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Bribaba's Movie Reviews (138)

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Great Silence, The ( grande silenzio, Il ) 
Spaghetti served cold
3/4 stars

Corbucci’s brutal western recreates the Snow Hill, Utah, massacre of 1898, and pulls no punches in doing so. Jean-Louis Trintignant stars as not only the man with no name (complete with cheroot), but the man with no voice. Jean-Louis looks quite at home on the range which is more than can be said for his nemesis and bounty hunter Klaus Kinski who wears a fur coat so huge, he looks like he stepped out of his old friend’s documentary about bears.

The subtitled dialogue is pretty terrible and the Italian cast with their cissy haircuts don’t exactly exude authenticity as cowpokes. Combine all this with a lack of respect for the ‘code of the west’, epitomized in an ending which is beyond bleak, and you begin to see why western purists hate the spaghetti offshoots so much. It’s not so much revisionism as the destruction of a nation’s history. Visually, it’s a stunning piece of work, from trademark close-ups to atypical snowy landscapes. Ennio Morricone’s score comprising classical and ambient electronics, is superb and worthy of a separate listen. Overall, though, I‘d say ‘spaghetti’ is something of misnomer here, this is more like raw meat.


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