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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
In publicity photos, Loco is shown holding a "WANTED" poster of an outlaw named Manuel Vasquez, a character who is not seen in the film. The poster is, in fact, a leftover prop from 10,000 Dollars for a Massacre (1967), in which Vasquez is a character played by Claudio Camaso. In The Great Silence (1968) itself, Vasquez's face on the poster is kept out of view. See more »
In one shot of Silence and Pauline's love scene, Silence's head is immediately under Pauline's arm. However, in the connecting shot, her arm is covering his forehead. See more »
[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]
Damn you! You've... crippled my hands!
[tries to shoot Silence with his pistol, but is shot in the back by Miguel]
See more »
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.
35 of 39 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this