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The Great Silence (1968)

Il grande silenzio (original title)
Not Rated | | Western | 27 January 1969 (France)
A mute gunfighter defends a young widow and a group of outlaws against a gang of bounty killers in the winter of 1898, as a grim, tense struggle unfolds.

Director:

Sergio Corbucci

Writers:

Sergio Corbucci (story), Vittoriano Petrilli (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jean-Louis Trintignant ... Gordon / Silence (as Jean Louis Trintignant)
Klaus Kinski ... Tigrero / Loco
Frank Wolff ... Sheriff Gideon Burnett
Luigi Pistilli ... Henry Pollicut
Mario Brega ... Martin
Carlo D'Angelo Carlo D'Angelo ... Governor of Utah (as Carlo D' Angelo)
Marisa Merlini ... Regina
Maria Mizar Maria Mizar ... Blonde Saloon Girl
Marisa Sally Marisa Sally ... Black-Haired Saloon Girl
Raf Baldassarre Raf Baldassarre ... Sanchez
Spartaco Conversi Spartaco Conversi ... Walter
Remo De Angelis Remo De Angelis ... Fake Sheriff in Flashback
Mirella Pamphili ... Red-Haired Saloon Girl in Flashback
Vonetta McGee ... 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:

From the director of DJANGO See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy | France

Language:

Italian | English

Release Date:

27 January 1969 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Great Silence See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,755, 1 April 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$53,074, 30 August 2018
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Sound System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean-Louis Trintignant had agreed to do the film in order to help out co-producer Robert Dorfmann, who was a friend of his. See more »

Goofs

What appears to be a small communications tower can be seen on top of the mountain in front of the cemetery where Pauline and the other women bury James Middleton. 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 »

Alternate Versions

Two alternative endings were created for this film:
  • A "happy" ending, in which Sheriff Burnett (having somehow survived being trapped under a frozen lake) rides into town and shoots Loco before he can kill Silence, allowing him to kill the remaining bounty killers. This ending was once believed to be shot for the North African and Japanese markets, but has since been revealed to have been created as an alternative solution for the producers, who wanted the film to have a "seasonal" (ie. Christmas) appeal.
  • A lesser-known, "ambiguous" re-cut of the original ending with additional footage, in which Silence is wounded, but Loco gestures to his gang members to leave the saloon before they can kill anyone.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cannibal Holocaust (1980) See more »

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User Reviews

An exceptional and striking western one could never have done in Hollywood
7 February 2001 | by PetteriSee 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.


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