CowboySpirit.com – Unforgiven was, in a sense, filmed between the two heights of Clint Eastwood’s career and helped lead to the second pinnacle of his directorial and acting achievements. Today Unforgiven is often referenced as one of Clint Eastwood’s top western movies for its unique plot and stirring themes. In fact, Unforgiven almost functions as an elegy for the western movies that originally brought Eastwood to prominence.
Unforgiven Little Known Facts
Unforgiven won four Academy Awards, for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Gene Hackman), Best Director, Best Film Editing, and Best Picture, and was nominated for a further five statuettes – an impressive showing for western movies in Hollywood.
Unforgiven grossed $101.1 million at the box office during its US run and was shot on an estimated budget of $14.4 million.
Unforgiven is one of three western movies to win the Best Picture Oscar; the other two are Dances with Wolves and Cimarron.
The entire film was shot in 39 days, with production multitasking such as stunt work practice occurring during construction of the main sets.
In many scenes the rain is man made, but the snow scenes are natural. The snow was worked into the script after an unexpected snowfall.
Clint Eastwood reportedly prohibited motor vehicles on the set of Big Whisky to assure an authentic period environment.
Unforgiven Behind the Scenes Trivia
Gene Hackman originally rejected his role; Clint Eastwood convinced him to reconsider after buying the rights to the script.
Clint Eastwood wrote the main theme for Unforgiven himself, with arrangement assistance from Lennie Niehaus who wrote the score.
Production designer Henry Bumstead also worked with Clint Eastwood on High Plains Drifter.
Francis Ford Coppola originally held the rights to the script but never moved on making the film.
Sonia Chernius, Clint Eastwood’s script reader and story editor, had suggested that Eastwood re-sell the script to Unforgiven as she did not think that it was up to his standards.
Clint Eastwood dedicated the film to Sergio Leone and Don Siegel.