The Great Silence
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**RELEASED FOR THE FIRST TIME ON BLU RAY IN NORTH AMERICA ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF ITS ORIGINAL RELEASE**
On an unforgiving, snow swept frontier, a group of bloodthirsty bounty hunters, led by the vicious Loco (Klaus Kinski Nosferatu, For a Few Dollars More) prey on a band of persecuted outlaws who have taken to the hills. As the price on each head is collected one-by-one, only a mute gunslinger named Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant The Conformist) stands between the innocent refuges and the greed and corruption that the bounty hunters represent. But, in this harsh, brutal world, the lines between right and wrong aren't always clear and good doesn't always triumph. Featuring superb photography and a haunting score from maestro Ennio Morricone, director Sergio Corbucci's bleak, brilliant and violent vision of an immoral, honorless west is widely considered to be among the very best and most influential Euro-Westerns ever made.
Bonus features include:
- Cox on Corbucci - filmmaker and author Alex Cox surveys Sergio Corbucci's career and how The Great Silence fits within the maestro's oeuvre.
- Western, Italian Style - This 1968 documentary on Italian westerns includes prime behind the scenes footage of The Great Silence.
- Two never-before-seen alternate endings, including the option to play one of the alternate endings with Alex Cox commentary.
- The Great Silence original theatrical trailer.
- The Great Silence 2018 theatrical trailer.
- Italian and English language versions.
- Ending the Silence - a new essay about The Great Silence by film critic Simon Abrams.
I'm not generally one for nostalgia, but I do regret the loss of a certain kind of craziness that used to flourish in movies the kind that is on rich and ripe display in The Great Silence, a 1968 Italian western by Sergio Corbucci that is only now receiving a proper theatrical release in this country. There is something about the film's brazen mixing of incompatible elements that defies categorization, imitation or even sober critical assessment. It's anarchic and rigorous, sophisticated and goofy, heartfelt and cynical. The score, by Ennio Morricone, is as mellow as wine. The action is raw, nasty and blood-soaked. The story is preposterous, the politics sincere... The mood is sometimes jaunty, but The Great Silence is no joke, and the fatalism of its ending serves as an implicit critique of the sentimental optimism of many Hollywood westerns. Power speaks louder than silence. --A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Packs a bleak, bloody punch...[and] goes out with a devastating bang. - Simon Abrams, The Village Voice
Brutal, bleakly beautiful spaghetti Western filmed on stark locations in the Dolomites, with one of the most uncompromising and unforgettable finales ever filmed. --Leonard Maltin
Sensationally grim...be prepared for a holy bludgeoning. - David Edelstein, New York Magazine
The greatest spaghetti Western ever made. --Alex Cox, director of Sid & Nancy and Repo Man
Top customer reviews
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The dvd is fine, though the transfer and audio have not been restored at all. A company like Criterion or Kino would have to pick up distribution for such a pricy project to happen in the first place, so I'm not complaining. Also includes the alternative (and really, really ludicrous) happy ending.
I'm here to alleviate your doubts... The Great Silence stands out as one of the best Spaghetti Westerns I've ever seen.
First off, the picture quality is fantastic. Yeah, there are a couple of scenes with some noise, but it adds character more than it takes away from the film.
I was immediately struck by the setting. Most of the Italian westerns are set in a hot, dry, desert environment. This film takes place in the mountains during a blizzard. The snow covered scenery makes for a new and different viewing experience, but still manages to retain, and even improve upon the deadly, isolated environments of its counterparts.
The moral ambiguity found in most Spaghetti Westerns is not only present, its amplified.
Aside from that, I'm not telling you any more. All I will say is that I watched it once, didn't know what to think, watched it again, and loved it.
The transfer, however, leaves much to be desired. I applaud Fantoma for taking the time to transfer it in the first place. That said, this film should really be restored. They have the original 35mm for goodness sake so why not use all our greatest moderm tools to do this film justice? Somebody needs to obtain the rights for this and do a complete restoration. I'm looking at you Blue Underground!
This is an amazing spaghetti western filmed in mountains and snow. The atmosphere of it all eventually consumes you - an almost claustrophobic feel to it. Frank Wolff (who played Brett McBain in the early scenes of "Once Upon a Time in the West") is great as the new Sheriff. Kinski is amazing, pretty much steals the movie. There are just a couple awkward over-dub dialog spots, but it's still - easily - one of the 10 best spaghetti westerns ever made.
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