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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.



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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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to Sergio Corbucci, Marcello Mastroianni gave him the idea of a mute gunfighter when the actor told him that he had always wanted to do a Western, but unfortunately didn't speak English. When Corbucci first met Jean-Louis Trintignant, he learned that he didn't speak English either. Because he had a fascination with characters with a crippling weakness, Corbucci decided that this was the moment to turn the taciturn Spaghetti Western hero into a mute. See more »


When Loco rides through the mountains to find his gang, he passes by an alpine bird-feeder. 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 »


Referenced in The Hateful Eight (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant And Unique, One Of The Best Westerns Ever Made!
30 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

Sergio Corbucci's masterpiece "Il Grande Silenzio" aka. "The Great Silence" is more than just one of the greatest Westerns of all-time. Unlike Corbucci's earlier masterpiece "Django" from 1966, a violent Spaghetti Western, but also full of dark humor, "The Great Silence" is a sad and utterly serious movie from the beginning to the end, a brutal tale about misery, greed and selfishness, about injustice and the desire for revenge.

Winter of 1898, in the mountain town of Snow Hill, Utah. People who were forced to steal in order to survive an ice cold winter, are mercilessly chased and murdered by unscrupolous bounty hunters, who don't care who they kill as long as there is a reward on their victim's head. The most atrocious of these bounty hunters is vicious Loco, outstandingly pictured by Klaus Kinski. In their calamity, desperate relatives of the head hunters' victims hire a mute gunman called Silence, in order to avenge their loved ones and end the killings.

The acting in this movie is brilliant. Nobody could be as diabolical as Klaus Kinski in the role of Loco, Jean-Louis Trintignant performance as Silence is just great, and Vonetta McGee is amazing as Pauline, a beautiful black woman, who falls in love with Silence after losing her husband to the bountykillers. The supporting cast contains such great Spaghetti Western actors as Luigi Pistilli, Mario Brega and Frank Wolff. The Music by Ennio Morricone is, once again, excellent (how couldn't it), the main theme is one of his greatest compositions. The locations are very well-chosen, impressive images of a snowy mountain wasteland make you almost feel the cold. "The Great Silence is", after "Django", Sergio Corbucci's second film that could be described as one of the most important Westerns of all-time. Both brutal and both masterpieces, the two movies are still completely different. While Django was violent but, in its dark way, also humorous, The Great Silence is sad, serious and severe. Incomparable in every aspect, "The Great Silence" even surpasses "Django" in its brilliance, and easily deserves to be named as one of the greatest Westerns ever made.

The Great Silence is a must-see, not only for fans of Spaghetti Westerns, but for every lover of film. Brilliant And Unique, one of the greatest Westerns ever made, one of my favorite movies of all time! 10/10

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