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. ~ Robert Firsching, Rovi
This is in the genre of 'sweeping westerns epics'. Brooding, dark,man with no name (and no voice) tale that is in the Sergio Leone category in plot,direction,photography and locale.This movie is truly a spaghetti western classic and actually better than many Hollywood westerns. It is mystifying why Corbucci chose the ending he did. I wish the director had stuck to the alternate ending ( which is part of the DVD extras). This would have been more satisfying to the audience and perhaps even made more sense as a film.
A great movie that deserves more attention when talking about the great Westerns of this era. Without a doubt Corbucci's best movie. Klaus Kinski is one creepy dude who plays the picture perfect antagonist. He's like a 60's, bilpolar, Billy Zabka on acid. Excellent flick if you like these kinds of movies.