A group of prostitutes in Big Whiskey, Wyoming, led by Strawberry Alice (Frances Fisher), offers a $1,000 reward to whoever can kill Quick Mike (Mucci) and “Davey-Boy” Bunting (Campbell), two cowboys who disfigured Delilah Fitzgerald (Levine), one of their own. The local sheriff, Little Bill Daggett (Gene Hackman), a former gunfighter and keeper of the peace, is worried about their incentive, as he does not allow guns or criminals in his town. Little Bill had given the two men leniency, despite their crime.
Miles away in Kansas, the Schofield Kid (Woolvett), a boastful young man, visits the pig farm of William Munny (Eastwood), seeking to recruit him to kill the cowboys. In his youth, Munny was a bandit notorious as a cold-blooded murderer. Now a repentant widower raising two children, he has sworn off alcohol and killing. Though Munny initially refuses to help with the execution, his farm is failing, putting his children’s future in jeopardy. Munny reconsiders a few days later and sets off to catch up with the Kid. On his way, Munny recruits Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), another retired gunfighter, who reluctantly leaves his wife (Cardinal) to go along.
Back in Wyoming, gunfighter English Bob (Richard Harris) and his biographer, W. W. Beauchamp (Rubinek), arrive in Big Whiskey, also seeking the reward. Little Bill and his deputies disarm Bob, and Bill beats him savagely, hoping to discourage other would-be killers. The next morning he ejects Bob from town, but Beauchamp decides to stay and write about Bill. He has impressed the biographer with his tales of old gunfights and seeming knowledge of the inner workings of a gunfighter’s psyche.
Munny, Logan and the Kid arrive later during a rain storm; they go to the saloon/whorehouse to discover the cowboys’ location. With a bad fever after riding in the rain, Munny is sitting alone in the saloon when Little Bill and his deputies arrive to confront him. With no idea of Munny’s past, Little Bill beats him and kicks him out of the saloon after finding a pistol on him. Logan and the Kid, upstairs getting “advances” on their payment from the prostitutes, escape out a back window. The three regroup at a barn outside of town, where they nurse Munny back to health.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Year of Release: 1992
Character to watch: Frances Fisher as Strawberry Alice.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?