Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Unforgiven (1960)

Director: John Huston

Writers: Ben Maddow, Alan Le May

Composer: Dimitri Tiomkin

Starring: Burt Lancaster, Audrey Hepburn, Audie Murphy, John Saxon, Charles Bickford, Lillian Gish, Albert Salmi, Joseph Wiseman, June Walker, Kipp Hamilton, Arnold Merritt, Doug McClure, Carlos Rivas

More info: IMDb

Tagline: A Breed Apart..Unashamed..Unforgettable!

Plot: The neighbors of a frontier family turn on them when it is suspected that their adopted daughter was stolen from the local Kiowa tribe.

My rating: 7.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.

Burt Lancaster is one of the manliest actors to grace the screen.  He probably didn't even have to try much but just stand there and look like he could take on the rest of the cast single handed.  I watched this not too long ago and it frightens me how little of it I remember.  That doesn't reflect on the film, I just think I'm losin' it. The cast is great.  It's neat seeing folks like Saxon and McClure in some early roles before they became famous.  It's a well made picture all around except for one area and that's Tiomkin's score.  It feels outdated even for a 1960 film.  For a few years the Western was growing up but I guess for some the scores would take a few more years before they caught up.   Boy, this picture could've used a good Goldsmith or even an Alex North score.  The story plays along OK for a while and then the shit starts hitting the fan.  Then the movie gets darker and darker still.  A LOT of people died for stubbornness.  Everyone has blood on their hands and it's the kind of fuckedupness that makes this better than you'd think.  Was Ben (Lancaster) right in doing what he did?  I guess but the alternative would be to give up Rachel to the Indians.  Man, this is messed up and pretty darn heavy.  The MGM DVD has a great anamporphic widescreen print with only a trailer (non-anamorphic widescreen) for an extra.

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