HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Great Silence, The In The Bleak Midwinter
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: WesternBuy from Amazon
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 10428 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: