U: Unforgiven *90's Pop Culture Favorites* #AtoZchallenge

Unforgiven (1992), starring Clint Eastwood, has the distinction of being the first and only Western I've ever enjoyed...unless you count City Slickers (1991), which I don't think anyone is. Can anyone think of a U word that would go with City Slickers? Like maybe...the Unwestern? Because really, that movie deserves this slot more than Unforgiven. My self-imposed mandate for this challenge is to highlight 90's things that I still love, and I quite honestly don't even remember anything from the Eastwood movie other than that I was surprised that I liked it, and I've never been of a mind to watch it a second time. City Slickers, on the other hand...just thinking about it makes me giggle and gives me an hankerin' to see it yet again.

Which camp do you fall into---are you an Unforgiven or a City Slickers?


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Well then, you need to go back and watch it again, because the movie is awesome.

randi lee said...

City Slickers, all the way!!

Stephanie Faris said...

Did you ever see Appaloosa? I was dragged to see it (I hate Westerns) and, I have to say, I really liked it. Maybe because I've always thought there was something a little sexy about Ed Harris!

Rumer Haven said...

I liked both, but I'm City Slickers all the way! "Helloooo..."

So weird that both you and Alex should mention that movie in the last couple days, because I honestly had scenes of it in my head yesterday morning (and it's not exactly something I think about every day). Had Jack Palance as Curly on the brain...I think because I was doing Pilates push-ups very, very pathetically and thinking of how that man could do still do one-arm push-ups into his 70s.

Suze said...

'If hate were people, I'd. Be. China!'

Unknown said...

Looks fun. Great choice for letter U.

Maurice Mitchell said...

Nicki, I love both movies since both changed the genre they were in. "Unforgiven" completely destroyed all the standard western tropes with realism while "City Slickers" did the same with comedy.

Tara Tyler said...

city slickers all the way!

and cameron diaz was the nineties!
she's still great, but i think she needs to grow up now... just saying

almost done!!

Liz Blocker said...

Yes, City Slickers is definitely Unwestern, but I love it, too!! I remember liking Unforgiven, but like you, that's all I remember!

Susan Kane said...

It is the battle of the raw western and the happy funny western. each one fits different frames of mine--I will go for both of them.

Also, you should see Silverado. Great actors, good script.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Definitely Unforgiven. It's brutal and awesome. Clint at his best and a more realistic portrayal of the old west than many of the genre.

geophf said...

Nicki, dear, thank you for the reminder.

Blazing Saddles, of course.

Okay, that out of the way.

Unforgiven is one of my top 10 movies of all time. It was written by David Peoples, who came from Middletown, Connecticut, and who also wrote the screenplay for Blade Runner. Both movies rewrote their respective genres.

What I love about Unforgiven is its brutally honest camera. The camera doesn't flinch away from the horror of callousness, and it doesn't make love to the old Romantic West. Maybe it makes love to the grittily realistic West, but it is such a relief to watch a film where people are on the screen, not robots (or in the case of Blade Runner, where robots are on the screen, but at least they're alive and we care about them, moreso than the people on the screen). It's a relief to see real choices with real prices for making them, and those are paid in full. There are no cheap shots in this film, everything costs dearly, and everybody loses.

And in so losing: trying, dying, or, worse: living, we win. We're not treated like idiots where we have to swallow the stupid "Gryffindor wins" because the happy ending must occur, regardless of the shattering cost of sacrificing disbelief for a cheap feel-good ending.

There is no feel-good ending, life was hard. There were no heros, just whores, who were the ennobled ones because they looked out for a fallen sister. And they were still dead wrong.

Unforgiven is a movie to watch to take a break from the movies that, at their endings, say: 'you are an idiot to have bought what we just sold you.'

THEN you can go back to watching the Disney-rewrites-Hans-Christian-Andersen because making all the wrong choices throughout an entire movie gets you a consequence-free happy ending, just like it does in the real world for everybody today. But people don't want to own up to the fact that by not doing anything to salvage their future, by ceding their choices to the Man or Big Brother will get them the lottery ticket out of bills and misery.

Unforgiven was unforgiving, every choice was bought and paid for in full, and one man stood at the center and accepted what he was, just simply bad, and accepted that only he could do something, so he could ride home, or kill every sumbitch who stood in his way, because why? Because He's William Munny, murderer of women and children, and he did what he did because he was just a mean cuss, and because nobody else would.