The Great Silence (Il grande silenzio, 1968)

US Film Movement Classics 2018 Blu-ray edition

Text below written 2019-01-14


Great 50th Anniversary Restoration of the 1968 Spaghetti western classic by Sergio Corbucci, and it looks spectacular. The first western
i've seen taking place in deep snow (and probably shot in the Dolomites, Italy ?) but supposedly taking place in Utah, USA and the Rocky
Mountains. I'm no big fan of US westerns BUT i love Italian spaghetti westerns and besides some of Sergio Leone's, including the greatest
western ever made - Once upon a time in the West, i really liked Damiano Damiani's A Bullet for the General, Sergio Sollima's and this one.

The visuals are amazing with people, stage-coaches and horses battling to get through the deep snow, the iconic face of Klaus Kinski have
probably never looked better and also the beautiful soundtrack by Ennio Morricone and the unique and unforgettable ending makes this
film a very special western. The mute "hero" Silenzio played by French artmovie actor Jean-Louis Trintignant is fine too, i always liked him.

Jean-Louis Trintignant plays the role of the mute gunslinger Silenzio/Silence, named like this because wherever he goes, the silence of death
follows. The State of Utah is plagued by gangs of bounty hunters chasing a mixed group of escaped prisoners, small-time robbers and just
poor people that has committed minor crimes, thefts out of desperation. The Governor and probably his voters too are tired of all the killings
and he plans to give an amnesty to these "criminals"as "the old west is finished".
He orders the sheriff Gideon Burnett (Frank Wolff) to go to Snow Hill, Utah and make contact with the drifting gang of "outlaws" and to keep
an eye on the bounty hunters. The outpost village Snow Hill, appropriately named as it's literally buried in snow.

The Booklet

Of all the gangs of bounty killers the one lead by Tigrero/Loco (Klaus Kinski) probably is the most brutal and in the "Wanted Dead or Alive"
announcement he only reads the first part. He's a bestial killer and treats the "outlaws" like slaughtered meat.
The mysterious gunman Silence is hired by a Snow Hill widow, Pauline (Vanetta McGee), to extract revenge for Tigrero killing her husband.
But Tigrero and his killer gang are protected by the corrupt judge of the village, Pollicut (Luigi Pistilli) so it won't be easy for Silenzio.

The film takes place at the end of the 19th century and is supposedly based on true events. The one-of-a kind ending will surprise for sure.

This restored 50th anniversary edition looks Fantastic and the crisp, crystal clear cinematography is presented in widescreen 1.85:1 and with
an italian or english LPCM stereo audio with english subtitles (Tigrero is called Loco in the english subs). Soundtrack by Ennio Morricone.

Extras: Alex Cox talks about Sergio Corbucci (15 minutes in english), A 1968 documentary Western, Italian style (37 minutes with narration
by Frank Wolff), Alternate endings, The Great Silence original theatrical trailer and 2018 theatrical trailer, a Booklet and other trailers

 

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