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Top 100 Movies Of The 1990's: #32 Unforgiven

Box Office: $101.2 Million

Oscar Nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (Clint Eastwood), Best Actor (Clint Eastwood), Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Sound

Oscar Wins: Best Picture, Best Director (Clint Eastwood), Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman), Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing

MovieRankings.Net: 92/100

Available To Stream: Tubi, Amazon Prime ($4)

This is a brilliant movie but I do feel like how much you will love this film depends on your connection with westerns beforehand. You have to have enjoyed or probably even grown up with John Wayne, Gary Cooper or even Eastwood movies playing in your house. You can't truly appreciate a deconstruction with appreciating what it once was.

I have this movie at 32 (which is pretty high!) but I understand why others might have it in their top 5. Unforgiven doesn't pack the same wallop for me because I didn't grow up with westerns on at home. My dad was more likely to watch Star Wars, Star Trek or a horror movie than a western. I can certainly appreciate the genre and I love how Taylor Sheridan has modernized it with movies like Hell Or High Water and Wind River. 

Giphy Images.

The cast is incredible. Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman and Richard Harris. All have multiple Oscar nominations and Hackman won for his role as Little Bill here. Eastwood's technique of not doing many takes seems to get the most of actors..at least good actors. Whether it be this, Million Dollar Baby or even Sully, the performances are all incredible. You do see a flaw in that philosophy with the weaker actors in Gran Torino. It only seems to help very good/great actors get even better.

Ripping apart the lore of some of these western staples is a pretty fantastic idea for a movie. David Webb People's script is fantastic and his body of work is pretty unique. He also wrote Blade Runner and (#80) 12 Monkeys. This is by far his best work though. Take even the English Bob character. A fraud that became a celebrity due to tall tales and an ability to work the media. You could say that's a great parallel for influencers in 2024. 

Moviestore. Shutterstock Images.

Unforgiven rips all of it down. The Schofield Kid doesn't save the day or even a worthy rival. He's a pathetic coward. Eastwood's William Munny couldn't be more different than Gary Cooper or John Wayne. He's a drunk and a lousy farmer. He seems to want to do the best by his kids but does abandon them to go chase this bounty. In a typical western, Morgan Freeman's character isn't a savior, he's near-sighted. I also love how Little Bill is an evil son of a bitch but also has clear points at time. It also shows how power corrupts with the sheriff not being the hero.

Like I said at the top of the blog, this is a work of art. At this point in the list, these are all fantastic movies and it becomes a matter of taste. It becomes more about personal connections to movies and how you feel watching them. I respect and appreciate the Hell out of Unforgiven but I can't in good faith put it ahead of the rest of the movies on my list. The rest of the movies may not all be greater works than this but I enjoy them more.

32. Unforgiven

33. Trainspotting

34. The Game

35. Out Of Sight

36. Carlito's Way

37. Seven

38. L.A. Confidential

39. Speed

40. Gattaca

41. Misery

42. Tombstone

43. Ransom

44. Wayne's World

45. The Insider

46. Back To The Future Part III

47. A Bronx Tale

48. The People Vs. Larry Flynt

49. Eyes Wide Shut

50. The Sandlot

51. Happy Gilmore

52. Contact

53. The Green Mile

54. Man On The Moon

55. Boyz N The Hood

56. Grosse Pointe Blank

57. Independence Day

58. The Rainmaker

59. Go

60. The Firm

61. Magnolia

62. The Talented Mr. Ripley

63. Tommy Boy

64. The Usual Suspects

65. In The Line Of Fire

66. My Cousin Vinny

67. Awakenings

68. JFK

69. Toy Story

70. Home Alone

71. Jerry Maguire

72. Titanic

73. Billy Madison

74. Apollo 13

75. Braveheart

76. Edward Scissorhands

77. Cape Fear

78. The River Wild

79. What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

80. 12 Monkeys

81. Stir Of Echoes

82. Mission: Impossible

83. Total Recall

84. Quiz Show

85. For Love Of The Game

86. Being John Malkovich

87. Men In Black

88. Scream

89. Alive

90. Three Kings

91. Glengarry Glen Ross

92. Die Hard With A Vengeance

93. The Blair Witch Project

94. Twister

95. Dirty Work

96. Election

97. Tremors

98. Any Given Sunday

99. The Wedding Singer

100. Clerks