D: Clint Eastwood
Warner Bros./Malpaso (Clint Eastwood)
US 1992
131 mins


W: David Webb Peoples
DP: Jack N. Green
Ed: Joel Cox
Mus: Lennie Niehaus
PD: Henry Bumstead

Clint Eastwood (William Munny), Gene Hackman ("Little Bill" Daggett), Morgan Freeman (Ned Logan), Richard Harris(English Bob), Jaimz Woolvett (The Schofield Kid), Saul Rubinek (W. W. Beauchamp), Frances Fisher (Strawberry Alice), Anna Thomson (Delilah Fitzgerald)

It was a brave decision for Clint Eastwood to film this largely anti-violent western, particularly at a time when the genre was considered dormant,
Eastwood also plays the lead, William Munny, a former gunslinger turned pig-farmer who is approached by a young would-be gunfighter wanting to recruit him for a vengeance killing. The reward is offered by a group of prostitutes in the small town Big Whiskey, where the stern but reasonably pacifistic sheriff is reluctant to do any more than offer horses as condolence when a young prostitute has her looks disfigured by a drunk customer. 
Munny himself is also reluctant to take on the job, but with his children starving and his farm failing, has little choice, and so enlists the help of his former partner as they go on a manhunt for the guilty cowboy and his posse.
Though the story is mostly a sermon on the virtues of mercy, when the violence does come, it delivers in spades, particularly in its Mexican standoff climax.
The film was hugely successful, both critically and financially, as it shrugged off the clichés of the old style Western to take the genre in a brand new direction, stripping away the usual conventions seen in films past to show a harsher reality in polar opposite to some of the westerns from the genre's golden age (pre-1970).
It also won Best Picture at the Oscars, a double for Clint Eastwood as he also landed the Best Director award, as well as gongs for Gene Hackman (Best Supporting Actor) and Best Film Editing.
You probably do have to be a fan of the western genre to truly appreciate it, but even still, it's a spectacular viewing experience which will stay with you after the end credits roll.

Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven
Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven