Rent The Great Silence (1968)

3.7 of 5 from 96 ratings
1h 45min
Rent The Great Silence (aka Il Grande Silenzio) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
On an unforgiving, snow-swept frontier, a group of bloodthirsty bounty hunters, led by the vicious Loco (Klaus Kinski) prey on a band of persecuted outlaws who have taken to the hills. Only a mute gunslinger named Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant) stands between the innocent refugees and the corrupt killers. But, in this harsh, brutal world, the lines between right and wrong are not always clear, and good does not always triumph.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , Marisa Sally, , , , , , , , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Attilio Riccio
Writers:
Sergio Corbucci, Vittoriano Petrilli, Mario Amendola, Bruno Corbucci, John Davis Hart, Lewis E. Ciannelli
Aka:
Il Grande Silenzio
Studio:
Eureka
Genres:
Action & Adventure, Classics
Countries:
Italy, New Releases, Action & Adventure, Classics
BBFC:
Release Date:
19/10/2009
Run Time:
105 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 1.0, Italian Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Alternative "Happy Ending"
BBFC:
Release Date:
29/11/2021
Run Time:
105 minutes
Languages:
English Dolby Digital 1.0, Italian Dolby Digital 1.0
Subtitles:
English
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.85:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Brand new audio commentary by author Howard Hughes and filmmaker Richard Knew
  • Brand new audio commentary by filmmaker Mike Siegel
  • Audio commentary by director and Spaghetti Western aficionado Alex Cox, recorded live at the Hollywood Theatre, Portland in 2021. Included with kind permission of 36 Chambers LLC
  • Brand new interview with Austin Fisher, author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema
  • Cox on Corhucci - filmmaker Alex Cox talks about Sergio Corbucci
  • Western, Italian Style - 1968 documentary
  • Two Alternate Endings
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Stills Galleries

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Reviews (1) of The Great Silence

Bad Day At Snow Hill - The Great Silence review by Count Otto Black

Spoiler Alert
12/02/2016

Although he never quite had Sergio Leone's extraordinary visual flair, Sergio Corbucci, the other great director of spaghetti westerns, had a much more active social conscience, and he usually tried to put across some kind of political message, therefore the plots and characters in his best films tend to be more complex than the usual "impossibly competent hero shoots lots of men who deserve to die" structure of most spaghettis.

This movie is Corbucci's most serious western, and despite the inclusion of various spaghetti tropes - ridiculously good shooting, gimmicky weapons, Ennio Morricone music, several familiar faces from the Dollars Trilogy - just about everything you expect from a film of this kind is turned on its head, right from the very first shot of a lone horseman riding across not a sun-baked desert but a frozen snowscape. It's no accident that just about every shot feels chilly, and the characters frequently comment on the lack of warmth. This a cold, cold film, where goodness is a handicap in world without mercy or compassion.

However, its inhabitants are a fascinating bunch. Although the hero, who isn't called Silence for nothing, is a bit of a nonentity, just about everybody else manages to break out of the expected stereotypes, even if they're only a very minor character. In particular, instead of being either a useless coward or a lackey of the baddies, the sheriff is a brave and genuinely good man who is unfortunately not too bright, therefore his sincere attempts to do the right thing invariably backfire in hideously ironic ways. This also makes him a rare example of a comic relief buffoon whose well-intentioned bumbling has realistically dire consequences.

Since the hero not only makes Clint Eastwood's "Man With No Name" seem like a motormouth, but spends a fair bit of the film in bed because, in yet another trope inversion, severe injuries are just as disabling for him as they are for normal people, the real "hero" is Klaus Kinski's Tigrero, a disturbingly convivial psychopath who is by far the smartest person in town, and never once does anything that a real villain wouldn't because the script's forcing him to implausibly give his enemies at least a halfway sporting chance.

It's not quite a masterpiece, and it does get a bit depressing at times, but this is certainly one of the most unusual and mould-breaking westerns ever made. The ending in particular is so off-kilter that the studio insisted on Corbucci reshooting a much more conventional climax. In the end it was scrapped because they had to admit that in the light of everything that had gone before it just looked absurd, but you can see that alternative final scene as a DVD extra. This is an important western and a hugely important spaghetti western, and is therefore highly recommended to anyone who likes that kind of thing.

By the way, unlike many DVD releases of spaghetti westerns, this is the original Italian-language version, though if you hate subtitles, you can opt for the usual horribly-dubbed English on the sound menu.

6 out of 6 members found this review helpful.

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