THE GREAT SILENCE BLU RAY REVIEW

In 1968, THE GREAT SILENCE was released. In 1989, weeks before my younger brother was born, my father sat me down and we watched it. He was honest, as I will be. He told me this was reality. You would often lose in life. Film was often about the best outcome but in the West, the worst outcome was often the only outcome. He also mentioned the great cast and the even greater director, who was known for DJANGO. But he emphasised that point. Austin Fisher mentions it in his interview. The film is honest, maybe uncomfortably so. Alex Cox speaks of Corbucci as the final word in ‘truth cinema’. Detailing his extensive knowledge with an even more extensive insight into the directors aims. This is THE GREAT SILENCE.

Now Tarantino stole some of the films opening for his HATEFUL EIGHT. A snow-swept frontier vista shines white and bright. The 2K restoration did wonders to this but the 1080p seems to lack the shine but retains the crisp white. Trudging through are a group of bounty hunters. Money in their sights and murder in their hearts. Their leader is Loco (Klaus Kinski). He is, in the words of my father, the wrong sort of hunter killer. He likes the killing and the hunting. the gang have a band of persecuted outlaws on the run. Somewhere in the hills they are but the town below knowns nothing of this. Loco wants blood to draw them down anyway. A gunslinger named Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant) stands between the innocent town and the corrupt killers.

The buzz here is from Ennio Morricone score, Corbucci’s direction and the stark, vicious Kinski. The film is bleak. Truly bleak. The extras allow a varied interpretation of this, including 2 differing endings. The brilliant and violent masterpiece also is served by investment. Cox comes out the winner here. His extras are excellent. The live commentary draws on his feel for the films making but his interview is where Corbucci comes to the stage. The other highlight is Howard Hughes who crops up twice. The commentary is hit and miss. Knew adds a sense of informative dealing but lacks energy, however the essay from Hughes is where you discover a world of Western goodness.

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

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