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Grande silenzio, Il

From The Spaghetti Western Database

The Great Silence (Il Grande Silenzio: Italy, France 1968) was directed by Sergio Corbucci and is one of the very few spaghetti westerns that take place in the snow. The film stars Klaus Kinski, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Vonetta McGee and Frank Wolff. The movie currently ranks 4th on our Top 20.

The Great Silence

The Great Silence (U.S.A.) | Leichen pflastern seinen Weg (Germany) | O Grande Silencio (Portugal) | O silencio da morte (Brazil) | O Vingador Silencioso (Brazil) | Człowiek zwany Ciszą (Poland) | Człowiek zwany milczeniem (Poland) | Suuri hiljaisuus (Finland) | Suuri hiljainen (Finland) | Den tyste hämnaren (Sweden) | O ekdikitis tou diavolou (Greece) | El Gran Silencio (Argentina) | Le grand silence (France) | The Big Silence (U.K.) | Velký klid (Czechoslovakia) | Velké ticho (Czech Republic) | A halál csöndje (Hungary) | سکوت مطلق (Iran) | 殺しが静かにやって来る (Japan) | O Vingador Silencioso (Brazil)

Cast: Jean-Louis Trintignant (Gordon/Silence), Klaus Kinski (Tigrero/Loco), Vonetta McGee (Pauline Middleton), Frank Wolff (Sheriff Gideon Burnett/Corbett), Luigi Pistilli (Henry Pollicut), Mario Brega (Martin), Carlo D'Angelo (Governor of Utah), Marisa Merlini (Regina), Maria Mizar (Blonde saloon girl), Marisa Sally (Black-haired saloon girl), Raf Baldassarre (Sanchez/Bobo Schultz), Spartaco Conversi (Walter), Remo De Angelis (Fake sheriff in flashback), Mirella Pamphili (Red-haired saloon girl in flashback), Bruno Corazzari (Charlie), Loris Loddi (Gordon/Silence as a boy), Adriana Giuffrè (Silence's mother), Emilio Messina (Silence's father), Benito Pacifico (stagecoach driver), Mimmo Poli (barman), Jacques Dorfmann [as Jacques Toulouse on French prints] (Miguel), Pupita Lea Scuderoni (Miguel's mother), Aldo Ralli (Sheriff Al's deputy) Paolo Figlia (Jack, card player), Giulio Baraghini (Man in saloon) Fortunato Arena, Rocco Lerro, Giovanni Ukmar (outlaws), Mauro Mannatrizio, Claudio Ruffini, Clemente Ukmar, Franco Ukmar, William Mayor (bounty killers), Lorenzo Terzon, Fulvio Pellegrino (Govenor's assistants)

  • Story: Sergio Corbucci
  • Screenplay: Sergio Corbucci, Vittoriano Petrilli, Mario Amendola, Bruno Corbucci
  • Cinematography: Silvano Ippoliti (Eastmancolor 1.85:1)
  • Music: Ennio Morricone
  • Editor: Amedeo Salfa
  • Art Director and Set Decorator: Riccardo Domenici
  • Costume Designer: Enrico Job
  • Producers: Attilio Riccio, Robert Dorfmann

Silence (Trintignant) is a mute gunfighter with a sense for justice. He is hired by a woman (McGee) whose husband has been killed to take revenge on Loco (Kinski), one of the bounty hunters hired to hunt down homeless poor around Snow Hill. A new sheriff (Wolff) and the local judge (Luigi Pistilli) make the matter a little complicated.

The Great Silence


  • November 2021: Eureka release in the UK on Bluray.
  • April 2018: Film Movement release in limited theatrical run in the United States. BluRay announced for June. Based on a 2k restoration.
  • December 2017: German BluRay released
  • April 2017: BluRay announced in Germany for December 8. Based on a different, 2K restoration. No English audio options announced.
  • March 2017: Restored version now screening at the Cinemateque Francaise (Italian with French subtitles). Link. "Restored in 4K by the CSC - Cineteca Nazionale of Rome from the sound and image negatives made available by Movietime. The restoration made it possible to recover the alternative end, shot by Corbucci at the request of the producers. It will also be shown. The work was carried out at Laboratoires Augustus Color and Studio Cine in Rome".


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 Hill. Corbucci's sympathies are clearly with his bandit heroes, who are only doing what they must to survive, while the law is represented by an inept sheriff 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.


The movie was produced by Fox, but Zanuck was unhappy with the ending and the movie was never theatrically released in the USA: Corbucci had to shoot an alternative happy end but deliberately made it unusable, Zanuck was pissed and refused its release.

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