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Unforgiven questions (1 Viewer)

Jeremy Illingworth

Supporting Actor
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Nov 12, 2000
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I just caught the last half on tv, I haven't seen it since the theatrical release. I can't remember what kind of backstory Clint is given at the start but here are my questions.

So Clint is a retired killer who settled down. When he was a notorius killer, did he just kill people at random? Was there a reason behind his dynamiting a train?

Was he ever brought to justice for his crimes. It sure doesn't seem like it because he would have hanged for so many killings. I'd like to think he sobered up and changed his identity, but his wife and mother in law both knew exactly who he was, although they kept it from his kids.

jeremy

I love the look on the kid's face just before the end when the whore on the horse is telling Clint they all know who he is and what he did.
 

Andrew_Sch

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Dec 30, 2001
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This is one of my favorites, although I haven't watched it in its entirety in a while, so I'll try to answer your question. If I remember correctly, Clint was basically a drunken criminal, so everything he did was basically for money. That desire for money, plus the fact that he was stone-cold drunk most of the time, probably led to a disregard for human life, hence the killing of women and children.
 

Brian Kissinger

Screenwriter
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Dec 11, 2001
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Would you like to hear a funny Unforgiven story?
Well, I'm going to tell it anyway.:)
I went to see this in the theaters. Me and a friend got there right after the movie started. The theater was pretty full, and it was damn dark in there. So, we tried to find a place to sit. You guessed it. I accidentally started to sit on some poor woman. How embarrassing. My friend laughed for about twenty minutes. To this day, I still remember this first when anyone ever mentions this movie.
 

Travis Olson

Supporting Actor
Joined
Oct 7, 2001
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940
Real Name
Travis Olson
William Munny was an outlaw who killed just about everything that walked or crawled, at one time or another, for the sake of money. Drunk most every waking moment, he had little respect for anything. He would do just about anything, if the price was right. Later in his career, he met and married a comely young woman, of which he fell in love with and cured him of drinking and wickedness. When she died, it was not at his hands as her mother might have expected, but of smallpox.

Was there a reason behind his dynamiting a train?
I don't remember if there was an explanation regarding the dynamiting of a train, but I assume it was for money.

Unforgiven is an awesome flick. I think my favorite line is Munny's "It's a helluva thing killin' a man, you take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have."
 

Seth Paxton

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"We all got it comin' kid"

The explanations are dead-on. His wife sobered him up and turned him into a good man.

The drinking was obviously critical to his previous lifestyle as he leans on it again to carry out the job he is on.

I think it's one of the finest westerns/films of all time. I love how each character is both good and bad at times, and even the protagonist is truly a villan. In the end is Munny really a hero? He kills a lawman who killed an assassin...think about it in those terms and it seems a lot sympathetic.

For all Bill knows, Ned pulled the trigger somewhere along the line, and he certainly was an accomplice to murder-for-hire.

The attacker had already been served justice by the local law and the buddy was certainly as innocent as Ned ever was, yet we are expected to cheer their killing? Well, obviously the film does not ask us to do that, but in a traditional narrative sense that is exactly how it is being played, Munny/Ned being the protagonists.

Then Bill is played as an honest man trying to run a clean town, yet he keeps flashing those signs of maliciousness.

The complexity of the characters gives it a remarkable realism.
 

Andrew_Sch

Senior HTF Member
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Dec 30, 2001
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I doubt if we'll see an SE on this format, as the audio and video quality isn't TERRIBLE, and Clint has shown no inclination whatsoever toward revisiting his films.
 

Steve Clark

Second Unit
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Messages
283
So Clint is a retired killer who settled down. When he was a notorius killer, did he just kill people at random?
Clint was probably not an outright criminal (thief) as he would have been more likely to be caught. He was probably more like the hired gunslinger in the movie Shane or possibly even a hit man. Justice was different, not black and white, in the old wild west. This was the era of bounties, possies, rewards, vigilantes, grudges, revenge style justice. Not only did his wife have an influence on him getting out of that line of business, but I imagine age also played a big part.
 

Greg Br

Second Unit
Joined
Dec 13, 2001
Messages
437
This movie has some great dialog, the one liners are classic eastwood.

"Any man that don't want to be killed better head out behind the back"

"He should have armed himself before he decorated his saloon with my friend"

"Yea, thats right, I have killed woman and children, and I am going to kill you little bob"

"It's a helluva thing killin' a man, you take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have."
 

Andrew_Sch

Senior HTF Member
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Dec 30, 2001
Messages
2,153
"I'll see you in hell William Munny"

"Yeah."

If one were to look up laconic in the dictionary, one would find Clint Eastwood's picture.
 

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