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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, and a grim, tense struggle unfolds.

Director:

Sergio Corbucci

Writers:

Sergio Corbucci (story), Vittoriano Petrilli (screenplay) | 5 more credits »
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1 win. See more awards »

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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 ... 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 | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

His voice was the silence of death! 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

Gross USA:

$53,074

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$53,074
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

The film's Italian trailer includes an appraisal of the film attributed to 20th Century Fox (the film's distributor in Italy and other territories) co-founder Darryl F. Zanuck, which reads: ''Il migliore western all'italiana degli ultimi tempi'' (The best Spaghetti Western of recent times). In reality, Zanuck was offended by the film's grim ending, and refused to release it in the United States. See more »

Goofs

At the bar, when Loco punches Silence, his hat flies off his head. But When Silence is on the floor his hat is back on his head. 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

Featured in Western, Italian Style (1968) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Classic SW with sensational landscapes and terrific performance from Trintignant and Kinski
25 September 2007 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This French- Italian co-production is a Spaghetti Western masterpiece by Sergio Corbucci , being highly rated by the critics and is one of his best movies, along with ¨the Compañeros¨ and ¨Djanjo¨. It takes place in the snow-filled outdoors of Utah and based on real events during the great Blizzard of 1885 and shot in Cortina D'Ampezzo in the Dolomitas mountains located in the Alps . The film is plenty of dark fatalism and features to Silence (Jean Louis Trintignant in his first and unique Western , he had agreed to do the film in order to help out the producer, who was a friend of his), a mute gunslinger with a 7,63 mm Mauser Broomhandle gun , helping a group of desperado outlaws and an African- American woman named Pauline (Voneta McGee) attempting to revenge death her husband against the bounty hunters led by the ruthless Loco (Klaus Kinski) and payed by Pollicut (Luigi Pistilli) . Furthermore, an upright sheriff (Frank Wolff) appears trying peace and order.

This widely deemed picture , unlike most conventional Spaghetti Western , contains exceptional setting , colorful images with a sensational cinematography by Silvano Ippoliti and features a sensitive musical score by the classic Ennio Morricone . This splendid Western results to be a remake to Japanese Samurai TV series starring Shintarô Katsu (1973) . Jean-Louis Trintignant agreed to play in a spaghetti western under the condition that he did not have to learn any lines for the role , that's why the main character conveniently became a mute in the story. Nice production design and the snow in the town of Snow Hill was created by gallons of shaving cream . The movie was widely inspired by ¨Day of outlaw¨ (Andre de Toth with Robert Ryan , 1959) and set in 1898 in a small town called Snow Hill where is developed a massacre . The motion picture was originally directed by Corbucci and displays a twisted finale with dark surprise included . As trivia, explaining that Trintignant didn't know English , language used during filming , and Marcello Mastroiani, Sergio Corbucci's friend , suggested him playing a mute gunfighter named Silence , resulting to be the film title . Rating : Better than average . Indispensable and essential seeing for SW lovers.


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