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Great Silence

The Cinémathèque Française have announced that Sergio Corbucci’s classic Spaghetti Western The Great Silence (Il grande silenzio, Italy/France, 1968) has been undergoing restoration work recently.

The film, which stars Jean-Louis Trintignant and Vonetta McGee alongside Spaghetti Western regulars such as Klaus Kinski, Luigi Pistilli, Frank Wolff and Mario Brega has been restored in 4K by the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – Cineteca Nazionale of Rome using the film’s original negatives and sound elements.

More information can be found here.

The Great Silence (which is also known as The Big Silence and The Grand Silence inEuro-Western book cover some regions) is considered by many to be Sergio Corbucci’s best Western. Given its snow-country setting – and its attendant winter wardrobe influenced costumes – it’s certainly one of the most original and most stylish-looking Italian Westerns of the 1960s. In addition, genre stalwart Ennio Morricone provided the film with one of the most beautiful, evocative and affecting soundtrack scores of all time. The Great Silence is discussed at length in Lee Broughton’s book The Euro-Western: Reframing Gender, Race and the ‘Other’ in Film (I.B. Tauris, 2016). Here Lee focuses on the film’s groundbreaking representation of an African American woman out West, the vengeance-seeking widow Pauline, who is played with great sensitivity and conviction by Vonetta McGee.