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The Great Silence Blu-ray Review

Silence.jpg

“The Great Silence” is a top notch spaghetti western.

In director Sergio Corbucci’s “The Great Silence,” the story concerns a group of outlaws who are hiding out, trying to avoid being taken out by bounty killers, and trying to survive amidst a snowy unforgiving landscape. One such ruthless bounty killer (appropriately named Loco) is seemingly targeting as many people as possible for money. Standing in Loco’s way are two men- a mute gunslinger named Silence and Sheriff Burnett who is devoted to his job. Can they protect the outlaws and stop Loco and the other bounty killers?

“The Great Silence” (which was a clear inspiration on Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful 8”) is one of those films that will likely take you by surprise. You think you know how it will play out, but in the end, it shocks and surprises you in the best way possible. This isn’t a predictable or safe western film by any means. It’s a dark, violent, wintery, humorless, gutsy spaghetti western about greed, survival, revenge and death. It’s also a visually stunning western. ‘Silence’ bucks the desert trend here by telling a story in a snow covered landscape. The harsh terrain only adds to the harsh story being told on screen.

While Sergio Corbucci’s artistry deserves a lot of praise, stars Klaus Kinski and Jean-Louis Trintignant really push this film over the edge into something special. Without saying a word, Jean-Louis Trintignant says so much with his understated performance. However, it’s Klaus Kinski who steals the film as Loco. Not only is this character a great cinematic villain, but Kinski himself gave one of the best performances of his illustrious career.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.85:1. How does it look? In celebration of its 50th anniversary, the film has been given a new 2K digital restoration. Aside from a weird print defect at the beginning, this transfer shines. The stunning cinematography has never looked better.

Audio Track: Italian Stereo. How does it sound? From the score to the shoot outs, this is quite a lively track.

Extras: * A booklet featuring credits, an essay by writer Simon Abrams, and photos. * Film Movement trailers and 2 trailers for “The Great Silence.” * 2 alternate endings (the first of which contains an optional commentary by Alex Cox). * “Cox On Corbucci”- Director Alex Cox talks about “The Great Silence,” spaghetti westerns, and Sergio Corbucci. Wonderful extra. * “Western, Italian Style”- A 38 minute documentary on Italian westerns containing footage from films, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and more.

Overall Thoughts: Obviously, “The Great Silence” won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but western fans (and film fans) seeking something out of the norm will find much to admire about this underrated gem.

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May 27, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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