Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven

Unforgiven: 10th Anniversary Edition

If you want to feel good about, say, any impending military action, do shy away from a repeat look at ”Unforgiven,” director Clint Eastwood’s downbeat shoot-’em-up, which remains a compelling sermon on how even the best-intentioned justice gets messy and inexact. Somehow satisfying on a basic genre level despite its moral ambiguity, Eastwood’s masterpiece is almost assuredly the darkest film to win a Best Picture Oscar or cross the $100 million mark, and certainly deserves deluxe treatment on Unforgiven: 10th Anniversary Edition…even if, as we know, ”deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.”

The extras are a mixed feed bag: a too-fleeting new documentary; some not-fleeting-enough ’90s promo reels; a 1959 ”Maverick” episode with Eastwood taking a rare squintless turn as a friendly villain. As for audio commentary, you know Clint ain’t about to sit for a two-hour soliloquy — so we instead get his possibly even more laconic pal, Time critic Richard Schickel. His interpretations are occasionally at odds with those of the film’s principals: Schickel considers Gene Hackman’s sheriff a psycho, whereas screenwriter David Webb Peoples almost sympathizes with his brand of law and ”likes him” a lot. But that only proves the richness of a nervous Western in which it’s easy to imagine the ”bad guys” killed by Eastwood as heroes in some other movie.

Unforgiven: 10th Anniversary Edition
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