Unforgiven is about the town Big Whisky, where a prostitute is brutally attacked by a cowboy, and after the sheriff fails to adequately punish the men responsible, the town prostitutes band together to raise a bounty to put against them. The reward attracts the attention of an amateur bounty hunter, who partners up with the retired gunslinger Will Munny who has given up his life of violence to look after his two children after the death of his wife.
Unforgiven is a deconstruction of the Hollywood sanitised, romanticised image of the West, the film is purposely morally ambiguous, and there are no clear cut lines between good and evil. This is particularly evident in the character of Munny who is a anti-hero and a symbol of the Death of the west as he has been civilised by his wife and family but, is roped back into a life of violence. Though his intentions may be noble and he may treat the women of the town with kindness and respect he; in many ways, reverts to his old ways, showing the true nature of violence and its irreversible effect on man.
The film both stars and is directed by Clint Eastwood and is a reflection of, his own career in westerns and, there declining popularity at the time of its release. In spite of this, Unforgiven was a critical and commercial success and is arguably a modern masterpiece considered; by some, to be the last Western.