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Indian by birth, but secretly adopted by whites, Rachel Zachary (Audrey Hepburn) soon becomes the target of lawless racism and brutality when her true identity is revealed. The Indians want her back, the local whites want her dead, and her only hope for survival is a man (Burt Lancaster) who must face the most terrifying fight of his life to save the woman he loves! Legendary director John Huston (The Misfits) is "at the top of his form" (Time) with this "powerful, exciting" (The Film Daily) tale of forbidden love set against America's most rugged and ruthless frontier. Co-starring Lillian Gish, Audie Murphy, John Saxon and Charles Bickford. Featuring a script by Ben Maddow (The Asphalt Jungle), The Unforgiven is a "tough, Texas saga filled with pride, prejudice and passion" (Video Movie Guide)!
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Top Customer Reviews
Audrey Hepburn is elegant and beautiful in the role of a sister who may have a "questionable" birth. Audie Murphy is her somewhat simple-mindedly prejudiced brother, Burt Lancaster is her older brother, whom she quietly adores. (And we soon see, the feeling is mutual.) Lillian Gish is just fantastic as the matriarch of the family, and Joseph Wiseman is excellent, as always, as an enigmatic stranger. Also, look for John Saxon in a small role as a Native American ranch hand.
A must-see. Incredibly well done, with wonderful performances by Hepburn, Lancaster and Gish, especially.
The Injuns come, flying a peace flag. Audrey says she wants to go to them, 'my people'. So Burt Lancaster shoots one of them.As Audrey points out, there is now no option but war.
The Injuns attack. Their strategy is to ride round and round in a big circle waiting to get shot. Audrey, at first, refuses to shoot her own people, but ultimately she has no choice. She seems to be in some pain.
During an interlude in the battle, Burt, (her non-blood brother, kisses Audrey, long and hard on the lips. There were hints at a sexual attraction between Audrey and Burt Lancaster (her white brother) at the beginning of the film, but it seems that only after he knows the truth, does his desire rise into consciousness. Then, Audrey's blood brother enters the house, unarmed and walking towards her, so Audrey shoots him. The Injuns are defeated, all fifty of them, wiped out by two brothers, an old woman, and Audrey Hepburn, all because of Burt's lust for the dark-skinned beauty. On the other hand, the Injuns' tactics were somewhat foolish, so perhaps they are to blame for their own defeat.
A flock of birds fly across a clear sky as the family emerge from their house, at peace after their victory.
I've always had a problem with westerns because of the genocidal aspect to the genre, butit was only after the credits that I realised this was supposed to be an anti-racist film.
The three stars are because I enjoyed it. Great acting and dialogue, interesting camerawork. But Hollywood is a very strange place. As the Injuns used to say (before they were shot), 'White man speak with forked tongue'.
Most recent customer reviews
This film doesn't rank as a classic or great Western in my opinion, but it's worth a look. The sets and cinematography are probably the most realistic I've ever seen in a Western:... Read morePublished on June 14 2004 by L.M.W.
This had to be the worst film I had ever seen. I am living in Japan where Audrey Hepburn is God. It was Audrey Hepburn week on TV, all week, and I got to see "Funny... Read morePublished on June 12 2004 by Davalon
This was an utterly terrible movie. A complete failure. The begining was boring, and the end had a slaughterfest of pointless killings. Read morePublished on March 19 2004 by DrDre