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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Il grande silenzio" or "The Great Silence" or "Leichen pflastern seinen Weg")

directed by Sergio Corbucci
Italy / France 1968

On an unforgiving, snow swept frontier, a group of bloodthirsty bounty hunters, led by the vicious Loco (Klaus Kinski Nosferatu, For a Few Dollars More) prey on a band of persecuted outlaws who have taken to the hills. As the price on each head is collected one-by-one, only a mute gunslinger named Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant The Conformist) stands between the innocent refuges and the greed and corruption that the bounty hunters represent. But, in this harsh, brutal world, the lines between right and wrong aren't always clear and good doesn't always triumph. Featuring superb photography and a haunting score from maestro Ennio Morricone, director Sergio Corbucci's bleak, brilliant and violent vision of an immoral, honorless west is widely considered to be among the very best and most influential Euro-Westerns ever made.

***

Italian filmmaker Sergio Corbucci directed this serious-minded populist spin on the spaghetti western, starring Jean-Louis Trintignant as Silence, whose vocal cords have been slashed by sadistic bounty hunters. Silence joins with local hillfolk in fighting the corrupt and tyrannical authorities in the town of Snow Mill. Corbucci's sympathies are clearly with his bandit heroes, who are only doing what they must to survive, while the law is represented by a corrupt sheriff, who lets his wealthy patrons run wild, and sadistic scum like Klaus Kinski, who kills the poor because he enjoys it. Politically charged in a way that only a film of its time could be, Il Grande Silenzio's themes of class struggle and violent revolution were a bit too hot for an American release in 1968. Vonetta McGee co-stars with genre regulars Frank Wolff, Luigi Pistilli, and Raf Baldassare.

 Excerpt from B+N located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 7th, 1968 (Turin)

Reviews                                                                More Reviews                                                           DVD Reviews

 

Comparison:

Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL vs. Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Mikkel Svendstrup of DVDsnak.homepage.dk for all the DVD Screen Caps!

 

1) Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

 Box Covers

  

Distribution

Fantoma

Region 0 - NTSC

Kinowelt
Region 2 - PAL
Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:45:20 1.40.27 (4 % PAL speedup) 1:46:01.938
Video

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.36 mb/s
NTSC 704x480 29.97 f/s

1.66:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5,56 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,166,010,978 bytes

Feature: 28,129,855,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate: Fantoma

Bitrate: Kinowelt

Bitrate: Film Movement Blu-ray

Audio Mono 1.0, English Dub

Mono 1.0, Original Italian, German Dub

LPCM Audio Italian 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
DUB:

Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps

Subtitles None German, none English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Fantoma

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Video Introduction by Alex Cox
• Liner Notes by Alex Cox
• Alternate happy ending with optional commentary by Alex Cox
• Uncensored Director's Cut
• Theatrical Trailer

DVD Release Date: January 27, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 18

Release Information:
Studio: Kinowelt

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen letterboxed - 1.66:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer
• Interview with Klaus Kinski (1971)
• Alternate happy ending
• Uncensored Director's Cut
• Trailers

 

DVD Release Date: 25.09.2001
Keep Case

Chapters 20

Release Information:
Studio:
Film Movement

 

1.85:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 37,166,010,978 bytes

Feature: 28,129,855,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 30.99 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Cox on Corbucci - filmmaker and author Alex Cox surveys Sergio Corbucci's career and how The Great Silence fits within the maestro's oeuvre (14:46)
• Western, Italian Style - This 1968 documentary on Italian westerns includes prime behind the scenes footage of The Great Silence (38:01)
• Two never-before-seen alternate endings, including the option to play one of the alternate endings with Alex Cox commentary (Part 1 - 2:01, Part 2 - 4:31 )
• The Great Silence original theatrical trailer (3:46)
• The Great Silence 2018 theatrical trailer (1:44)
• Italian and English language versions.
• Ending the Silence - a new essay about The Great Silence by film critic Simon Abrams


Blu-ray Release Date: June 5th, 2018
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 13

 

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Film Movement have brought one of the most beloved pasta westerns The Great Silence to Blu-ray for the 50th Anniversary of its original release. It's on a dual-layered disc with a max'ed out bitrate. The 1080P presentation is a revelation over the weak DVDs - but in the beginning I did notice unusual visuals that kind of looked like gauze over the lens HERE and HERE in Silence's coat. It looks odd to me and am still investigating if it is damage or a form of digital noise. I lean to the former. The good news is that I only noticed it in the, lone, early scene.

NOTE: David says: "From what I've read the digital noise/damage you mentioned was deliberate as they used gauzes over the camera lens." and Eric says "The gauze in front of the camera is definitely on-camera diffusion. It is shot by the same guy who shot most of tinto brass’ films." (Thanks guys!)

 The transfer shows thick grain and detail significantly rises over SD and doesn't show the light scratches that are on both DVDS. It is in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio showing more in the frame - notable on the side edges, has depth and skin tones warm looking far more realistic losing the orange-ness of the DVDs. I think the transfer is adept and it is at the mercy of the source - which ends up being reasonably consistent through the majority of the HD presentation.

Film Movement provide a robust linear PCM 2.0 channel (24-bit) track in the original Italian language with the option of a loss Dolby English DUB. Audio has the usual noticeable sync issues but is clear and gunfire has hollow depth - which would probably be accurate to the original production. The score is by the iconic Ennio Morricone (Luna, A Bullet for the General, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, U Turn, Stay As You Are etc. etc.) doing a wonderful job of establishing tone, promoting tension and supporting the film's style - often in a restrained manner. It sounds pleasing in the lossless. Film Movement add optional English subtitles on their Region FREE Blu-ray.

Extras include Cox on Corbucci spending 1/4 hour with filmmaker and author Alex Cox who surveys Sergio Corbucci's career and how The Great Silence fits within the maestro's oeuvre from a lone cabin in the wilderness. Western, Italian Style is a 38-minute, 1968 documentary on Italian westerns includes prime behind the scenes footage of The Great Silence commenting on the how the genre was established. There are two never-before-seen 'alternate endings', including the option to play the first one with and Alex Cox commentary. Fans of the film  may find these interesting. There are also The Great Silence trailer - an long original and a shorter 2018 one. The package has liner notes with Ending the Silence - a new essay about The Great Silence by film critic Simon Abrams.

The Great Silence is a one of the premium of its style-heavy genre and a stellar western. It's a film that gets better in repeat viewings. The Film Movement
Blu-ray has immense value over the DVDs with the imperfect but vastly improved a/v and the extensive extras. Absolutely recommended!

Gary Tooze

ON THE DVDs: The image on the Fantoma disc is much sharper, the Kinowelt is hazy. But if you read German, the Kinowelt edition is preferable because of the original Italian mono track. The Fantoma offers a horrible English dub. Fans might want both versions for the extras on the Kinowelt.

 - Mikkel Svendstrup

 

 


DVD Menus

(Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 

 

Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 


 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 

1) Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) Kinowelt - Region 2 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray Captures

 


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Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray

 

 Box Covers

  

Distribution

Fantoma

Region 0 - NTSC

Kinowelt
Region 2 - PAL
Film Movement - Region FREE - Blu-ray


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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