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AlamoScout210

The Unforgiven (1960)

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I don't know how this one managed to fly under my radar but I just happened to catch this movie that turned out to be a very pleasant and enjoyable surprise. It's a tale of betrayal, unrequited love and tragic consequences.

 

The Unforgiven features some fine performances that you would expect from the likes of Burt Lancaster, Lillian Gish, Audrey Hepburn, and Charles bickford.

But the real surprise here is Audie Murphy. Audie manages to hold his own against that fantastic cast. Gone is the youthful visage and replaced with the mustached and sunburnt scowl of a weather beaten farm worker.

I won't go into the plot but this movie is highly recommendable which also features a youthful Doug McClure and John Saxon.

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It was the second time Audie worked with director John Huston. They previously made THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE. When it had a disastrous test screening, they both tried to buy it from MGM to prevent it from being edited down, but were unsuccessful (and MGM did hack it to bits). So by the time they reached this film they were wiser and obviously not making another film at the lion!

 

Audrey Hepburn had a terrible time working on this movie. She injured (broke?) her back during a horse riding scene, and the woman whose life story she had dramatized in THE NUN'S STORY aided her in a lengthy recovery. 

 

I agree that Gish is splendid and so is Lancaster. It should be a better known film but I think people see the title and think of Clint Eastwood's later western (UNFORGIVEN).

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It was the second time Audie worked with director John Huston. They previously made THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE. When it had a disastrous test screening, they both tried to buy it from MGM to prevent it from being edited down, but were unsuccessful (and MGM did hack it to bits). So by the time they reached this film they were wiser and obviously not making another film at the lion!

 

Audrey Hepburn had a terrible time working on this movie. She injured (broke?) her back during a horse riding scene, and the woman whose life story she had dramatized in THE NUN'S STORY aided her in a lengthy recovery. 

 

I agree that Gish is splendid and so is Lancaster. It should be a better known film but I think people see the title and think of Clint Eastwood's later western (UNFORGIVEN).

I would love to see the unedited version of "The Red Badge Of Courage".

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I would love to see the unedited version of "The Red Badge Of Courage".

 

Wonder if it even exists. The excised footage may have been discarded.

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Audrey Hepburn had a terrible time working on this movie. She injured (broke?) her back during a horse riding scene, and the woman whose life story she had dramatized in THE NUN'S STORY aided her in a lengthy recovery.

 

Thanks Topbilled, I didn't know that about Audrey. It kind of makes her presence that much more poignant.

 

I also didn't know that about RBoC. Still, I thought it was a pretty good film.

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Thanks Topbilled, I didn't know that about Audrey. It kind of makes her presence that much more poignant.

 

I also didn't know that about RBoC. Still, I thought it was a pretty good film.

 

You're welcome. If I recall correctly, they had to shut down production while she had surgery and healed. Then they had a heck of a time matching the shots from what had been filmed before the accident with what had been filmed afterward. All their appearances had changed during the long hiatus-- some of the cast had gained weight, and she was still regaining her strength. It's a miracle the film was even completed at all and looks as good as it does.

 

Audrey never did another film in this genre. She probably thought westerns were bad luck for her.

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All their appearances had changed during the long hiatus-- some of the cast had gained weight, and she was still regaining her strength. It's a miracle the film was even completed at all and looks as good as it does.

 

Interesting. I never would have guessed but then I wasn't looking for that. Next time I give it a shot I'll look to see where the differences are. Again good stuff that I'll be able to steal and amaze my family with the depth of my knowledge, lol. JK, I'll of course credit the fan base here. ????

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This never really hit a "Great" western.I agree with Hepburn being wasted. The rest of the cast were excellent. No fault of Miss Hepburn, as a big fan of hers.The story goes that the real nun she portrayed in "The Nun's Story" helped her in her recovery after her back surgery and miscarriage she suffered following the accident. If you think about it "The Unforgiven" is "The Seachers" in reverse. Whites have kidnapped a Indian baby and raised her as their own. It was written by the same author of "The Seachers" Alan LaMay. John Huston said the "The Unforgiven" was entirely the one film of his that he hated...

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This never really hit a "Great" western.I agree with Hepburn being wasted. The rest of the cast were excellent. No fault of Miss Hepburn, as a big fan of hers.The story goes that the real nun she portrayed in "The Nun's Story" helped her in her recovery after her back surgery and miscarriage she suffered following the accident. If you think about it "The Unforgiven" is "The Seachers" in reverse. Whites have kidnapped a Indian baby and raised her as their own. It was written by the same author of "The Seachers" Alan LaMay. John Huston said the "The Unforgiven" was entirely the one film of his that he hated...

Maybe because of the long interruption in making the film.

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This never really hit a "Great" western.I agree with Hepburn being wasted. The rest of the cast were excellent. No fault of Miss Hepburn, as a big fan of hers.The story goes that the real nun she portrayed in "The Nun's Story" helped her in her recovery after her back surgery and miscarriage she suffered following the accident. If you think about it "The Unforgiven" is "The Seachers" in reverse. Whites have kidnapped a Indian baby and raised her as their own. It was written by the same author of "The Seachers" Alan LaMay. John Huston said the "The Unforgiven" was entirely the one film of his that he hated...

 

I can see that, nice catch!

 

and I suppose not knowing about the history of the film didn't give me cause me to pre-judge my feelings on it and I was able to see the film through a fresh set of eyes but now that I know about it I don't think it matters either way, I still thought it was a pretty good film. Seeing Lancaster, Hepburn and Murphy on the screen together was a real joy.

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On Tuesday June 13 (early in the morning) TCM will be airing THE UNFORGIVEN. It's part of a tribute to Audrey Hepburn, who will be Star of the Month.

 

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