passing for awhite girl for many years. Watch for the scene where she is on thecorral fence watching the cowboys break horses. She simply glows inthis shot. How ironic that someone who was so closely associated withhigh fashion and glamor would look her most beautiful as a dusty tomboyand a dirty-faced flower girl.<br><br>My only real criticism of the film is the moronic nature of the finalshootout. There was no need for a war party, a handful of Indians wouldhave been better. Otherwise this is a thoughtful and entertaining storythat moves along briskly as Huston nicely crafts a number of roundedcharacters. He utilizes a variety of camera angles and positions, whichenhance the story without drawing attention to the technique. Lancasteris excellent as man of character and conviction who manages to conveythe conflict between brotherly love for his adopted little sister andthe growing sexual attraction between them. Gish is amazing and Murphyturned in the best performance of the whole ensemble, playing againsttype and showing an unexpected range..<br><br>Then again, what do I know? I&#39;m only a child.

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Reviewed by 10/10

This classic film from one of the greatest directors of the 20thcentury boasts an incredible cast: Audrey Hepburn, Lillian Gish (silentfilms), Burt Lancaster, Audie Murphy (war hero), a young Doug McClure,all of whom show classic acting at its finest. Go beneath the dialogueand watch the body movements, facial expressions and withheld, unspokenemotion of these superb actors (esp Gish and Lancaster). Check out theincredible performance of the wraith-like, howling itinerant evangelist(Joseph Wiseman) who seems to know the &quot;secret&quot;. The score by DmitriTiomkin is terrific, with a minimum of Hollywood-style Native Americandrumming (and flute playing. Indeed, the music played by the Kiowasduring the &quot;break&quot; was fascinating. Although the story is set in 1800sTexas panhandle, the theme is universal and hard-hitting: racism, and afamily divided by their differing views. I found the portrayal of theKiowa culture to be accurate, esp the use of costumes and rituals.Remember, this film was made in 1960, a time when racial intolerancewas rarely put on film, and the fair presentation of Native Americanswas almost non-existent. Indeed, this is why Huston wanted thisproject. Remarkably, this film is NOT pro-Indian or pro-settler, ratherit&#39;s an honest depiction of a clash of cultures. My onlydisappointment, a minor one, was that the film ended rather abruptlyfor my taste, almost as if they ran out of film. But then again, I&#39;mnot a director! I found interesting background on the making of thisfilm at dvdverdict.com

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Reviewed by bkoganbing 6/10

This film, The Unforgiven, as opposed to Clint Eastwood&#39;s classic istaken from a novel by Alan LeMay who also wrote The Searchers. Bothstories are about the post Civil War Texas frontier. But in this one wehave the Indians seeking out one of there&#39;s who&#39;s been taken by whitesand raised as one of their own. The person in question is AudreyHepburn who&#39;s been raised by Lillian Gish as her own daughter andsister to her three sons, Burt Lancaster, Audie Murphy, and DougMcClure.<br><br>It was an unwritten law of Hollywood that no one shoots a film inMonument Valley except John Ford. So John Huston made due with Durangoin Mexico which had become a favorite western location site also.Huston got some good performances out of his cast although he had manyproblems. <br><br>Audrey Hepburn fell off a horse and was injured for a few weeks. AudieMurphy nearly drowned in a river. Topping it all off, according to arecent biography of Burt Lancaster was the fact that Lillian Gishserved as a kind of back seat driver to John Huston. She was forevertelling him that D.W. Griffith did this or that a different way. Butapparently Ms. Gish was satisfied with the finished product because sheacclaimed Huston as another Griffith when it was over.<br><br>The story really gets going when some Kiowas come knocking on LillianGish&#39;s door demanding Audrey Hepburn&#39;s return. When it&#39;s discoveredthat Hepburn in fact is an Indian, the reaction of the neighbors andsome of the family is to send her back. Lancaster, Gish, and McClurearen&#39;t having it though.<br><br>The Unforgiven was butchered in the editing department. One role thatwas mostly left on the cutting room floor apparently was John Saxon asa halfbreed named Johnny Portugal. Standing out though is JosephWiseman as the crazy ex-cavalryman now turned preacher who has a hatefor Audrey Hepburn. Why he does you&#39;ll have to see the film, but it&#39;san interesting problem.<br><br>Its parts, its individual performances make The Unforgiven an unevenfilm where the whole is not greater than the sum of those parts.

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