HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
Planet of the Dinosaurs
Gwen
Big Breadwinner Hog
Thunder Road
Moby Dick
Frankenstein's Great Aunt Tillie
Mad Room, The
Phantom of the Megaplex
Night Sitter, The
Child's Play
Power, The
Midsommar
After Midnight
Dolemite is My Name
Varda by Agnes
Toy Story 4
Master Z: Ip Man Legacy
Man Who Never Was, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
   
 
  Great Silence, The In The Bleak MidwinterBuy this film here.
Year: 1968
Director: Sergio Corbucci
Stars: Jean-Louis Trintignant, Klaus Kinski, Frank Wolff, Luigi Pistilli, Vonetta McGee, Mario Brega, Carlo D'Angelo, Marisi Merlini, Maria Mizar, Marisa Sally, Raf Baldassarre, Spartaco Conversi, Remo De Angelis, Mirella Pamphilli
Genre: Western
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Bounty hunter Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant) is riding through the snowy mountains of Utah when he becomes aware of an ambush lying in wait for him up ahead. He allows his horse to draw closer to the would-be assassins then suddenly whips out his distinctive pistol and shoots them dead; one man survives and begs for mercy, but the only mercy the crackshot Silence shows is to shoot off his thumbs to prevent him killing anyone else. The men lying in wait were bounty hunters themselves, preying on the peaceful citizens branded outlaws hiding out in the mountains around the town of Snow Hill to take advantage of the not-yet-arranged pardon that is supposed to have been set in motion. The leader of the bounty killers is Loco (Klaus Kinski) and he will soon be meeting Silence when they find themselves on opposite sides...

If there was ever a film to settle a chill in your bones, it would be The Great Silence, also known as The Big Silence and originally Il Grand Silenzio, which was created by Django director Sergio Corbucci with help in the scripting from, among others, his fellow director brother Bruno Corbucci. It is an unusual Spaghetti Western in that it doesn't take place on some sun baked plains, but an entirely snowbound landscape which accurately reflects the drama's bleak and icy quality. Legend has it that Trintignant didn't want to learn any lines for the role, so his character never speaks a word, a flashback showing him having his vocal chords cut as a child by the unscrupulous sheriff who murdered his parents (we never see the act, but we can imply what has happened when we see the scar on the adult Silence's neck).

A widow of one of Loco's victims, Pauline (a doe-eyed Vonetta McGee in her debut, according to the opening credits), wants revenge on her husband's killer and hires Silence to do it. She says Silence is so called because of the silence of death that follows him, but I'd say it's probably more to do with the fact that he doesn't say anything; still, it builds up the doomladen atmosphere. Which is more than Trintignant does, to be honest, as he remains pretty two-dimensional throughout - the strong and silent type is all very well, and he has a novel gimmick, but the cold seems to have frozen the charisma out of him. Luckily, elsewhere the other actors make up for it with Kinski clearly relishing playing a despicable bad guy who doesn't get his comeuppance and the equally excellent Frank Wolff as the friendly sheriff providing a measure of lightness that naturally doesn't last.

We see all three of them sharing the stagecoach into town near the start, with Loco transporting a dead body he hopes to make money on in the luggage rack, and ordering the driver to stop so he can pick up other bodies he has buried in the snow to keep them fresh. He doesn't get his hands on Pauline's husband as she swiftly inters the body, but aims to be paid all the same, but will his greed be his undoing? Meanwhile Silence and Pauline's relationship grows closer and they predictably end up as lovers - will their romance survive the approaching tide of violence? The locations feel so isolated that there's a genuine sense of lawlessness encroaching on the good guys, with the way the storyline plays out utterly unforgiving. Spaghetti Westerns weren't exactly known for their cheerful demeanours, but in The Great Silence the finale is nothing less than grim, with the supposed hero revealed to be sorely inadequate; it's an ending which stays with you long after the film is over. Superb music by Ennio Morricone.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 8254 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: