“I Miss It To This Day”: Only Clint Eastwood Could Have Gotten Away With Changing The Original Ending Of ‘Unforgiven’ And Still Impressing The Real Writer


Clint Eastwood is no less than an auteur in the film business. A highly versatile and accomplished actor-director, Eastwood’s talent has remained unparalleled, and his impact on the film industry is undeniable. Having brought us timeless classics such as Unforgiven, Eastwood has always displayed a deep understanding of storytelling and character development.

Perhaps that is why the legendary actor-director is the only one who can change the original ending of a film and leave the writer impressed. According to David Peoples, Eastwood changed the original ending of Unforgiven because it felt too much and still managed to impress the writer.

Clint Eastwood Changed the Original Ending of his Oscar-winning Movie, Unforgiven

Clint Eastwood has donned several caps throughout his career, and his performances in iconic roles like The Man With No Name and Dirty Harry have cemented his status as a legendary figure in cinema. Yet it was his critically acclaimed Western, Unforgiven, that brought Eastwood his first Oscar win for Best Director and Picture.

Written by David Peoples, the film was originally titled The William Munny Killings. Eastwood, who portrayed the titular character Munny, brought the rights to the film in the 80s. Starring the Hollywood legend as a retired gunman who goes back to his old ways to collect some big cash, the movie shows Munny living as a pig farmer along with his two children.

As per the original ending of the film, Munny comes back after collecting the cash and killing the bounty and reunites with his kids. However, he keeps the truth hidden from them and refuses to tell them that he killed anyone, implying he is not proud of what he did. However, the actor-director was not happy with the scene, feeling it was too much (via Yahoo Entertainment).


Yet, Unforgiven Scriptwriter Remains Happy With the Way The Movie Ended

Clint Eastwood filmed the ending of its timeless film, Unforgiven, the way it was originally written and had it screened for David Peoples. But when it came to the editing process, the filmmaker decided to omit the scene and made a jump to the final moments of the film, where he and his family go over to San Francisco to start over.

While Peoples is heartbroken that his version of the ending did not make it through, he knows Eastwood made the right call.In an interview with Yahoo Entertainment, he stated,

I miss it to this day. But Clint got the movie right.

Talking about why Eastwood did not use the original ending, Peoples remarked,

He said he thought that it was a beat too many, and he wasn’t going to use it. He had this sense that the movie had already ended, and sticking on another scene wasn’t going to help. As the sensitive writer, I wish somehow it could have made it in, but he got the rhythm right. He has a brilliant sense of drama.

While Peoples remains one of the only people today to have seen the original ending, we do hope that someday, the original ending will be released to the audience. Not because we do not trust Clint Eastwood, only to see his brilliant acting in such a poignant scene.