The Unforgiven

1960

Drama / Romance / Western

3
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 60%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 59%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 7279

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 23, 2021 at 06:25 PM

Director

Cast

Audrey Hepburn as Rachel Zachary
John Saxon as Johnny Portugal
Burt Lancaster as Ben Zachary
Lillian Gish as Mattilda Zachary
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.05 GB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
25 fps
1 hr 56 min
P/S 1 / 16
1.94 GB
1920*816
English 2.0
NR
25 fps
1 hr 56 min
P/S 4 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jpdoherty 6 / 10

Shamefully Rejected Western

Released through United Artists THE UNFORGIVEN (1960) is an engaging drama set on the Texas Panhandle of the American west. Nicely photographed in Panavision and colour by Franz Planer it was skillfully directed by John Huston, who it has to be said, was something of a stranger when it came to directing westerns. Written for the screen by Ben Maddow it was based on the novel by prolific western writer Alan LeMay ("The Searchers"). Burt Lancaster not only headed a fine cast but he was also producer of the project with his partners Ben Hecht and James Hill.

Lancaster is Ben Zachary the inscrutable and patriarchal elder son of the Zachary family who are raising cattle on their barren land. Together with his two brothers Cash (Audie Murphy), Andy (Doug McClure) and his partner Zeb Rawlins (Charles Bickford) they are preparing to drive their herd to market. Then, appearing out of the blue one day comes an old sword wielding saddle tramp (James Wiseman) who begins to spread the story that the Zachary brothers sister Rachel (Audrey Hepburn) is in reality an Indian who was adopted by Ma Zachery (Lillian Gish) as an infant. On learning this the local Kiowa tribe want her returned to them resulting in the Zachary's unbridled resistance leading to an all out battle to the death.

Performances generally are excellent throughout! Lancaster as usual is superb and gives a perfectly measured portrayal of the man left with all the decisions. Audrey Hepburn in the most unusual role of her career is also excellent though her London accent does sneak out now and then. But the surprise performance comes from Audie Murphy who, eschewing his matinée B picture cowboy image is quite amazing as the Indian hating brother ("hellfire Ben we can kill them before breakfast"). This was the actor's second best ever performance! The other being his brilliant portrayal as the young troubled Yankee trooper in "The Red Badge Of Courage" (1951) which was also directed by his director here - John Huston. Also notable is the appearance of Lillian Gish (1893/1993) as the mother. The female star of such great silent classics "Birth Of A Nation" and "Intolorance" is terrific as Mattilda Zachary an old woman who for years has concealed a crucial secret. But it is curious that John Saxon's striking portrayal as the half breed Johnny Portugal gets to be written out of the picture! His part looked very promising in the early stages of the movie but all of a sudden and without any reason he disappears and is never seen again.

Adding greatly to the atmosphere is the marvellous score by Dimitri Tiomkin. With an attractive and lingering main theme the piece was a minor hit in the early sixties when a cover version was recorded by piano duo Ferrante & Teicher. Also there is some exciting cues for the cattle and horse sequences and ominous music underlines the scenes for the Indian attacks on the Zachary's humble sod cabin. It is one of the composer's best scores! Unfortunately however it is not very well recorded. There is a pervading echo quality from the music throughout the picture which at times is a tad irritating. Tiomkin conducted the score in Rome with an Italian orchestra.

THE UNFORGIVEN wasn't a particularly well liked movie by critics. Even Huston himself didn't like it. But over the years it has slightly gained a cult following and gets better with each viewing. For me its high production values, its great cast, performances and its racist undertones make it a compelling movie.

Reviewed by hitchcockthelegend 7 / 10

Huston disliked his film very much.

Which is a shame because after an admittedly slow laborious first third, the film kicks on from the moment the Kiowa Indian's turn up asking for the return of their kin. The film is gorgeous to look at (Franz Planer shooting out of Durango, Mexico) and benefits from some sterling performances from those involved. Big bad Burt Lancaster broods as the big brother, and it was wonderful to see Audrey Hepburn playing a down to earth character, no glam and glitter here; in fact it was kind of special watching her with rifle in hands firing away. The ending took me a little by surprise (but in a good way), and I was fully satisfied that I had just watched an involving and entertaining genre piece. If Huston did indeed consider this one of his worst films then I look forward to catching many more of his misfires. 7/10

Reviewed by ma-cortes 7 / 10

Very good Western plenty of stars , dealing with racism , Indian fights and dramatic events

This splendid film is an accurate picture of post-Civil War Texas life , much as John Ford had earlier done with Alan LeMay's "The Searchers" . The neighbors of a frontier family named Zachary (Burt Lancaster , Audie Murphy , Doug McClure and their mother excellently played by Lillian Gish) turn on them when it is suspected that their adopted daughter was stolen from the local Kiawa tribe . Then , the battle between white men and Kiowas go on the warpath . Problems emerge when a secret about a mestizo results to be discovered . As a Kiowa tribe claims that the daughter (it was Audrey Hepburn's only Western) is one of their own , stolen in a raid and she will be excluded for both races .

Offbeat Western about racial intolerance focuses an enjoyable family and the dramatic deeds happen when a dark secret surfaces . It's an interesting western with exceptional interpretation from protagonist duo , Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn . However , Audrey Hepburn was seriously injured when she was thrown by a horse between scenes spent six weeks in the hospital healing from a broken back, and when she returned to the set was able to complete her role wearing a back brace, John Huston blamed himself for the mishap and hated this movie, and Hepburn bore no ill will towards the director ; while Audrey was in hospital, Huston filmed scenes using a double . Furthermore , a likable Doug McClure as his kind brother , he is very fine as well as Audie Murphy as Cash, the hotheaded brother who reacts violently to learning his sister is a red skin Indian . Special mention to Lillian Gish as their affectionate mummy and Joseph Wiseman as the crazy Kelsey . The picture was well produced by Harold Hecht/James Hill/ Burt Lancaster ; they wanted to ensure its commerciality and change the film's direction , they wished to cast Kirk Douglas as Lancaster's brother, which would throw off the balance in the brothers' relationship. The first effort at a rewrite did not work and after fifty pages into the second rewrite, the original writer , J.P. Miller , quit the film and broke off his relationship with the producers and being hired Ben Maddow who wrote the script based on the novel written by Alan LeMay . Glittering and shimmer cinematography is perfectly reflected on spectacular outdoors and colorful interiors by cameraman Franz Planer , though Oswald Morris says in his memoirs he was offered this film. Emotive as well as thrilling musical score by the classic Dimitri Tiomkin .

The motion picture was compellingly directed by John Huston who saw the film as an opportunity to make a serious comment on race relations, but the company thought anything along those lines should take a back seat to making it a commercial success as action/adventure . The flick was made in a good time of the 50s and 60s when Huston resurged as a filmmaker of quality films and with the momentum in his favor, as John hung around in Hollywood this time to write and/or direct some of the finest American cinema made including The African Queen , The jungle of asphalt (1950), Red badge of courage (1951) ,Moulin Rouge (1952), Moby Dick (1956), The unforgiven (1960), Misfits (1961), Freud (1962), The night of the iguana (1964) , they were for the most part, well-regarded but certainly not close to the level of his earlier revered work . He also experimented behind-the-camera with colour effects and approached topics that most others would not even broach, including thought-provoking themes and psychoanalysis . He subsequently directed successes such as Fat City, (1972 ), The man who would be king (1975) and Wise blood (1979). He ended his career on a high note with Under volcano (1984), Honor of Prizzi (1985) and Dublineses (1987). Rating : 7'5 above average , worthwhile watching . This odd western , ¨The unforgiven¨ , is one of John Huston's main films , a model of his kind , definitely a must see if you are aficionado to Western film . Huston broke a new ground with this landmark movie , providing exciting scenes and unforgettable dialogs .

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