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The Great Silence (1968)

Il grande silenzio (original title)
Not Rated | | Western | 1969 (USA)
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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(story), (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Wherever he goes, corpses pave his path... See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Silence  »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

(English-language version) Loco's statement to Miguel's mother that they kill bandits for their "bread and butter" contrasts with Pollicut's sarcastic statement that the bandits have to be "fought with bread and butter" at the advice of Sheriff Burnett. See more »

Goofs

Various spelling mistakes in the title cards. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

References Cheyenne Autumn (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The ultimate Spaghetti Western!
11 May 2005 | by See all my reviews

The spaghetti western is a hybrid creature in many ways. it mixes the great American legend by demystifying it with European pessimism. It plays the landscapes and its inhabitants as ambiguous vehicles of destiny and violence (the background often conveys the mood more than the characters, as the films of Corbucci and Leone demonstrate). And although Fistfull of Dollars is mean and lean, it remains a pale copy of Kuroswa's superior Yojimbo. Despite it's beautiful opera, Once upon a Time in the West is too elegant. despite its biting humor and epic scope, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly is too playful...

What we have here, is nothing less than the ultimate essence of the Spaghetti Western: irony, cruelty, tenderness, beauty, violence, larger than life characters... and chaos. the chaos is as present in the general mood as it is in Corbucci's wild and messy camera-work (from beautiful panoramas to crash zooms and close ups that accentuate the villains' ugliness).

The story is straight and simple but allows for great characters as the mute bounty hunter Silence (Trintignant, conveying impossible emotion with nothing but his haunting eyes) travels to a snowy town to bring down the killer of his client's husband and coincidentally fulfill a more personal vengeance. He is pitted against a range of pathetic and ugly villains, headed by a sleazy and psychotic Loco (Kinski, mesmerizing as the cruel but contained and playful killer).

All the while the nihilism and harshness of nature weigh over these characters as people freeze to death, a man drowns in a frozen lake and the survival of the fittest is demanded in a bloody fashion, leading to a devastating ending that seals this tight film together as a magnificently macabre opera of death. Unmissable.


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