Director: Clint Eastwood
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Jaimz Woolvelt
Synopsis: In the town of Big Whiskey two young cowboys cut up a whore that laughs at one of them, after finding out the Sheriff Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman) only makes them give up some ponies in the spring. The other whores are infuriated by the leniency placed on these two men and post a $1000 reward for anyone who kills these men. Over in another county William Munny (Clint Eastwood) is a recent widower trying to raise two young children and keep his pigs from all dying of an illness. Munny is visited by The Schofield Kid (Jaimz Woolvelt) who is a nephew of an old associate of Munny’s who claimed he was the meanest son of bitch that ever lived and if he wanted a partner for a tough job William Munny was about the worst there was. He precedes to telling Munny about how the two men assaulted the young woman but after much traveling the story is greatly embellished. Claiming he is a changed man Munny initially turns him down before he takes out his rifle to practice his shot, before meeting with The Kid he stops by his old partner Ned Logan’s (Morgan Freeman) to ask him to ride with the two of them. There are men who arrive in Big Whiskey before Munny that are chased out of town by Little Bill in order to scare off any others trying to collect the bounty. After Ned, The Kid and Munny make their way to Big Whiskey they are met with hostility by Little Bill and have to hide outside town. They kill one of the two which proves to be too much for Ned who departs early and is promised full share. After they kill the second man and collect their bounty Munny learns that Little Bill has captured, tortured and killed Ned trying to find him and The Kid he returns to town with vengeance on his mind.
Trivia: The boots that Clint Eastwood wore in this film are the same boots that he wore in the TV series Rawhide. These boots are now a part of Eastwood’s private collection and were on loan to the 2005 Sergio Leone exhibit at the Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage in Los Angeles, California. In essence these boots have book-ended Eastwood’s career in the western genre. According to Clint Eastwood in a 2000 interview, Gene Hackman was very concerned about how they were going to show the violence in the movie, owing to the rising gun violence in American cities. Eastwood, a lifelong supporter of gun control, assured Hackman that the film wouldn’t glorify gun violence.
Why I think you should see this: I am a huge fans of the Western genre but mostly the stuff after The Man With No Name trilogy which in my opinion changed the way Westerns were made forever. Any Western with Clint Eastwood is a safe bet to be a good film with The Outlaw Josey Wales and Unforgiven being as close to perfection as you can get. Gene Hackman is just brutal is Little Bill with every act he seems more menacing than before he definitely earned his Oscar for this role. Morgan Freeman is a great choice for Ned and he turns in a great pre-Shawshank performance. This is a great film and Eastwood’s masterpiece definitely a must see.