The Great Silence (1968)
"Il grande silenzio" (original title)

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A mute gunfighter defends a young widow and a group of outlaws against a gang of bounty killers in the winter of 1898, and a grim, tense struggle unfolds.



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Complete credited cast:
Gordon / Silence (as Jean Louis Trintignant)
Frank Wolff ...
Carlo D'Angelo ...
Governor of Utah (as Carlo D' Angelo)
Marisa Merlini ...
Maria Mizar ...
Unknown Character
Marisa Sally ...
Unknown Character
Raf Baldassarre ...
Spartaco Conversi ...
Remo De Angelis ...
Fake Sheriff in Flashback
Mirella Pamphili ...
Saloon Girl
Pauline Middleton (as Vonetta Mc Gee)


Bounty killers led by Loco prey on outlaws hiding out in the snowbound Utahn mountains. After Pauline's husband becomes Loco's latest victim, she hires a gunman for revenge; Silence, mute since his throat was cut when he was a boy. Written by Tom Seldon <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

19 November 1968 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Great Silence  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The snow in the town of Snow Hill was created by gallons of shaving cream. See more »


When Silence shoots up Loco's gang in the Snow Hill saloon, he is heard firing 13 shots. A C96 can only fire 10 shots before it needs to be reloaded. See more »


[first lines]
Hunter: [after Silence has killed four other bounty killers] W-Wait! I-I surrender! Don't kill me! I-I won't do it again! I'm through with bounty hunting! Don't kill me, Silence!
[Silence shoots both of the man's thumbs off; the killer moans in pain]
Hunter: Damn you! You've... crippled my hands!
[tries to shoot Silence with his pistol, but is shot in the back by Miguel]
See more »


Featured in Klaus Kinski - Ich bin kein Schauspieler (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

"That western in the snow"
16 September 1999 | by (Nottingham) – See all my reviews

"That western in the snow" - was my brother's response when he heard that I'd finally tracked down a copy of THE GREAT SILENCE, a.k.a. THE BIG SILENCE (I first saw it 10 years ago on BBC2's 'Moviedrome').

If you like Sergio Leone's films (such as THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY and A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS) then you'll probably enjoy this film by Sergio Corbucci. Violence, shooting, cussing, strange costumes, haunting music, trademark camera angles and the Italian style go to make up one of the best (lost)westerns I've ever seen.

These films aren't to everyone's taste, but THE GREAT SILENCE is worth watching just to hear the main theme tune which is a fantastic work of latterday composition - it sounds daft but I nearly cry when I hear it sometimes. By turns the score is dream-like, stylish, menacing, bizarre and even ridiculous (twanging sitar-like sounds). This is my favourite piece of Ennio Morricone's music.

As I said before the main reference points for this film are those of Sergio Leone, except for the snow-laden setting and the distinct lack of humour( THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY still makes me laugh, despite countless watching). Having said that this film has a distinctly original atmosphere of it's own, brought out in the brilliant and shocking ending. the director went to great lengths to preserve his radical finale (particularly unpopular with the producer) - there is a version of the film with a cop-out ending.

In short then, this is a great movie despite all the shortcomings of the particular genre( I'm not saying anything)- I once read that the term "Spaghetti Western" was a derisory one used by American film critics - but I can't think of any American westerns as enjoyable as some of these Italian films.

48 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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