A few words about Unforgiven (1992)

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I came quite late to the Western, two years ago in fact. Being a fan of Italian cult-cinema I decided that I should make an effort to see Sergio Leone’s classic Spaghetti Westerns starring Clint Eastwood. I loved them, the way they were shot, the soundtrack, the narrative, just everything about them. When I found out that a HD-DVD of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven (1992) was available I decided to give it a chance and see what his tribute to Leone would be like.

Reformed, aging outlaw William Munny (Eastwood) is encouraged to come out of retirement to collect a bounty raised by a groups prostitutes after one of them is violently abused. He convinces his old partner Ned (Morgan Freeman) to join him in the task. But Sherrif ‘Little’ Bill (Gene Hackman) does not take kindly to any trouble occurring in his town as Munny slips back into his killing ways.

This could be my favourite film that Clint Eastwood has directed and fits easily into my top twenty-five films. It is as near perfect a film as you will get; the acting is superb, the storyline is engrossing and the direction flawless. I wanted to watch it again immediately after viewing it for the first time. Eastwood clearly has learnt well from Leone and the other great directors he has worked with. Unlike the majority of films that receive Oscars this one certainly deserved all of the praise bestowed upon it.

The HD-DVD is without a doubt the best way to watch this film. Though there are many instances of unwelcome edge enhancement there are a number of scenes that are brought to life. Some of the shots of the environment are quite simply breathtaking and have to be seen to be believed. HD really can change the way we consume film.

As I am sure you now realise, I cannot recommend this film highly enough whether it is on HD or SD. Long live Clint Eastwood!

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