Wyoming Was the Setting For the ‘Best Modern Western’ Film in History
In cinematic history, there have only been so many films that have the backdrop of Wyoming. Although it could easily be a great setting for western films. And yes, there have been some well known films that have taken advantage and used the Cowboy State in their movies. There may be even some you didn't realize. But recently the 'Best Modern Western' was named and it just so happens that it took place in Wyoming.
One of the more obvious films that comes to mind is 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' given the fact that the famous landmark, Devils Tower, was used as a huge part of the plot. However, that film is not remotely close to being considered a Western, nor can we really say it's modern since it was made in 1977. So that's out and not even close.
A Western film that used Wyoming as its setting and is still legendary to this day is 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'. It was an incredible story set in 1899 starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford and is known as a classic, but it was also made in 1969, so again, not considered modern.
A few other films could receive a type of honorable mention, but that's not what this list is about. It's not the 'Honorable Mention for Best Modern Western', it's just the 'Best Modern Western'. So what film happened to rank number one on Screen Rant's list of 'Best Modern Westerns', while also using Wyoming as its setting for its story?
That film would take place in the fictional town of Big Whiskey, Wyoming in 1881. If you haven't figured it out by now, it's the now legendary film, 'Unforgiven', which was filmed in 1992. The movie revolutionized the way Western films are done and earned several rewards to show for it, including four Oscars.
It was directed by the great Clint Eastwood, as would win the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars, while another great, Gene Hackman, won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. The Oscar for Best Film Editing went to Joel Cox. Eastwood also starred in the film, as did the ever-amazing Morgan Freeman. Even if you haven't seen it, you know from mentioning Eastwood, Hackman, and Freeman that it had to be pretty amazing.
The movie streams on HBO Max if you want to see the brilliance of just how great it is. It's one of those films that's so good, there's no reason for wanting to spoil any of it. There's a reason why it's known as the 'Best Modern Western'. Also, in case you're wondering, the fictional town of Big Whiskey is said to be located in the high plains just east of Laramie. So 'Unforgiven' is relatively local to southeast Wyoming.
Whether you've seen this film or not, watch it (again)! It's well worth the 2 hours and 11 minutes!
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