There are but few others who have come to represent the Western genre as fully as Clint Eastwood. From Sergio Leone to Josey Wales, the laconically scowling scoundrel permeates our culture as the signature symbol of the frontier. Wielding this iconic clout, Eastwood chose to make his final stamp on the genre with the ultimate de-mystifying of its hero-worshipping ways, rendering a bleak, uncompromising portrait of the brutality of the West, and the bogus myth-making that went into romanticizing its supposed heroes. As the grizzled star of the picture, Eastwood lends credibility to the washed-up murderer of women and children that is William Munny, a scourge of the frontier wrangled back into the fold out of destitution and desperation. As he travels to the town of Big Whiskey, in a falsely noble quest to avenge the mutilation of a local call girl, we see how truly morbid and bleak the West actually was, and the inhumane ideals necessary to actually perform the murderous heroics romanticized in the legends of such stories passed down over the years. Unforgiven is the last reminder we need to know that the apocryphal West of our imaginations was merely that, and the mythos we’ve carved from its stories are but the misguided dreams of virulent men.
0:00 Down with the sickness
2:45 Another Round (2020)
8:30 The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)
16:51 Unforgiven (1992)
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