Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good, Bad, Ugly/Navao Joe

In Navajo Joe, we see that the characters of the film are all extremely violent towards one another and towards their "enemies". The opening scene is a shocking one as the amount of violence and gore for that time period of film would be a very eye opening one. It is apparent from this film that Italian directors viewed American films and culture as a very "shoot first and ask questions later" society as they continue to portray Americans as animalistic creatures.
In the Good Bad and Ugly, Italian directors once again portray the American cowboys as savage and ruthless beasts. The cowboys throughout the film appear willing to kill anyone that crosses them in order to gain the reward at the end of the film. This also plays into the theme of the Capitalist and greedy Americans trying to gain more money and a larger share of the world economy. Essentially, Italian directors are portraying the Americans as ruthless and greedy creatures who will stop at nothing to make their money.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Spaghetti Westerns

As spaghetti westerns, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Navajo Joe, deviate from the typical characteristics of the classical western. Most noticeably, the films are extraordinarily violent. From the opening scenes, the films demonstrate merciless and indiscriminate killing, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly features the first of many shootouts while Navajo Joe shows the massacre of an entire Indian village and scalping of an innocent woman. The murderous characters’ lacks of compassion seem to stem from complete simplemindedness, demonstrating no mental capacity for thoughts other than revenge or financial gain.

From a cultural studies perspective, spaghetti westerns like the The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Navajo Jo provide an Italian critique of the American classical western, and correspondingly, American society itself. The films take aspects from the classical western and exaggerate them to demonstrate, with unmistakable clarity, the foolishness and barbaric nature of the behavior. Since the classical western is a reflection of American culture, the Italian mockery of the genre also ridicules Americans. The evidence within both films of the characters’ greed and prioritization of money over all else provides a sharp jab at the American free market. Furthermore, the careless killing appears to scorn the nation’s quick use of violent force.

Spaghetti Westerns, SG

I feel that the movie The Good the Bad and the Ugly a “spaghetti western” clearly depicts how the rest of the world views American society. The Three main characters Blondie, Angle Eyes and Tuco represent different degrees of evil. All three of these characters are driven to make money illegally. What I found interesting about this film was that Blondie, one of the three criminals in this film, was depicted as the most honorable man. I feel that the creators of this film did this to make a statement about American culture. In order to be successful in America one needs to be dishonest and almost criminal like.
Navajo Joe another “spaghetti western” looks upon American society unfavorably as well. Early in the movie the town realizes the problems they are facing. Joe offers his advice by saying. “There’s only one way to get rid of your problems, kill him.” This film portrays Americans as extremely violent and that violence is an answer to all of one’s problems. This movie also points to the racism in America. The two characters of Native American heritage Navajo Joe and Estella are seen as outsiders.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly and Navajo Joe

The two spaghetti westerns The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly and Navajo Joe have many differences from the tradional American western films. One difference between these films and other American westerns are the protagonists. Minorities have a leading role in both movies, whereas in American westerns minorities are cast as the “other”. Tuca was a central part of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, and Navajo Jo was the leading actor in Navajo Jo. In Navajo Jo, the Native American was portrayed as the hero, and the Americans were portrayed as the outlaws. This is different from American westerns because usually the Native Americans are the ones being driven out of the city, rather than the Americans. The typical alpha male cowboy in American westerns, white male, acts in good faith. This means that he does things based on the duty of responsibility. In these two spaghetti westerns, the white male was cast as a greedy, money-seeking man. Alpha male cowboys in American films are also honest. The men in the spaghetti westerns were not loyal to each other, rather they were willing to cheat and scheme for riches.

Spaghetti westerns portray the European’s view of Americans. Americans in these films are depicted as violent, money-driven individuals who are willing to use any means to get to a certain end.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Spaghetti Westerns

Both The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly and Navajo Joe sharply contrast traditional domestically produced westerns. Both films track foreigners as main characters, so "the other" doesn't necessarily exist. In fact, the white men in both films are portrayed as brutish criminals, while Tuco and Joe often are the protagonists. In the The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly, Tuco is initially Blondie's partner before Blondie betrays him. In Navajo Joe, Joe is the one seeking revenge for wrongs done to his people by white men, which is pretty much the exact opposite plot as The Searchers.

The violent nature of white Americans shown in both films is based on the U.S. involvement in Vietnam in 1966. Because the films were produced by Italian directors, it is clear that Europeans had viewed Americans as overstepping their boundaries, as reflected through Duncan and Angel Face's violent nature. The Civil War playing out in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly again symbolizes Americans' violent nature.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugley/Navajo Joe

The spaghetti Western films, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Navajo Joe are very different than the traditional Western. These films have a differnt perception on Indians than traditonal Westerns. Navajo Joe depicts the Indians as less violent and show the whites as the rash killers that raid villages with no mercy. From a cultural studies view, it shows how the European directors viewed the white Americans and their desire of manifest destiny to conquer the land of others. The film, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is also very differnt from the traditional Western film. This movie was very violent and even shows violence and disrespect towards the female characters. From a cultural studies view this can be interpreted as how the europeans viewed the white Americans. They viewd Americans as inhumane violent groups of people that disrespect women and steal land from other people. This may have part to do with the many conflicts the United States was involved in with Europe and how the American soldiers fought these conflicts.

Novajo Joe/ Good Bad and Ugly

The Spaghetti westerns films differ a lot than the Westerns that are made in the US by the US directors. I guess the major difference in them is the Violence. Spaghetti westerns are way more violent than the American Westerns.
Also, one of the movies shows reversal of roles. In the movie Navajo Joe we see that he (a native Indian) has been portrayed as the hero and the American white men are the bad guys, we see how Joe saves the entire village. In the regular Western, the Natives were always shown as the inferior class and the White American as the good guys.
In the movie The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, we see that all the three main characters are continuously willing to kill each other. The gold makes them all the more violent. They constantly make promises and break them. It’s no big deal for them to break their word. All they cared was about themselves and how they could make more money. In the American Western we never see an Alpha male turning back from his word. Once he had said anything, that was engraved in the rocks. No one could change that.
We see how the perspective of the International Audience is completely different from the Americans. They feel that the Americans were not to be relied on nor were they really good people who cared for the society. They were violent, and very destructive. The natives who were thought of the Salvages in the American society were actually the real Hero’s in the mind of the International people.

Navajo Joe and The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Spaghetti western films differ from the western films made in America mostly because of the roles specific characters play, and the amount of violence seen throughout the films. These two characteristics make a statement about how other countries viewed the United States during that time period. The film Navajo Joe chronicles the life of an Indian, and how he saves an American village after his is attacked by outlaws. The film opens with Navajo Joe's village being ransacked by American men. The Americans are extremely brutal and violent toward the Indian tribe, while Navajo Joe is depicted as a hero; he is captured and tortured by the white Americans on multiple occasions because of his heroic actions. In American western films, the roles are reversed, and the Indians are displayed in a negative light, portraying the American cowboys as heros and role-models. This is one aspect where the spaghetti western differs from the American western.
Similarly, in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, the three main characters Blondie, Tuco, and Angel Eyes, all make multiple alliances and friendships throughout the film, but end up going against all of them in order to find the golden treasure. Each one is willing to back-stab the other in order to further himself in the journey to find and claim the treasure for himself. Because of this, the film is full of violence and shoot-outs, portraying the American west as an extremely violent place. This differs from American westerns where violence is present, but at a much smaller extent. Typically, American western films build up to a major encounter between two forces at the end, but the spaghetti westerns have violence throughout the entire film.
This hints towards the fact that foreign countries looked towards America as a self-serving country willing to use any type of force, whether justified or not, to achieve its goals.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly/Navajo Joe

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and Navajo Joe both introduce a much more violent western. Both films placed a much larger emphasis on the "other" and lessened the appeal of the white, alpha-male cowboy. In Navajo Joe, the alpha male and "other" roles are reversed. Joe, instead, assumes the role of the alpha male and saves the town from a band of outlaws as he seeks revenge for the brutal massacre of his village. In a cultural studies sense, the spaghetti westerns are much more realistic in their depiction of the implications of manifest destiny. Where other westerns seemed to imply Native Americans as savages, Navajo Joe portrayed the white men as reckless, killing innocent people and committing countless crimes. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly is overwhelmed with violence. In one scene, Angel Eyes directs much of this violence towards a women, a level of disrespect that had never been seen in westerns before. Overall, both films seem to suggest that the nation was much more violent than it was made out to be. Other countries viewed America as being inhuman in their actions taken against others, especially with regards to Native Americans, blacks, and women. While filmmakers in the United States sugar-coated our actions, the spaghetti westerns laid them out on the line for what they truly were. While America defended it's view as being "divine" and rightful in the sense of imperialization, other countries were critical of this. This criticism shown through in such spaghetti westerns.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly / Navajo Joe

Navajo Joe opens with the slaughter of Joe’s village by Duncan and his band of outlaws. This spaghetti western’s opening scene show the Indians as innocent people and the outlaws as violent murderers. They then scalp the bodies and try to get money for the scalps in town; when they hold the town under siege and attempt to rob the train that is coming with money, Navajo Joe saves the day. This movie has the roles of the Indians and the white cowboy reversed. In classic westerns, the alpha male cowboy is white and takes revenge on a band of Indians who ruthlessly attacked his family, such as in The Searchers. Navajo Joe depicts the brutal effects manifest destiny had on the Indians, slaughtered and pushed onto reservations to make way for the white man.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is an excessively violent film, which is characteristic of spaghetti westerns. In this film, Blondie, the alpha male cowboy, has unfaithful sidekicks who are interested in solely benefiting themselves. Blondie must trick them and fool them in order to survive and get his share of the gold. He is a unique alpha male cowboy because of this situation. He is not loyal to sidekicks since they are not loyal, and, as a result, he is only looking out for himself. He does not have any commitment to duty because he is only looking to benefit himself by finding gold. At the end, he even leaves Tuco, one of his sidekicks, in the desert with his share of the gold.

Spaghetti westerns are more violent than classic westerns. Many people, both those who are criminals and those who are innocent are murdered. Made by other counties as a comment on our society, spaghetti westerns depict America as a ruthless and violent country full of callous individuals who murder without thinking. The movies depict Americans as people who are violent by nature and looking out for their own self-interest.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo y Navajo Joe

There are many differences between spaghetti westerns and classic westerns. Some revolve around the making of the film, location, producers, directors and actors. Others revolve around the plot, and the characters. First the locations of the film in Spaghetti westerns usually are filmed in low-priced backdrops that resemble the American Southwest, like Sardinia or Abruzzo. The second factor is usually the director’s nationality in a classic western is American, while Spaghetti westerns typically have Italian directors. In both movies the directors are Italian, Sergio Corbucci and Sergio Leone. Lastly the actors, are primarily Italian or Spanish with one primary American actor, like Clint Eastwood in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Burt Reynolds in Navaho Joe. The plots differ; classic westerns usually deal with the conflict of Indians (savages) with the cowboys (civilized). While Spaghetti westerns plots gyrate towards the Mexican Revolution, Mexican bandits, and the border between Mexico and the U.S. In the Good, The Bad and The Ugly,Tuco (The ugly) is a Mexican bandit who is trying to get the gold, also the film is filmed on the backdrop of the civil war. In Navaho Joe, his village gets murdered, and so does his wife. He sets off to get revenge for his wife. This is also a classic western because it focuses on the other instead of the cowboys. From a cultural studies perspective, it is evident that most Italian producers focus on the plight of the Spanish speaking public, and their attitudes towards the American culture. They try to humanize characters from the (other) that most classic westerns ignore.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly/Navajo Joe

Explain with examples how these spaghetti westerns and the spaghetti western in general differ from the classic western. From a cultural studies perspective, what arguments do the films make? Explain with examples from and analysis of the films.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blog #7 - The Unforgiven

The Unforgiven serves as a revisionist film in several ways. The first and clearest way is through using Morgan Freeman's character Ned as a protagonist instead of playing the role of the "other." In previous films, African-Americans had been the alpha male's second hand man, such as in The Man who Shot Liberty Valance, but the character was very shallow and unexplored. In The Unforgiven, Ned is the equivalent to Clint Eastwood's character Will. Ned has talents that Will does not, such as skill with a rifle, which was never the case in previous films. When Ned is captured and mercilessly whipped to death, the emotions that his death stir up in Will are beyond hatred and his character returns to the outlaw that he used to be. In previous films, the alpha male was rarely emotionally connected at all to an African American or any other form of the "other," but in this film the African American is Will's best friend and true partner.
The second way The Unforgiven is a revisionist film is through the fact that it switches perspectives from the cowboy to the outlaw. The alpha male cowboy, Little Bill, is portrayed in a negative light and is viewed as over the top and brutal. He uses violence to assert his will, and to the audience, his will is unjust. The outlaw however, in this film Will, assumes the role of protagonist and though he uses violence to distribute justice. The justice is swift and results in the death of many men, but the viewer agrees with Will and his actions, despite of the fact that he is killing cowboys, the typical American hero.

The Unforgiven

The Unforgiven is a revisionist film for numerous reasons. Some reasons pertain to the casting while other reasons pertain to the actions of the characters in the film. First is the casting of an African American male (Morgan Freeman) he holds a significant role in the story, and his impact on the script caused the plot to intensify. Most Western’s do not include people of color and when they do the character is usually obedient and quiet. Yet in this movie (Morgan Freeman) plays the main comrade to Munny, the alpha male. His death in the movie infuriated Munny and caused him to go on a rampage, to seek revenge for the death of his best friend. The second reason is casting women as prostitutes which make them by occupation low. Yet even though they are degraded due to their gender and occupation which was evident when the Sherriff made the cowboy who slashed a prostitutes face give her livestock. The women took matters in their own hands creating a bounty of 1000 dollars for the man who disrespected them. Munny who wanted to stop dabbling in illegal acts had to due to his obligation to his family. Which shows another juxtaposition to a generic western cowboy, being a part of a family, is no where close to being a lone ranger. Also as the Alpha male Munny does not stick to justice and what is right for society but rather sticks to his own rights and what suits his family.

Unforgiven, SG

The movie Unforgiven seeks to revise the views of the traditional western films. Morgan Freeman plays the role of Clint Eastwood’s partner. There are several instances in the movie that shows he is not equal to white men. However this differs from the racial inequality of black men in previous western films because this racism shows the views of time period in which the movie was taking place in, not necessarily the views of the time period in which the movie was made. Despite several instances of racism Freeman’s character represents and alpha male cowboy. In traditional westerns a black make would not have this type of power.

Another revisionist theme in this movie is shown in Clint Eastwood’s character. Early in the movie the viewer learns that Eastwood’s character was once a ruthless killer and has since changed his ways. He credits his wife for these changes saying “she cured me of my wickedness.” Eastwood’s character emphasizes how his wife brought religion to his life. This differs from the view of the cowboy in traditional westerns. Getting married and giving into religion where things the cowboy that would not be seen by the cowboy in traditional westerns.

One thing about the traditional cowboy that remains constant in this film is the cowboy’s sense of duty. That being said Eastwood’s duty differs from that of the traditional cowboy. In this movie Eastwood agrees to go on the man hunt in order to provide for his children. We saw for the first time a less selfish sense of duty presented by the alpha male cowboy.

The Unforgiven

The 1993 Western, The Unforgiven, is a revisonist film compared to the previous Westerns we viewed. This film uses more violent action scenes to appeal to today's viewers and shows a different view on the others in the West.

Western films typically portray blacks and women as the "other". They are never given strong roles and they are treated with less respect. In this film, Morgan Freeman plays Ned Logan, a black cowboy who is treated as an equal. This shows the changes in the West, compared to traditional Westerns films. Throughout the film, Willian Munny (Clint Eastwood) shows respect and appreciation for Ned. Bill doesn't want to complete his mission without Ned and acts histerical after Ned dies. This shows the large amount of respect that Bill has for Ned in the film, which is very uncommon for an alpha male to have that much repect for a black character.

This film also portrays Willian Munny (Clint Eastwood) as an alpha male cowboy. Although Bill isn't the strongest of the cowboys because he had trouble getting on his horse in the beginning of the film, Bill is still stong enough to be considered an alpha male. Bill's character shows the pain and stuggles that the alpha male must endure and that it is a duty that is not fit for any man. Bill has feelings which hold him back from being a true alpha male because he feels regrets when he fires his gun and has a strong bond with Ned. This is uncommon for an alpha male and this shows how throughout time, the alpha male cowboy has weakened.


The film Unforgiven released in the year 1992, can be looked up on as a revisionist film. We can see how the character of Morgan Freeman is treated with equality. We do not see any discrimination or racism in the movie. All the three characters are partners and have equal share in the price money. Although two of the partners are Whites and Freeman being black, we do not see any problems between them. They treat him equally , infact when the young Schofield Kid asks how would the price money be shared after the killing was done, Munny says that it should be equal or else he won’t help. If he wanted his help he had to include Ned (Freeman) in the partnership.
Also, talking about the Alpha male character of Clint Eastwood, we see some of the typical characteristics of the Alpha male and some of the hybrid qualities. We see that his character was one that went on killing other men, women and children just because he wanted to do it and thought it was right. On the other hand we also see the part, where he is a family man, and wants to take care of his children, educate them, so that he can give them a good life. He respects his wife and although she is dead, he is not able to get involved with any other women physically. His only purpose of life had become his children. He take up the job of killing those cowboys, who had cute the women so that he can get some reward money and use it for the better lifestyle of his children. We see two different faces of the cowboy in this movie.

The Unforgiven

In The Unforgiven, the supposed “other” character, Morgan Freeman, who plays Ned Logan, is far from the typical “other” role. Logan has a center role in the film, and is even included as a real cowboy in his trio of partners. Blacks in classic westerns are not educated or outspoken, nor do they have a leading role. In The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, for example, Pompey only speaks when he is spoken to, and he is still under Tom Doniphon’s command. Logan is not subjected to a lower rank due to his race, rather he is accepted in society and Bill Munny even gets revenge for Logan’s death in the end.

In revisionist westerns, women are typically viewed as housewives, but in The Unforgiven, the women are prostitutes. After one of the prostitutes gets attacked for laughing at her clients “size,” the women feel the need to rightly punish the attacker. The sheriff says that the only punishment the attacker and his ally will receive is a debt to the owner of the prostitutes; seven ponies. The women are upset at this punishment because they thought the men should have been whipped or even subject to death. Consequently, the women attempt to get justice. This is not typical of women in classic westerns because women usually don’t fight for what they want. These women were very headstrong, in that sense.

Clint Eastwood’s character, Bill Munny, is the alpha male cowboy; however he is different from the typical alpha male cowboys of classic westerns. Munny does not travel alone, and his main partner is an African American. This is uncommon in traditional westerns because the alpha male cowboy travels alone and let alone is he considered equal to an African American. Munny also has a family at home, which is also untypical of alpha males in classic westerns due to their being alone. In the end, Munny kills many innocent people. Usually the alpha male cowboy only kills and acts out of the “greater good.”

This film is very revisionist in many ways. The most important way is that the alpha male is getting revenge not for a family member, not solely for a woman, but for the death of his good friend, who happens to be an African American.

The Unforgiven

The film, The Unforgiven, can be seen as a revisionist film because it departs from the typical view of the 'other,' seen in previous western films. Blacks and women were viewed as secondary characters, not contributing much to the overall plot of the film. This changes with Morgan Freeman's character, Ned Logan. Logan plays a major role in the film, an essential member to the three person team of cowboys on a mission to kill the man who attacked a lady in town. Logan is treated as an equal, a parter to the other two cowboys. Never is he looked down upon, or regarded differently because of his skin color. This is a major step away from previous western films where blacks were hardly represented at all. The role of women in this film is also a step above the traditional woman's role in western films. The women pool together their resources in order to make justice. They do not agree with the punishment the sheriff announces, so they take matters into their own hands and solve the problem. Because of this, these women are different from the traditional western women who obey all commands, but they still are somewhat dependent on men.
Clint Eastwood's character, William Munny, is the alpha male cowboy in the film. His character also strays from the normal mold of western films, just like Ned's. Previously, the alpha male cowboy was regarded as heroic, because even though he killed people, it was always the villain he killed, which could be justified. All of his actions were for the greater good. However, Munny's past is constantly brought up, and the viewers learn that he killed many people. The way he describes it gives the audience the feel that he regrets many of the decisions he made, and gives a negative connotation to the notion of killing people. By the end of the film, Munny takes innocent lives, thus painting a negative image of himself. This change is yet another factor that classifies The Unforgiven as a revisionist film.

The Unforgiven

Filmed in 1992, The Unforgiven portrays a modern, revisionist view of the classic western genre. The film uses a seemingly traditional western plotline and setting, contrasted with its much revised characters to provide a severe critique of the values promoted in the classic genre. Although Clint Eastwood’s character, William Munny, does portray alpha male cowboy traits, stolid, hardened and isolated, the traits are portrayed in a much different light. Rather than praised and glorified as in classic western fashion, the very same attributes are used to demonstrate the cowboy’s damaged and painful state of mind. The violent lifestyle characteristic of the traditional alpha male cowboy is revealed without the splendor and triumph to expose it as the disturbed and absurd behavior it is in actuality.

Morgan Freeman’s character further breaks the mold of the traditional western. Freeman plays Ned Logan, a black cowboy and partner-in-crime to Bill Munny. Ned represents the black character, formerly cast off as an “other,” acquiring equal status with the alpha male. Bill repeatedly demonstrates his respect for Ned and commitment to their camaraderie. He refuses to take part in the mission without his old partner and in the end, is driven back to his deranged behavior after Ned’s murder.


Unforgiven is a revisionist western because of how it depicts Morgan Freeman’s character, Ned. Ned is Munny’s partner, showing that they are equals. Even when they are traveling, usually an African American character would be at the back but Ned is not; instead their order is constantly switching, showing that no one has more power than the other. They agree with Kid to split the reward money equally three ways, which is unusual since in other westerns, African Americans are not considered equals and so would not receive equal pay. Most African Americans in westerns are uneducated, but it becomes apparent that Ned is intelligent. He figures out why Kid cannot, tricking him into believing that there is a hawk in the sky to prove his theory that Kid is nearsighted. Ned’s importance and significance is shown in Munny’s acts of revenge, which adds to the plot. Ned is important enough to Munny for him to kill several men for revenge of Ned’s murder; typically the revenge is solely for something that has been done to a woman. In other westerns, the murder of a black would not matter, but Munny even calls Ned his friend and partner, proving Ned’s significance.

Munny is the alpha male cowboy who has a dark past filled with killing and drinking. He fulfills his duty, helping Kid kill the men who hurt the prostitute; he also got revenge for Ned by killing Skinny and Little Bill. He threatens to return and kill other if Ned is not properly buried or if any of the prostitutes are hurt. He is unique since he changed his ways, married, and had children, whom he returns to. He also remains loyal to his dead wife, rejecting the prostitutes’ offers. He also has Ned, his partner and friend, with whom he is equals, when many alpha males work alone. Munny’s unique characteristics make him easier for men of the time to relate to since during the 1990s the majority of the population settled down and had families.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Revisionism in The Unforgiven

The Unforgiven is a revisionist film based on Ned Logan's equal status as a black in the West, female retaliation, and Bill Munny's status as an alpha male. Typically, blacks and females in the western genre were considered "the other" in the plot while the white alpha-male cowboy was glorified, even for his negative traits, such as aggression and alcoholism. In The Unforgiven, the roles are reversed at most times.

The way Bill Munny talks about his past in the film makes it seem like he made only mistakes and violence in the current situation is not the best path. He is almost pathetic at times, because he is so weak without his wife. When he actually shoots one of the hunted cowboys, he immediately feels bad while Ned backs out altogether. Also, the boy who brags about how many men he is killed is shown in a negative light, which again degrades the alpha males status because violence is not the answer.

Ned Logan's status as an equal is one of the main elements that makes this film revisionist. Traditionally, blacks were not viewed as partners in any western before this one. Pompey for example, was just Tom Donophin's sidekick. Ned's character is almost a bigger man than Bill because he knows when to back down. He shows additional strength when he refuses to give Bill's whereabouts to the sheriff while being whipped. In the end, Bill avenges him, proving that blacks, even in the 19th century when this was set, were worth avenging.

The prostitutes in the film also take on an increased role that revises women's previous roles in Westerns. Women were traditionally the motive behind the alpha-male's actions, but never really took action until the 1970's (with some exceptions). In The Unforgiven, the women are the ones who want revenge on their peer, and take action in doing so. Granted, they need cowboys to actually kill the men, but they use their resources to accomplish the goal and are smart in hiring someone so they don't get blamed for murder.

All factors considered, this film constitutes revisionism in three ways. Even with women being abused and Bill Munny eventually shooting everyone, roles among the different sexes and races are significantly altered to glorify someone other than the white alpha male cowboy for once.

The Unforgiven

The Unforgiven is a revisionist western in the sense that it abandons "the other" label typically associated with blacks and women in film. The character Ned Logan cannot be looked upon as an "other" because without his help, Munny would have not been able to fulfill his mission. Munny also seems to establish Logan as his equal, requesting his help. Typically, blacks in western film were characters that served the alpha male cowboy, much like Pompey in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. However, he is killed upon returning to his home, leaving Munny with the credit of murdering the killers. Munny's level of respect for Logan is unlike any other film however, as in the end he demands that Ned receive a proper burial.

The Unforgiven can be looked upon as a revisionist film where the role of the alpha male cowboy is concerned. Truly, William Munny does not withhold many of the characteristic alpha male traits. He sets off not for revenge, but for the monetary reward. However, he does do so in order to support his family. The typical alpha male cowboy wished to complete their journeys in isolation, but Munny seeks the help of two others along the way. Additionally, Munny is much more violent than the alpha male cowboys before him. He was once an infamous gunfighter, and though he has given up his old ways, it becomes clear that at one point he had killed women and children. While he does complete what he sets out to do, Munny does not display the typical characteristics of an alpha male cowboy along the way, making The Unforgiven a revisionist western.

The Unforgiven

Morgan Freeman’s character, Ned Logan, is not a revolutionary character in the sense of westerns, but rather an evolution or revisionists view of a common character. Black characters in westerns have typically been looked at as the secondary player or “other” in the film. In The Unforgiven, Logan is looked at as the martyr and driving character of the story. He goes from being Munny’s partner in crime, to being the driving force behind his revenge. Typically, black characters are ones who can be sacrificed or are just bellow the level of women in the film. Logan is an able minded and capable character who becomes the reason for the climax. So the role has evolved from one of second class, to driving force.
Clint Eastwood’s character, William Munny, is an alpha male cowboy, but in a much darker sense. He seems to lack respect for the law and the town, in exchange for revenge for Logan. At the end of the film, he kills Little Bill and threatens anyone else who even crosses his eyes. It’s a movement away from the typical alpha male cowboy and establishes a much more violent and ruthless one in its place. He still is fighting for good to a degree, but he is hurting many innocent and undeserving people along the way.

The Unforgiven

If The Unforgiven is a revisionist western, explain why, taking into consideration the character Morgan Freeman plays. Also, consider the kind of alpha male cowboy Clint Eastwood is.
Be sure to look up revisionist.