Blu-Ray Review: The Great Silence

The silent killer

Whilst most actors today seem to have been through a PR finishing school on how to answer interview questions, that has not always been the case. There was a time when the film industry was full of characters. However, there were few who could match Klaus Kinski when it came to intensity and volatility. While his personal life may have been tumultuous, he did give us some great performances. Most notably in his love/hate relationship with Werner Hezog, but his best western was The Grand Silence.

Set in Utah during the great blizzard of 1889, a band of bloodthirsty bounty hunters, led by the maniacal Tigero (Kinski), stalk a group of outlaws. They’re looking to strike rich and cash-in on the prices on their heads whilst they’re trapped by the weather conditions. A mute gunslinger (Jean-Louis Trintignant), whose intentions are unclear, stands between them and a frozen grave.

The Great Silence is, quite simply, one of the best Spaghetti Westerns ever made. It works so well thanks to great performances from the two leads, who are ably assisted by Frank Wolff as a semi-bumbling sheriff. Sergio Corbucci produces a one-of-a-kind experience. One which took many of the prevailing political issues and transported them to the wild frontier. Accompanied by a pitch-perfect soundtrack by Ennio Morricone and set in a beautiful snowbound landscape, The Great Silence is a relentless and chilling tale of corruption.

Special features:

  • Limited edition of 3000 units
  • Limited Edition O-Card slipcase
  • Limited Edition reversible poster featuring the film’s original artwork
  • Limited Edition set of 4 facsimile lobby cards
  • 1080p presentation on Blu-ray from a 2K restoration
  • English and Italian audio options
  • Optional English Subtitles
  • Brand new audio commentary with author Howard Hughes and filmmaker Richard Knew
  • Brand new audio commentary by filmmaker Mike Siegel
  • Brand new interview with Austin Fisher, author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema
  • Audio commentary by director and Spaghetti Western aficionado Alex Cox, recorded live at the Hollywood Theatre, Portland in 2021 : Included with kind permission of 36 Chambers LLC.
  • Cox on Corbucci – filmmaker Alex Cox talks about Sergio Corbucci [15 mins]
  • Western, Italian Style – 1968 documentary [38 mins]
  • Two Alternate Endings (both fully restored in 2K), with optional audio commentaries
  • Trailers
  • Stills Galleries
  • A collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Western expert Howard Hughes

The Great Silence is released on Blu-ray by Eureka Entertainment as part of their Masters of Cinema collection on 22 November.

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