AFI Top 100 Movies #5: Unforgiven, A Gun Fighter’s Internal Struggle

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A few days ago my mom had me continue my cultural journey by watching another movie that was on the list. The next movie we watched was Unforgiven. My dad was telling me about how Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman starred in it. The minute I heard the name Morgan Freeman I was all ears. My school seems to be really obsessed with Morgan Freeman because of his voice. A lot of my friends tell me that if they had someone to narrate their life then it would be Morgan Freeman. That makes sense!

The movie goes back to the Old West. Cowboys and gun fighters roam the towns on horseback with guns in their holsters and saloons are THE place to hang out. Will Munny (Clint Eastwood) is approached by the Schofield Kid because the kid wants Will to help him kill a guy who cut up a prostitute. There was a thousand dollars reward offered by the prostitutes so he figured that with Will’s help they would be able to collect. The kid goes to Will because he has a past of killing people for money. He finds a man that “changed” his ways for his now deceased wife. In the end Will decides to go through with it because he needs the money to help raise his kids. Will had always had a partner (Ned-Morgan Freeman) when he did his killings/jobs, so he brings him along and decides to split the money three ways. The whole movie is these three men going around looking for the two guys who cut the girl up without being caught by Little Bill, the town sheriff.  No guns are allowed in Big Whiskey (town) and this is a law that Little Bill is going to enforce even if he has to kill a couple of people in the process. That guy was an idiot, I mean what cowboy isn’t going to bring a gun wherever he goes? I guess that my takeaway was the question: can a bad man really change his ways?

All through out the movie the kid, Ned, and some of the prostitutes offer Will liquor but he turns it down. He gave up drinking a long time ago because his wife wanted him to give it up as well as his bad guy past. Near the end he finds out that his best friend Ned was killed by little Bill even though Ned backed out of killing anybody. When he finds out Ned is dead he goes into town to seek revenge. When he first rides into town he drinks a bottle of whiskey and when it’s empty he throws it on the ground. This shows how some events touch a person so much that it causes them to lose sense of what is right and wrong although in my opinion he lost sense of right and wrong at the beginning of the movie when he decided to take the law into his own hands. In the movie one of the prostitutes offers him a “free one” and he turns it down because he still has loyalty to his wife. I find it cute that even though his wife was dead he still wanted to remain faithful to her, no matter what. The man had some deeply rooted convictions for some things and no moral for others. Yikes! I think that the movie is called Unforgiven because even though he acts cool about killing people, at the end of the day he really can’t forgive himself for the bad things he has done. I don’t think that there can’t be anything worst than a person’s internal guilt because conscience can be harsher than any judge out there.

I did enjoy the movie because the effects weren’t bad and the story was interesting. There was some action but for a western movie I kind of wish there was a little bit more. I also feel like the story didn’t concentrate enough on Will, Ned, and the kid but a bit more on Little Bill and his past than they needed to. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they included some of his violent history but I wish they didn’t include so much. I do recommend people to watch this movie because it was a decent movie and I enjoyed putting myself into some of the characters shoes.

One of the funniest moments in the movie was when Little Bill kept calling the book about English Bob the Duke of Death the Duck of Death, the writer who showed him the book kept trying to explain to him that it said Duke but Little Bill would just ignore his little comment.

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