Little Bit of History: Directed, produced by and starring Clint Eastwood. Released in 1992 the film won four Academy Awards: Best Picture and Best Director for Clint Eastwood, Best Supporting Actor for Gene Hackman and Best Film Editing for editor Joel Cox. Eastwood was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, but he lost to Al Pacino for Scent of a Woman.
Little Bit of Plot/Story: Set in 1880, two cowboys, disfigure prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald after she laughs at the small size of one of the men’s penis. Instead of punishing the cowboys, Lawman Little Bill allows them to pay compensation to the brothel owner. The prostitutes, led by Strawberry Alice, are infuriated by this leniency and offer a $1,000 reward to whoever can kill the cowboys.
Little Bit of Character: Clint Eastwood plays William “Will” Munny, a retired gunslinger turned farmworker. Morgan Freeman as Ned Logan who is Will’s oldest friend and ex-partner. With Jaimz Woolvett playing The Schofield Kid, a young an over enthusiastic man who is not as experienced in killing as he claims and Gene Hackman as “Little” Bill Daggett, a lawman with a zero tolerance to lawbreaking and outlaws.
Little Bit of Influence: This film was made and released when the western genre was all but dead on it’s legs. The success of the film paved the way for many, many other modern westerns that would follow over the years. The film even inspired a Japanese remake directed by Lee Sang-il and starring Ken Watanabe was released in 2013.
Little Bit of Memories: I recall seeing this for the first time and just being blown away by it. Everything from it’s directing to acting was top notch. While being a throwback to Clint’s earlier work and a loving homage to the man that made Clint a star (Sergio Leone) it was also a fresh take on an old genre and revitalised the western.
Little Bit of Watchability: I caught this being shown on TV as it was being shown on Clint’s 85th Birthday…noticed it was edited slightly. So dug out my DVD copy and watched that instead. This is still a great film with amazing performances from Clint, Morgan and Gene as well as an impressive supporting cast. A simple story of revenge, but done with such panache and style. This is a film everyone should watch at least once.
Will Munny: “It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.”
This is just one part of my 85th Birthday celebration of Clint Eastwood. Please also read my overview of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and my Happy Birthday Clint editorial.