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John Huston's under-rated THE UNFORGIVEN (MGM 1960)


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#1 of 10 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted March 09 2006 - 09:45 AM

This post is prompted by a discussion under the John Ford / John Wayne thread. Everybody should take a look at THE UNFORGIVEN (1960), directed by John Huston, released on DVD by MGM. Like THE SEARCHERS, it's written by Alan LeMay, and like most of his books, takes place in central Texas and accurately conveys how settlers thought, spoke and behaved in the mid-1800s. Faithful to the book. It reverse the situation from THE SEARCHERS; it's about an indian girl raised by whites whose indian family wants her back, or else. The other settlers want her returned to the tribe to prevent an attack, even though she can't survive among them because she's been raised white. Internally she feels the indian heritage stirring. I've never seen an intelligent discussion about this vastly under-rated western. Perhaps because of a deadening incongrous Neopolitan music score that's actually worse than the score in MAJOR DUNDEE. What was Dimitri Tiomkin thinking of?

#2 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted March 09 2006 - 09:48 AM

Richard, I'm moving this thread to Movies because if we're going to discuss this film in much detail then that's the area of the forum in which this discussion should take place. Personally, this is another favorite of mine due to Lancaster, Murphy, Gish and Hepburn's performances. Crawdaddy

#3 of 10 OFFLINE   Mark_TS

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Posted March 09 2006 - 10:00 AM

Its been one of my favorites for a long time-Audry Hepburn is lovely-
The Official HTF 'elitist' lol....
"War is God's way of teaching Americans Geography"-Ambrose Bierce

#4 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted March 09 2006 - 10:13 AM

Also, Audie Murphy's character reminds me a little of Ethan Edwards. Crawdaddy

#5 of 10 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted March 11 2006 - 11:41 AM

Really? Cash reminds you of Ethan Edwards? In what way?

#6 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted March 11 2006 - 01:10 PM

They're both racists, but in the end, they do have a sense of family loyalty over their racist views. Crawdaddy

#7 of 10 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted March 11 2006 - 03:29 PM

I'm not sure I should go down this road on Home Theater Forum, but I respectfully disagree. There are no racists in THE UNFORGIVEN or in THE SEARCHERS. Anglos were terrified of Comanches in 1800s Texas, and with good reason. Likewise, Comanches hated Anglos and practiced their own war of genocide against them -- usually going after Anglo women first. Factual History is clear on that, the book and film reflect it, and audiences understood it for a long time. When the facts becomes politicized, it's no longer history, it's something else. Alan LeMay didn't write about racism. THE UNFORGIVEN reflects the experience and understanding of the time. It's a remarkable book and film in that respect. Cash is voicing the common opinion of the day; but that doesn't mean he's racist, it means he's scared to death of Comanches because he knows what they're capable of. Look at it this way: compared to a Comanche warrior, Hannibal Lector was a toddler.

#8 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted March 11 2006 - 06:54 PM

Yes, we've been down that road too many times already on this forum so you're welcome to your point of view as I respectfully disagree with you. By the way, I'm not talking about any novels, but the way the films and the characters were presented to the film audience in which most were either unaware or have little knowledge of the novels. Any in-depth discussion about the novels is for another place and forum. Crawdaddy

#9 of 10 OFFLINE   Richard--W

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Posted March 13 2006 - 12:20 AM

The filmmakers, writers and actors responsible for The Searchers and The Unforgiven were not racists. The films being presented before the public are not about racism, and there's no racism in them. I'm not so free with this term. It trivializes and misleads. The source material -- or novels and the historical facts which underpin the novels and the films alike -- is useful insofar as it proves this point. But I think the issue of racism is more important to you personally, than is the intent of the filmmakers.

#10 of 10 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted March 13 2006 - 12:30 AM

You don't know me well enough to make that assumption! Crawdaddy




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