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The Unforgiven (1960)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | 6 April 1960 (USA)
The neighbors of a frontier family turn on them when it is suspected that their adopted daughter was stolen from the local Kiowa tribe.

Director:

John Huston

Writers:

Ben Maddow (screenplay), Alan Le May (based on a novel by) (as Alan LeMay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Burt Lancaster ... Ben Zachary
Audrey Hepburn ... Rachel Zachary
Audie Murphy ... Cash Zachary
John Saxon ... Johnny Portugal
Charles Bickford ... Zeb Rawlins
Lillian Gish ... Mattilda Zachary
Albert Salmi ... Charlie Rawlins
Joseph Wiseman ... Abe Kelsey
June Walker ... Hagar Rawlins
Kipp Hamilton ... Georgia Rawlins
Arnold Merritt ... Jude Rawlins
Doug McClure ... Andy Zachary
Carlos Rivas ... Lost Bird
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Storyline

Western about racial intolerance focuses around Kiowa claim that the Zachary daughter is one of their own, stolen in a raid. The dispute results in other whites turning their backs on the Zacharys when the truth is revealed by Mother. Cash, the hotheaded brother, reacts violently upon learning his "sister" is a "red-hide Indian." He leaves the family but returns to help them fight off an Indian raid. Written by <rita.richardson@arch2.nara.gov>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A NEW TRIUMPH FROM ACADEMY AWARD WINNER JOHN HUSTON (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bette Davis turned down the role of Mattilda Zachary, because she didn't want to play Burt Lancaster's mother. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where the piano is delivered, Lancaster's hair style changes again and again, from trimmed to long, from wind swept to coiffured. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[yelling at a cow eating grass growing on the Zachary family's roof]
Rachel Zachary: Shoo now! Shoo! Ain't you got no better manners than to eat at the top of a house?
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Connections

Referenced in La bande du drugstore (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Down in the Valley
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Georgia Rawlins and Hagar Rawlins
See more »

User Reviews

 
He threatened them with the truth they could not bear...
19 July 2004 | by tmwestSee all my reviews

'The Unforgiven' has a lot in common with 'The Searchers' , both were written by Alan Le May and both are westerns that deal with racism. They also show the lonely life of the pioneers, how hard it must have been to live with so few people around you, how important the few social contacts must have been and that is why it is much more painful to see racism taking over and destroying relationships that were so important. The locations and scenery that Huston show us are much more primitive and far from being as beautiful as 'The Searchers' and that much describes the whole mood of the film. Audrey Hepburn, cast against type gives a good performance. As long as an actor can incorporate the character and show his true emotions, you can even accept Laurence Olivier as Davy Crocket. Audie Murphy is a revelation as Cash, it is his best performance ever. Joseph Wiseman is the eerie crazy man who threatens to reveal the unbearable truth. Burt Lancaster accepts his destiny with courage, unlike his brother (Audie) who is a weaker person. There is a great scene where Lilian Gish plays the piano outside the house when the Indians are about to attack. The Unforgiven is an excellent film, it is one of the best of John Huston, but it does not achieve the greatness of 'The Searchers'.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 April 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Siege at Dancing Bird See more »

Filming Locations:

Durango, Mexico

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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