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The Great Silence (1968)

Il grande silenzio (original title)
A mute gunfighter defends a young widow and a group of outlaws against a gang of bounty killers in the winter of 1898, and a grim, tense struggle unfolds.



(story), (screenplay) | 5 more credits »

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Complete credited cast:
Gordon / Silence (as Jean Louis Trintignant)
Frank Wolff ...
Carlo D'Angelo ...
Governor of Utah (as Carlo D' Angelo)
Marisa Merlini ...
Maria Mizar ...
Blonde Saloon Girl
Marisa Sally ...
Black-Haired Saloon Girl
Raf Baldassarre ...
Spartaco Conversi ...
Remo De Angelis ...
Fake Sheriff in Flashback
Mirella Pamphili ...
Red-Haired Saloon Girl in Flashback (as Mirella Pamphili C.S.C.)
Pauline Middleton (as Vonetta Mc Gee)


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His voice was the silence of death!




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Parents Guide:







Release Date:

27 January 1969 (France)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Silence  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The opening credits state that this film is Vonetta McGee's "first time on screen." It was, in fact, her second--Faustina (1968), which was her second film role, was released before this film was. See more »


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


[first lines]
Hunter: [after Silence has killed four other bounty killers] W-Wait! I-I surrender! Don't kill me! I-I won't do it again! I'm through with bounty hunting! Don't kill me, Silence!
[Silence shoots both of the man's thumbs off; the killer moans in pain]
Hunter: Damn you! You've... crippled my hands!
[tries to shoot Silence with his pistol, but is shot in the back by Miguel]
See more »


References A Fistful of Dollars (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

An exceptional and striking western one could never have done in Hollywood
7 February 2001 | by (Pirkkala, Finland) – See all my reviews

This is among the very few films that make you truly disgusted by its violence; not because of the amount of blood as in many other films but because the victims of the bounty hunters are human beings, slaughtered brutally in front of their own family members. Corbucci has disguised this film as a piece of popular cinema, but gives us shocks once in a while, and finally surprises us completely in the unexpected end. This is how he makes his anti-violent message very clear, and it is easy to agree with him.

IL GRANDE SILENZIO is more pessimistic but also more human than any western by Leone or Peckinpah. It may not be a pleasant experience, but if you want to see a masterpiece of cinema instead of a traditional western, it is definitely worth waiting in line for.

42 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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