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Past Films

Unforgiven (1992)

  • Starring: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
  • Genre(s): Drama, Western
  • Rating: R
  • Running Time: 131 min.

Essential Western Films This new quarterly series showcases the “essential” films everyone should see on the big screen. For each month-long program, we’ll screen five films organized by one of the following themes: directors, actors, genres, and eras/movements.
Essential tickets are $9 for Adults, $8 for Students/Seniors and Members get in Free!

Unforgiven (1992) is producer/director/star Clint Eastwood’s own tribute to his legendary legacy in Sergio Leone’s low-budget ‘spaghetti’ westerns, and a return to his most successful film genre - after seven years (following his Pale Rider (1985)). The R-rated film was commercially successful at the time of its release and its acting was universally praised. It also was Eastwood’s first film to pass the $100 million mark. Overall, the film was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won four major ones: Best Picture (Clint Eastwood as producer), Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman - his second Oscar after winning for The French Connection (1971)), Best Director, and Best Film Editing (Joel Cox).Eastwood’s film helped to revive the reputation of Westerns, becoming only the third Western ever to win the Best Picture Academy Award.

Summary: Retired Old West gunslinger William Munny reluctantly takes on one last job, with the help of his old partner and a young man.

"While not a pretty picture - no ride-into-the-sunset cliches - Unforgiven is a magnificently realized work. In addition to Eastwood's fine, rough performance, Hackman and Freeman stand out."
- Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter
"Unforgiven is a high-caliber movie, a gripping and haunting work of art that should finally establish Eastwood as one of America's best directors."
- Kathleen Carroll, New York Daily News
"It shouldn't be missed by anyone with a taste for Eastwood's typically slanted morality. It's the actor/director's best movie -- and the best Western by anybody -- in over 20 years."
- Mike Clark, USA Today
"Eastwood deliberately upends the conventions of the western, subverting his own image in the process."
- Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"This is the finest set of performances ever to grace a Clint Eastwood movie, and this time Eastwood even does a good job directing Eastwood. Every bullet in this movie matters."
- Michael Sragow, New Yorker
"This dark, melancholic film is a reminder-never more necessary than now-of what the American cinema is capable of, in the way of expressing a mature, morally complex and challenging view of the world."
- Dave Kehr, Chicago Tribune
"Eastwood's meditation on age, repute, courage, heroism -- on all those burdens he has been carrying with such good grace for decades."
- Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"One of Unforgiven's assets is the way it overturns conventions, taking the man who is typically the hero and making him the villain, while transforming the traditional bad guy into a sympathetic protagonist."
- James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"A classic Western for the ages."
- Todd McCarthy, Variety
"In this dark, timeless terrain, the film achieves a magnificent intensity."
- Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"That implacable moral balance, in which good eventually silences evil, is at the heart of the Western, and Eastwood is not shy about saying so."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times