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The Great Silence (1968)
"Il grande silenzio" (original title)

7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 8,152 users  
Reviews: 82 user | 53 critic

A mute gunslinger faces off against a gang of bounty hunters in the great blizzard of 1899, and a grim, tense struggle unfolds.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Tigrero / Loco
Frank Wolff ...
Sheriff Burnett
...
Pollicut
...
Pauline
...
Martin, Pollicut's Assistant
Carlo D'Angelo ...
Governor
Marisa Merlini ...
Regina
Maria Mizar
Marisa Sally
Raf Baldassarre ...
One-Eyed Bounty Hunter
Spartaco Conversi ...
Walter, Leader of the Outlaws
Remo De Angelis
Mirella Pamphili ...
Saloon Girl
Edit

Storyline

Bounty killers led by Loco prey on outlaws hiding out in the snowbound Nevada mountains. After Pauline's husband becomes Loco's latest victim, she hires a gunman for revenge; Silence, mute since his throat was cut as a child Written by Tom Seldon <elpuro@msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

19 November 1968 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Silence  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean-Louis Trintignant agreed to play in a spaghetti western under the condition that he did not have to learn any lines for the role. That's why the main character conveniently became a mute in the story. See more »

Goofs

On the map in the governor's office, the state of Nevada is identified as Utah. See more »

Quotes

Sheriff Burnett: Set a wagon outside of town and put as much food on it as you can spare. If they eat, they'll behave. And you women, all of you, stay inside. Understand? Now let's get moving. C'mon.
Pollicut: Fill a wagon. So now, these bandits gotta be fought with bread and butter. When are we gonna see some law and common sense in this town?
Regina: When somebody hangs you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Movie Review: Valhalla Rising (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

They died with their coats on
30 July 1998 | by (Canterbury, England) – See all my reviews

In a traditional Western one instantly knows who the good and who the bad guys are, and - of course - we also know who will triumph at the end (the good guys, of course). In a typical Italian Western we still know instantly who's going to win at the end, just the distinction between good guys and bad guys is rather blurred. Il Grande Silenzio is not a typical Italian Western. We know instantly that e.g. Klaus Kinski is one of the bad guys (frankly, we know that before the film starts but that's beside the point), but the final outcome is much less predictable, and if you tried to predict it the actual ending may come as a huge shock.

The title of the film is ambiguous, both referring to the grandiosity of the character played by Jean-Louis Trintignant (called 'silence' since he's mute) and the silence of the winter landscape in which the film is set and the silence of the death.

Yes, the silence of death: the German title of the film ('Leichen pflastern seinen Weg', translation: 'his path is paved with corpses') is also ambiguous, since 'his' could equally apply to both main characters. However, the violence is never gratuitous, it is bleak: most of the victims have faces and a story behind them. Il Grande Silenzio is surprisingly little known but highly regarded amongst genre lovers (including me). As in so many Italian Western, Ennio Morricone's score is a great asset, perfectly assessing and supporting the general mood. This is easily one of the five finest Italian Western ever made, and I'd feel hard pressed to name more than 2 of the others.


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