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.
Monday, April 5, 2010
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.