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Unforgiven Blu Ray

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Set in Wyoming in 1881 during the sunset years of the Wild West, 1992's Unforgiven was directed by and starred Clint Eastwood, and is generally considered to be the towering achievement of his twilight years. Eastwood plays William Munny, once a vicious, whisky-swilling bounty hunter, brought to heel by his marriage to a good woman. When she dies, he must raise two children and run a hog farm alone, something which we see him make a comically poor fist of doing. Then, in a twist of fate, a young outlaw called the Schofield Kid trots up to his farm and invites him to collect on a $1,000 reward raised by a group of prostitutes. However, Clint must not only face up to his own somewhat rusty skills as a gunslinger, but also to genial-but-psychopathic lawman Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman in superb form). Unforgiven ultimately conforms to the expectations of the genre, while subverting quite a few of them on the way. There's brooding on the consequences of violence ("It's a hell of a thing to kill a man"), as Munny's ineptitude with a rifle is matched by his feelings of penitence for his younger wrongdoings. Finally, however, Eastwood casts aside age and inhibition in a chillingly ruthless shootout, his powers miraculously (improbably?) restored, in what could also be seen as an assertion on the part of the ageing Eastwood of his own potency as a major player in Hollywood. --David Stubbs

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Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this US Western. In 1880s Kansas, ageing gunslinger-turned-farmer William Munny (Eastwood) reluctantly agrees to come out of retirement to help old friend Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) collect the bounty on two wanted murderers. The cowboys in question cut up a prostitute in a lawless town in Wyoming lorded over by the corrupt Sheriff Daggett (Gene Hackman), and if Munny and Logan want to catch them they are going to have to deal with Daggett first. The film won four Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Hackman).

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