Disappointing westerns?

I agree with you about “4”. One of the worst in my collection. I don’t know what went wrong, great director and cast, a decent budget, a shit film! I guess it’s one of those love it or hate it films.

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:20, topic:751”]Considered by many critics and members of the Academy to be a masterpiece, Eastwood’s ‘Unforgiven’ is probably the so-called great western that dissapointed me most.
I didn’t think High Plains Drifter, Josey Wales or Pale Rider were marvellous, but their assets outweighed their shortcomings. All in all they were decent films, not perfect, but well-crafted and enjoyable.
In Unforgiven Clint seems to be worried about his own screen persona, about his own ‘violent history’ in the history of the western movie and tries to make a strong anti-violence statement. This is an interesting idea. I don’t like violence either, at least not in real life, and can understand that somebody who’s name is identified with some of the most violent characters in the history of filmmaking, is a little worried.
But watching Unforgiven I couldn’t help thinking about that old dictum:
If you want to send a message, use Western Union.
The message is written on the wall: VIOLENCE IS WRONG,! IT KILLS YOUR SOUL! IT’S A HELLOVA THING KILLIN’ A MAN!
And than there’s that young man who joins Clint and Morgan and - shaking all over - kills a man and subsequently starts moaning that the man is dead, dead, dead, and that it’s horrible, horrible, horrible …
Sorry, to me that was way over the top.[/quote]
I’m sure I’ve locked antlers over this film with someone else recently, but here we go again.
I genuinely believe that Unforgiven is Clint’s best U.S western.
Yes, it was certainly highlighting the consequences of violence but it also featured a range of characters with interesting and complex make ups. Clint’s character is shown as basically decent man yet with a very dark and nasty inner demon. Hackman’s Little Bill is set up as the bullying baddie but is also clearly trying to maintain law and order in a wild environment. His vain attempt at building his crooked house is an excellent metaphor for thsi I believe. The cowardly writer who glamourises the violence yet hides under the table when confronted with it parallels our own modern media’s role in satisfying the public’s ghoulish appetite with gory accounts of gang violence and war while simultaneously lamenting the state of modern society. While lastly, the perpetrators of the original crime against the whores are shown ultimately to be loutish but by no means beyond redemption and certainly unworthy of such a protracted trail of vengeance.
Put all this stuff together with some fine acting, lovely, almost Leonesque visuals and a satisfying steely eyed Clint shoot out at the end and you have a pretty good all round package in my opinion. A thought provoking film with action and horses! what more could you want? I would even go so far as to say Unforgiven is one of my all time favourite films, period.

Well, apparently we clearly disagree almost completely on this one.

By the way, I didn’t mean to say it was a bad movie in the way, let’s say, Blueberry or Cry blood Apache are bad movies, it just was a major dissapointment to me. Despite the thread’s title I think that’s what Tom wanted us to do: to talk about westerns with a good reputation that disappointed us.

Let’s see if there are any others who have to say something about it.

I haven’t seen Unforgiven in at least 10 years I think, and I don’t remember everything about it.

But I think it was a well-made film with good acting performances, both from Clint and the rest of the cast.

The atmosphere in the film was similar to many other of his own westerns I think, more down to earth realism, as opposed to the operatic style of spaghettis.

And regarding violence, I like violence in spaghetti-westerns, it’s a part of the dramatic content and the overall negativism in these films!

Was Unforgiven’s anti-violence statement about the real modern world or about some of Clint’s screen-personas like Dirty Harry?

It wasn’t about his Italian westerns was it?

And btw, Clint Eastwood’s movie career has been far from only about violent films. He has been in a lot of silly comedies and other non-violent films.

Well, if Unforgiven is a disappointing western or not I have no idea ???

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:23, topic:751”]Well, apparently we clearly disagree almost completely on this one.

By the way, I didn’t mean to say it was a bad movie in the way, let’s say, Blueberry or Cry blood Apache are bad movies, it just was a major dissapointment to me. Despite the thread’s title I think that’s what Tom wanted us to do: to talk about westerns with a good reputation that disappointed us.

Let’s see if there are any others who have to say something about it.[/quote]

Point taken.
And I think the key point here (as was made somewhere else I think) is the level of expectation you have prior to seeing the film. When I saw Unforgiven originally, at a cinema when it first came out, my only expectations were “It’s a Clint Eastwood western. I will almost certainly enjoy it.” As a result I was surprised and impressed by the way he dealt with some deeper issues in this film. Maybe if I’d read about how these issues were dealt with for ages before I saw it my expectations would have been different. Having said that I have watched the film repeatedly over the years since and I still love it. But hey, we are all different.

The film which actually springs to mind for me as somewhat of a disappointment is Rio Bravo.
Now let me be clear, I like the film a lot. But I heard in so many places that it was possibly the best western of all time and that it was this person’s favourite and that person’s favourite and I just couldn’t get it in that way. It’s a good film but not that great in my opinion. It’s got Ricky Nelson in it for god’s sake! How great can it be?

I did not like it too much(unforgiven) maybe it was a discussion with me. I had high expectations since i bought in in a box with outlaw josey wals and Pale rider. I did not expect anything from josey a bit more from pale rider and a lot from unforgiven. In the end it comes down to a close battle between the first two on the favourite out of the three. I had the lowest expectations for josey but it was quite good. Pale rider was cool and could stand up to the higher expectations. wel unforgiven couldn´t.

[quote=“Silvanito, post:24, topic:751”]The atmosphere in the film was similar to many other of his own westerns I think, more down to earth realism, as opposed to the operatic style of spaghettis.
And regarding violence, I like violence in spaghetti-westerns, it’s a part of the dramatic content and the overall negativism in these films!
Was Unforgiven’s anti-violence statement about the real modern world or about some of Clint’s screen-personas like Dirty Harry?
It wasn’t about his Italian westerns was it?[/quote]

I had the feeling that Unforgiven’s anti-violence statement was more on Clint’s screen persona than on the real modern world. I never had the idea that the film was a comment on today’s society.

Some people seem to love the movie, others don’t. Given the subject, it’s no wonder that it devides us. I mean, in a way it is some kind of anti-western. This doen’t mean that Clint hates westerns (or characters like No Name or Dirty Harry), he just felt the urge to reflect on some aspects of them, and that isn’t a bad thing. (And an anti-western is a western too!).

An yes, Unforgiven is more down-to-earth than most spaghetti westerns. For this reason, I didn’t really like the metaphor of the crooked house Phil mentioned. With their baroque splendour and operetic visual style the spaghetti’s have always seemed to me typical outings of a catholic culture; in a way the catholic faith, with its gothic and baroque architecture and sculpture, its grim rendition of christ’s life in paintings, is one vast collection of strong, visual metaphores. I was raised in the catholic faith and know it’s more a faith of images than of words.
I have read Clint’s biography some twenty years ago, but I don’t remember anything about his religious feelings. But the down-to-earth Unforgiven seemed to me a typical protestant western, sober, not sumptuous, reflective and introverted, not operetic and extroverted, more closer to the spirit of, let’s say, a Bergman than a Fellini. I don’t think visual metaphores are very appropriate in such a context. But that is, of course, of minor importance.
But another aspect of protestantism, or its supporters, is that it/they tend(s) to become preachy, and it was this aspect of Unforgiven I didn’t like.

Very often I have the feeling that Clint has too much control over his films. At least three of his four westerns as a director are overlong. Like Valenciano, I like Pale Rider best.

Just read this sentence. You don’t really mean to say that Blueberry is in the same ‘league’ as Cry Blood Apache, do you scherpschutter? The latter has to be one of the worst westerns of all time. Don’t get me wrong, even though I like Blueberry, I can fully unerstand why people don’t like it. But putting up there with Cry Blood Apache?

My vote for the overrated oscar winning Unforgiven is
12 out of 20

My vote for the totally (no not totally, the first twenty minitus or so were passable) bonckers Bleuberry is
4,5 out of 20

My vote for the totally fucked up Cry blood Apache is
1,5 out of 20

I saw a film last year that was even worse, I think it was called Brothers in Arms. Anyway David Carradine played a part in it.
Like that madonna with the big boobies you threw on another thread, I’d give that film
0,5 out of 20

I am disappointed with the two newest westerns released that I have seen, that being The Assassination of Jesse James and 3:10 to Yuma.

The Jesse James movie didn’t do it for me in the sense that I didn’t find Brad Pitt believable as Jesse James, nor did I find Casey Affleck particularly good. Now I suspect one of the things they were going for in this film was more of the “mental suspense” angle. They attempted to portray Jesse as having had some kind of almost supernatural instinct and they played this up quite a bit. Didn’t work for me! All I saw was Brad Pitt.

3:10 to Yuma was, unfortunately, ruined by its ridiculous ending and ruined by the way they tried to portray Russell Crowe’s character. Why in the hell would Ben Wade give up everything for one rancher and then blow away his entire gang? Perhaps in a different portrayal this would work but I don’t think so.

In both movies you have very good costuming, stunts, weaponry, et cetera however in total I found the movies a letdown from what I expected, particularly 3:10 to Yuma. I think for me in both cases it came down to the acting.

But in a way even a new bad western is still a good thing if the genre is being revitalized…

[quote=“Pacificador, post:30, topic:751”]I am disappointed with the two newest westerns released that I have seen, that being The Assassination of Jesse James and 3:10 to Yuma.

The Jesse James movie didn’t do it for me in the sense that I didn’t find Brad Pitt believable as Jesse James, nor did I find Casey Affleck particularly good. Now I suspect one of the things they were going for in this film was more of the “mental suspense” angle. They attempted to portray Jesse as having had some kind of almost supernatural instinct and they played this up quite a bit. Didn’t work for me! All I saw was Brad Pitt.

3:10 to Yuma was, unfortunately, ruined by its ridiculous ending and ruined by the way they tried to portray Russell Crowe’s character. Why in the hell would Ben Wade give up everything for one rancher and then blow away his entire gang? Perhaps in a different portrayal this would work but I don’t think so.

In both movies you have very good costuming, stunts, weaponry, et cetera however in total I found the movies a letdown from what I expected, particularly 3:10 to Yuma. I think for me in both cases it came down to the acting.

But in a way even a new bad western is still a good thing if the genre is being revitalized…[/quote]
I am planning on watching the jesse james flick, not expecting an action western or something. We will see how I like it.
3:10 to yuma was quite a disappointment for me. With that cast(yes I even like russel crowe, and to be fair the whole cast was great, the all did a good work) it was hard to screw up.
But the ending was what killed it for me too. Not only is the ben wade persona very unlogical in the end(of course you could argue, that he is now disgusted by his lifestyle after he saw the noble farmer; but he will escape from the train, and i guess continue robbing people???), but I also dislike the style of the final the moment the leave the hotel. All this shooting and quick editing is not what i consider to be a western. It was like a modern action flick and of course totally unrealistic.
But it was nice to see a westen on the big screen.

Did i mention i was a bit disappointed by great silence? i knew the ending beforehand, so it was not that cool for me. but just saw it once, i guess it will grow on me.

I think I might have mentioned this already, but I was very dissapointed with God Forgives…I don’t. I have the 109 minute Dutch DVD.

I know a lot of people like this movie. For me it was just so boring and tedius. I didn’t like the music, and Bill San Antonio wouldn’t shut up. It seems he was talking for the entire 109 minutes.

I’m a fan of Frank Wolff but the way he gazed at Terence Hill while they were playing cards had “Brokeback mountain” written all over it.

I was excited to see this movie because it is ranked so highly among SW enthusiasts but this movie just wasn’t for me.

[quote=“Col. Douglas Mortimer, post:32, topic:751”]I think I might have mentioned this already, but I was very dissapointed with God Forgives…I don’t. I have the 109 minute Dutch DVD.

I know a lot of people like this movie. For me it was just so boring and tedius. I didn’t like the music, and Bill San Antonio wouldn’t shut up. It seems he was talking for the entire 109 minutes.

I’m a fan of Frank Wolff but the way he gazed at Terence Hill while they were playing cards had “Brokeback mountain” written all over it.

I was excited to see this movie because it is ranked so highly among SW enthusiasts but this movie just wasn’t for me.[/quote]

I tend to agree Col. DM with your disappointment about GOD FORGIVES I DONT 67.
Your remark in Bold about Frank Wolff eyeing up :o Terence Hill as "Brokeback Mount"
That is an absolute gem you deserve 9/10 for “critical review” :smiley: and you never even
got around (who does ? ;D) talking of the huge “presence” of Bud Spencer.
The Bill San Antonio talking for 109 minutes is another good one, these guys need less
of the chat and more of the shooting in SWs. :smiley:

As long as it is not Brokeback Mountain kind of ‘shooting’ eh SD :D…

Yes Ennioo ;D , I think we can safely agree that this
Brokeback Mountain atrocity is the worst Western ever made. I wish BIG JOHN WAYNE
would rise from the grave :o and shoot up the whole Brokeback Mountain cast/crew :smiley:

SD, but you have seen Brokeback Mountain, yes?

Argh Don’t remind me Stanton I have sat through numerous Film atrocities like Brokeback :’(

As you know I always watch, study, research, confirm all my postings so I hope any
"errors" are extremely rare. In the case of Brokeback Mountain I think the Col. DM, myself
and millions of others have got the review spot on. :slight_smile:
I hope we can include you in that category Stanton :wink:

Has everyone heard “Ain’t Going Down on Brokeback Mountain” by the Saddlesores? Pretty darned funny. Think its on itunes. That sh** ain’t right!

I’d say Cut-Throats Nine is rather disappointing, if only because it’s often labeled “the most violent spaghetti western of all-time”, which is saying a lot, and I don’t think it quite lives up to the hype. That’s not to say that it isn’t good. I very much liked it, especially the film’s nihilism and the nice little twist at the end. If not for the hype surrounding it, I probably wouldn’t have mentioned it, because it is a good film.

I often wonder if it really is a Western? More like a wilderness survival story.