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Thursday July 31, 2014
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Unforgiven

 

continued

Now the film takes us back to the farm. When the Schofield Kid, in search of a partner to help him capture that reward, rides up looking for William Munny (Clint Eastwood), he can't believe that this broken-down, mud-covered, skinny pig farmer and single parent of two young children could be the legendary cold-blooded killer feared by all. My question is how Munny even lived so long. Men who continually carry out heinous crimes against civilians don't generally last in western movies — someone usually kills them. But nobody's killed William Munny. Another sadistic cinematic killer, Liberty Valance, didn't live long enough to utter the phrase "I'm just a fellow now? I ain't no different than anyone else no more." Munny did. If John Wayne's ruthless killer Ethan had gone through The Searchers repeating the phrase "I ain't like that anymore," would he remain credible?

And that's not all. The Schofield Kid turns out to be severely nearsighted? It's absurd. What's even more absurd is the decision to accept this very limited, very dangerous, all too eager kid into the longtime partnership shared by Munny and Ned Logan, played calmly and honestly, you know, like a conscience or something, by Morgan Freeman. In Unforgiven, writer David Webb Peoples and director and costar Clint Eastwood have conjured something that surrealist director Luis Buuel would certainly have loved. A gunfighter who's just a fellow? And another one who needs glasses? Who needs Buster Keaton!

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