Sunday, July 31, 2016

Blind Spot: The Great Silence (1968)

The Great Silence is a first-rate spaghetti western.

Directed by Sergio Corbucci
Produced by Attilio Riccio
Written by Vittoriano Petrilli, Mario Amendola, Bruno Corbucci and Sergio Corbucci
Starring Klaus Kinski, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Vonetta McGee

Plot Summary: A silent gunfighter (Trintignant) faces a group of ruthless bounty hunters in Snow Hill, Utah.

Significance: Widely considered one of the best spaghetti westerns of all time, the film has become a cult classic. The film wasn’t available in the U.S. until its 2004 DVD release, and it screened in American theaters for the first time in a limited 35 mm release in 2012.

Thoughts: Though not quite in the same league as the epic Once Upon a Time in the West, this spaghetti western is a fine example of the bygone genre. It’s a small-scale, brutal little film with solid lead performances, brilliant cinematography, and an unforgettable score, contributed by Ennio Morricone, no less. Granted, it feels a bit dated, but that doesn’t detract from the film’s impact too much. The ending is notoriously bleak, with a “happy” ending even being commissioned by the studio for North African and Asian audiences. Overall, it’s a real gem, and definitely worth a look for cinephiles or fans of westerns.

Rating: A

This is the seventh film in my 2016 Blind Spot Series, as first started by Ryan McNeil.

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