Clint Eastwood not only acts in, but also directs, both the Pale Rider and the Unforgiven. He has used several different filmic techniques bring about a separate theme and atmosphere in each film. Theses two posters are reflective of this theme and atmosphere in each of their respective films and have been designed to specifically portray a message that is also portrayed in the scenes of each particular theme.
The first poster, that of the Pale Rider, gives away a lot about the film itself. The most obvious thing it points out is how Eastwood uses the main character, the preacher, to dominate the film as a whole and play the central role. This is evident in the poster as no other character’s faces can be identifies except that of Eastwood’s character. Eastwood uses sleight of hand in the film to present the preacher and often shows close ups of the character, where no emotion can be seen. This is done so that the other characters can cast their emotions upon him, making him seem almost holy. In contrast, Eastwood uses the other poster to show his character as the main character, but also to show the three other characters that a viewer could identify. The interesting thing to notice is that one could say that the three other faces are necessarily the three other main characters, certainly Ned Logan and the sheriff; Little Bill would be considered main characters, but not English Bob. The Schofield Kid would most certainly be considered a main character ahead of English Bob, even W. W. Beauchamp, his biographer, played a bigger role in the movie. The reason the faces of these four characters are shown on the cover under the title, is because these men are the ones that are “unforgiven”, men that have committed sins of violence and have murdered, and have lived a past that they have not been forgiven for. I believe that this is a hidden message that the director and designing artist used in the poster. The scene in which Little Sue rides to Munny and The Schofield Kid uses close up of the kid’s expressions and his dialogue with Munny to reveal that Schofield is not at all a killer and back up why he is not on the poster of the film with the other men who have killed many in the past.
The Maltese Falcon, was not only a detective film, but a film that displayed many different aspects of the female and the male character in the movie. The film was more than a story, but a story that explored the ideas of the detective genre and the different characteristics of femininity and masculinity. It also brought forth subjects of sexual desires and the greediness of money. The characters ...
The sunset on the second poster indicates the end of an era. In this case it represents the death of William Munny’s wife and the end of the past of both Logan and Munny, a past they have tried to forget and put behind them. The opening scene of the film shows the beautiful sunset, and tells the story of Munny’s past and what had happened to his wife, giving evidence to the suggestion that the wide-lens shot of the sunset represents the end of Munny’s time as an assassin. Munny’s back is facing the audience in this poster to add a sense of mystery, as he is a difficult character to understand as well as being the “darkest” amongst them. The sense of mystery is maintained throughout the movie by keeping shadows on Munny, even when the lighting is quite strong. Examples of this include when the Logan and Munny ride towards big Whiskey and the shadows of trees constantly fall upon Munny. Another example is the scene in which Munny is convincing Logan on joining his crusade. Although he is sitting in front of a window, Logan is standing slightly between Munny and the window, casting a shadow upon Munny. This scene also contains many close ups of the facial expressions of the two characters, showing that Logan is reluctant to ever kill again whilst Munny is determined. The loaded gun in the poster lays claim to Munny’s determination.
The first poster is much lighter than the latter one, which indicates that the story is a lot subtler with less violence. The faces of the marshals are hidden, making them seem almost sinister, backing up that they are the villains in the story and represent all that is evil. The scene in which the marshals open fire, in the restaurant, attempting to kill the preacher is very similar to the shootout in the saloon at the end of the Unforgiven, except for the fact that Munny sought for revenge, forgetting about the money, whilst the marshals were doing it only for the money. The phrase at the top-left hand side of the poster “… and hell followed with him.” is indicative of the religious symbolism and implications that can be found in the movie. This is done by presenting the preacher as almost a Christ-like figure that escaped death. His resurrection is implied in the scene in which the audience sees a close-up shot of the scarring of bullet holes on the preacher’s back, which he could never naturally have survived.
When people are lonely and bored, they tend to reflect on their lives and the issues they have. This is precisely what happens in Sinclair Ross’s “The Painted Door”, where the author explores adultery, a topic which was taboo back in the thirties, the time when the story takes place. This is a story about a woman named Ann, who, ironically, discovers her true feelings for her ...
The subject matter in each of the films concerns a protagonist seeking to avenge someone. In the Pale Rider, the protagonist seeks revenge on the men who murdered him. In the Unforgiven, it is the abused Delilah Fitzgerald that the protagonist seeks to avenge. They are however very different in many aspects, which is easy to see through their very different posters. The differences and implications of the posters that have been pointed out contrast the two movies adequately and separate them to reveal the true story that is being told under the classic Western genre.