Clint Eastwood Was The Reason Why 93-Year-Old Gene Hackman Came Out Of Retirement For Another Violent Movie That His Daughters Must Have Hated


Gene Hackman has a legendary career to his name that spanned over six decades, appearing in movies across genres. Reportedly, following issues with his heart, the actor quit acting for a peaceful retirement after marking his legacy in Hollywood.

However, after his first retirement, another legendary actor/director and Hackman’s friend Clint Eastwood convinced the Mississippi Burning actor to come back for a movie that he declined initially, as it did not fit his liking.

Clint Eastwood Convinced Gene Hackman for Unforgiven

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Clint Eastwood-directed Unforgiven is a true Western masterpiece. The Eastwood, Gene Hackman, and Morgan Freeman starrer movie earned over $159.2 million against the production budget of $14.4 million while taking home an Oscar for Best Picture. Reportedly, Hackman initially turned the film down because it was too violent. However, according to the writer of the 1992 movie, Hackman only joined the project because of Eastwood.

“Things could have been different. Gene’s daughters didn’t like all the violent movies he was doing. He was at a stage in his career where his family was more important than his work.”

The tar/director of the movie, Eastwood then visited The French Connection star to convince him, explaining the plot that the movie was about a gunfighter who came out of retirement to avenge a brutal attack on a prostitute and the film was not a glorification of violence. Also, David Webb Peoples, the writer, had spent two decades trying to make the movie while keeping Ridley Scott and later Francis Ford Coppola in mind, but after near misses, Eastwood helmed the project.


“The only reason the movie got made, and got made the way it was written, was because of Clint Eastwood,” Peoples said. “He made everything happen. It’s amazing what he did with it.”

Eastwood is indeed a master and he nurtured Peoples’ project into fruition.

Unforgiven Was a Turning Point for Clint Eastwood

The Oscar-winning movie has left an impression not only on the screenwriter but the star/director Eastwood, who enjoyed working on the masterpiece he created. Speaking to CBS, Eastwood once revealed that Unforgiven was a turning point of his career. “I think a turning point for me was in the early 90s I did Unforgiven,” Eastwood said.

“I had done other Westerns and other genre films but that picture took a different, it was a very interesting script and a way to do characters in a Western that was quite a bit different.”

As the movie saw success at the box office and hails from the critics, Peoples admitted that the thought of making a sequel never slipped his mind but it was a struggle as the writer thought he was just imitating the original movie.

“It began to sound like I was imitating ‘Unforgiven,’ and I didn’t want that,” he said. “I’ve never quite solved that, so it’s still sitting here unfinished. Maybe it’ll get done one day, who knows.”

Along with Best Picture, Eastwood won the Best Director while Hackman as Little Bill Daggett grabbed the Best Supporting Actor at the 65th Academy Awards.