The Great Silence (Il grande silenzio)

1968

The Great Silence (Il grande silenzio)

Critics Consensus

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100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 11

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 6,750
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Movie Info

Italian filmmaker Sergio Corbucci directed this serious-minded populist spin on the spaghetti western, starring Jean-Louis Trintignant as Silence, whose vocal cords have been slashed by sadistic bounty-hunters. Silence joins with local hillfolk in fighting the corrupt and tyrannical authorities in the town of Snow Mill. Corbucci's sympathies are clearly with his bandit heroes, who are only doing what they must to survive, while the law is represented by a corrupt sheriff, who lets his wealthy patrons run wild, and sadistic scum like Klaus Kinski, who kills the poor because he enjoys it. Politically charged in a way that only a film of its time could be, Il Grande Silenzio's themes of class struggle and violent revolution were a bit too hot for an American release in 1968. Vonetta McGee co-starred with genre regulars Frank Wolff, Luigi Pistilli, and Raf Baldassare.

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Critic Reviews for The Great Silence (Il grande silenzio)

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (11)

Audience Reviews for The Great Silence (Il grande silenzio)

  • Jan 05, 2016
    This is a real treat. Great score, story, characters, and a surprisingly severe ending. Definately entertaining and memorable
    Super Reviewer
  • May 21, 2011
    Certainly the most bleak spaghetti western. If you think about it, that is saying a lot.
    Reid V Super Reviewer
  • Apr 24, 2011
    Klause klinski, is a great bad guy here playing a bounty hunter, while doing his job, along with his outlaws, taking libertys, a mute gunslinger played by Jean louise trinijant is hired to track him down, although things certainly are not over once tracked down. a spagetti western that comes off really well, a harsh winter cold and setting looking great, some great violence and overall western setting all coming together well.
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2010
    In "The Great Silence," a group of outlaws is holding out in the hills of Utah in 1898. Some of them are getting impatient with promises of amnesty and go back to Snow Hill, ruled by the villainous Pollicut(Luigi Pistilli), and are gunned down by Loco(Klaus Kinski), a bounty killer. In fact, the governor(Carlo D'Angelo) is greatly considering the amnesty, appointing Burnett(Frank Wolff) to be sheriff in the meantime to cut down on the bloodshed. Along comes Silence(Jean-Louis Trintignant), a mute avenger, to aid those who cannot protect themselves. "The Great Silence" is an entertaining spaghetti western that is raised a notch, not only because of its wintry setting and an absolutely stunning ending, but also its being grounded in a politcal reality, and was quite daring for its time. Set in a period when the frontier was closing and lawmen like Burnett were no longer just referees and started to take an active role in protecting the citizens. This was needed to not only stop the killing by the bounty killers(the movie gets tantalizingly close to bringing up the death penalty) but also Silence who uses the law to his advantage by provoking gunmen into a fight they cannot win. Of course, it is easy to goad a sociopath.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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