Today: February 22, 2024

The Great Silence

This November, one of the most influential Westerns ever made is released in a spectacular 2K restoration, completed to mark the 50th anniversary of the film, and released as part of Eureka’s endlessly stimulating Masters of Cinema series. 

Featuring superb photography and a haunting score from maestro Ennio Morricone, director Sergio Corbucci’s bleak, brilliant and violent vision of an immoral, honour-less West, is widely considered to be a classic of the anti-hero genre.

On an unforgiving, snow-swept frontier, a group of bloodthirsty bounty hunters, led by the vicious Loco (Klaus Kinski) prey on a band of persecuted outlaws who have taken to the hills. Only a mute gunslinger named Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant) stands between the innocent refugees and the corrupt killers. But, in this harsh, brutal world, the lines between right and wrong are not always clear, and good does not always triumph.

The blu-ray is limited to 3,000 copies only and includes two alternate endings (both fully restored in 2K), with optional audio commentaries, and a delightfully informative and collectable range of  extras including:

  • O-card slipcase.
  • Reversible poster featuring the film’s original artwork.
  • Set of 4 facsimile lobby cards.
  • Brand new audio commentary by Western expert Howard Hughes.
  • Brand new audio commentary by filmmaker Mike Siegel. 
  • Audio commentary by director and Spaghetti Western aficionado Alex Cox, recorded live at the Hollywood Theatre, Portland in 2021. 
  • Brand new interview with Austin Fisher, author of Radical Frontiers in the Spaghetti Western: Politics, Violence and Popular Italian Cinema. 
  • Cox on Corbucci – filmmaker Alex Cox talks about Sergio Corbucci.
  • Western, Italian Style – 1968 documentary.
  • Trailers.
  • Stills Galleries.
  • A Collector’s Booklet featuring new writing by Howard Hughes.

While the visuals are not as lush as Sergio Leones’ Fistful Of Dollars sequence, the politics and philosophy make for an intense and fascinating viewing experience that offers plenty of food for thought. The Great Silence is maybe not the Spaghetti greatest but it’s certainly the greatest Spaghetti western you’ve never seen and is deserving of a wider audience.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email: writerpaula@icloud.com

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