Thefilm titled Unforgiven was released in 1992 and stars Clint Eastwoodas the leading role with, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris, and GeneHackman. The film set in the year 1880 is a story about a formerlyreformed gunslinger and cold-blooded killer called William Munny whoafter eleven years of quiet life without violence or alcohol, now astruggling widower tending to a failing farm and raising two childrenis pulled back into the world of killing again to help raise hischildren.
InWyoming, after two raunchy cowboys assault and cut up the face of oneof the girls in a brothel, the rest of the prostitutes decide toplace a $1000 head bounty on the two cowboys because they feeljustice was not done for their friend after the two cowboys are onlyasked, as their punishment, to pay the brothel owner compensation forthe girl they cut up. It is with the knowledge of this bounty moneythat a young man calling himself the Scofield Kid heads to Kansaslooking for William Munny to join him as a partner to collect thebounty.
Munnyinitially declines but after thinking about it, about the state ofhis farm he changes his mind and invites his former partner Ned Loganto come with them. The three head to Big Whiskey in Wyoming where therest of the story transpires. They meet the local sheriff Little Billwho was a former gunfighter himself who does not allow weapons in histown. The three bounty hunters encounter resistance from the sheriffand his deputies who end up torturing and killing Munnys partner andfriend Ned Logan an act that enrages Munny who momentarily revertsback to his murderous self and cold-bloodedly kills Little Bill andinjures his deputies then goes back to his children.
Atthe film’s beginning, a titled epilogue card tells of a womanmarried to William Munny who dies not from the hand of Munny as hermother had expected but from smallpox in 1878. This sneak of a pastthat is just before1878 enables the writer of the film to expresscertain sentiments about Munny no longer being violent and murderousand capable of love and caring a fact that is not revisited throughthe entire film until the end. The writer uses a fact from the pastto hint about the present.
Whenthe Scofield Kid talks to William Munny and invites him to be hispartner, Munny initially declines but the young man tells him he iswelcome to follow him if he changes his mind. The film depicts thelapse in time that Munny takes to realize that he needs the moneyfrom the bounty for his children by the chores he performs in his pigfarm, the gun aiming practice he indulges in and him shaving hisbeard depicts that at least a day has passed. The small activities heengages in at his home are used in the film to show passing of timeafter which he decides to catch up with the young man for the bounty.
Whenthe three are on their way to Wyoming on their horses, the lapse intime through their journey to Wyoming said to be about a week isshown by the night they spend around a fire and the early morninghorse ride through the morning fog are used to show the lapse of timeand the consequently the progress of their journey. Also after Munnyis badly attacked by Little Bill and his friends are nursing him backto health, the film shows that he takes a few months to recover bythe change of the season winter.
Kitses,Jim. Horizons West: Directing the Western from John Ford to ClintEastwood. British Film Institute 2 Rev 1stEd, 2008. Print.
Ebert,Roger. “Unforgiven Movie Review & Film Summary (1992).”Rogerebert.com. Ebert Digital LLC, 21 July 2002. Web. Mar. 2017.
Jardine,Gail. “Clint: Cultural Critic, Cowboy of Cathartic Change.” ArtJournal, Vol. 53, No. 3. An Issue to “C” (Autumn, 1994), pp.74-75. Print.