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Author Topic: The Great Silence aka Il grande silenzio (1968)  (Read 98689 times)
Tim
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« Reply #210 on: March 10, 2007, 02:46:37 PM »

  I'm gonna disagree with you, mike.  My dvd clearly has the scene of Silence talking at the end of the trailer, could be the last shot if I remember right.  I posted about this about a year ago.

  http://www.fistful-of-leone.com/forums/index.php?topic=3269.0

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« Reply #211 on: March 10, 2007, 02:53:58 PM »

sorry to disappoint you, but it's not in the trailer.
the guys who financed SILENZIO were worried that Corbucci might get carried away with his vision of condemming violence and that the film wouldn't work at all with such a tragic ending. Corbucci offered to shot an ending in which SILENZIO survives. But as a student of Ford he was no dummy and shot it in such a way it wasn't usuable at all. I mean come on, watch it, if someone watches it with any understanding of FILM, he'll notice it right away: it is a different mood, completely.. like a bad cliffhanger thing: suddenly the dead sheriff pops up, all the baddies get killed, Silenzio fooled everybody with his muteness and they all smile like saying: 'sergio, sergio, are you satiesfied with our prentended bad acting ?'  Imagine Cheyenne waking up again and saying:' let's check out wether Frank is just hurt'... they go back and find him nursed by Jill who says: 'he knows he was wrong, he'll help building up Sweetwater. Maybe he'll get to be a mayor..' (just like in real life, ha guys?).
SILENZIO was a very serious attempt on everybody's side, so Corbucci made sure that alternate ending was unusuable. Looks like he shot it in 2 hours ...

In the end it's a rare and funny opportunity to see a director fighting for his vision (and the film was no 'bomb' in Europe. And I'm also not sure that the film wouldn't have received some recognition in the US/UK. After all it was the start of New Hollywood where happy endings were dreaded. Clyde Barrow, Pike Bishop, Captain America & Billy, seems that every protagonist in that first wave of NH died..)

According to Alex Cox the "happy" ending was only for Asian and African territories and your explaination of the films US remake/distribution pick up by Mr. Eastwood is not mentioned there nor is this mentioned in the fine book ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE ITALIAN WEST where the author does hint that possibly Eastwood had seen the film as certain elements turn up in HANG'EM HIGH (revealing his neck scar) and JOE KIDD (the gun) but the JK and GS connection stops there. I'm sure if Eastwood had bought the rights to the film, it would have been mentioned by one of these authors who have obviously labored much time and effort into the Italian Western genre.

And since when do movies have to explain anything? Just because Frank Wolff is seen falling through the ice, then shows up at the end of the unused ending doesn't mean that said footage is unusable (Or a BAD CLIFFHANGER THING). Yes the footage appears rushed but that ending, as said elsewhere was never meant for the original film. And according to Hough, the film was not a success in Europe and it is common practice  for a foreign films US theatrical future laying in its profitability in its homeland. Why would a major studio invest in a film that its country of origin did not care for?

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« Reply #212 on: March 10, 2007, 02:56:32 PM »

Sorry to disappoint you BAD CLIFFHANGER GUY but I'm looking at the trailer now on the Fantoma DVD and there is Jean Loius Trintignant moving his lips in the trailer. Maybe this is more Corbucci propaganda footage shot for another market?

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« Reply #213 on: March 10, 2007, 04:10:13 PM »

I just watched the alternate ending again and one thing I mixed up: he's not talking after all (and I don't know which trailer has that bid, I know only the German one, there's no SILENCE talking..). I mixed that up with the WESTERN ITALIAN STYLE doc where Trinignant was interviewed. Stayed in my mind vividly it seems (love that doc).

As for Eastwood, I'm not the only one who knows that. I thought some input here would be welcome, but it seems I better back off before it becomes hostile. But as a film maker and film historian I try not to talk about things unless I researched on my own. In this business it's almost impossible to be sure about ANYTHING, yet I know people who worked for Corbucci and I also have (italian) Interview with him. I never said the ending wasn't shot for Japan, Texas or what have you. I said it was shot because the producers wanted to use it (Japan? Texas?). But Corbucci shot it in such a way that it didn't work. Everybody who knows anything about SILENZIO & CORBUCCI knows that he did the film because Silenzio dies at the end (like Christ, King, Guevara & Kennedy). That's why he wanted to make the film.

I even found an Eastwood biography mentioning the other episode:



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« Reply #214 on: March 11, 2007, 08:15:47 PM »

Sorry to disappoint you BAD CLIFFHANGER GUY but I'm looking at the trailer now on the Fantoma DVD and there is Jean Loius Trintignant moving his lips in the trailer. Maybe this is more Corbucci propaganda footage shot for another market?

Might be JLT talking between takes and for some reason they used the shot to fill up the trailer. Must add that for me, the sheer depressing ending, which was a shock to me when I first saw this in the movie theater is what really makes this movie great. Gonna spoil it here so those who haven't seen it don't read on, but the use of slow motion as Silence slumps forward after being shot and the great music cue, a bit of cinematic perfection there.

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« Reply #215 on: March 12, 2007, 01:13:06 PM »

I just watched the alternate ending again and one thing I mixed up: he's not talking after all (and I don't know which trailer has that bid, I know only the German one, there's no SILENCE talking..). I mixed that up with the WESTERN ITALIAN STYLE doc where Trinignant was interviewed. Stayed in my mind vividly it seems (love that doc).

As for Eastwood, I'm not the only one who knows that. I thought some input here would be welcome, but it seems I better back off before it becomes hostile. But as a film maker and film historian I try not to talk about things unless I researched on my own. In this business it's almost impossible to be sure about ANYTHING, yet I know people who worked for Corbucci and I also have (italian) Interview with him. I never said the ending wasn't shot for Japan, Texas or what have you. I said it was shot because the producers wanted to use it (Japan? Texas?). But Corbucci shot it in such a way that it didn't work. Everybody who knows anything about SILENZIO & CORBUCCI knows that he did the film because Silenzio dies at the end (like Christ, King, Guevara & Kennedy). That's why he wanted to make the film.

I even found an Eastwood biography mentioning the other episode:




What is this book and what was the year of its publication? I'm not completely doubting that this did not happen but I've not seen it mentioned by another author who know's the genre inside and out. I can list half a dozen reference books I have on various subjects that have erroneous information in them. If Eastwood were so enchanted with this film, than why buy the rights and not release it theatrically (discounting the fact this film was no blockbuster in its native land) since these films were so popular around this time?

Exactly what elements were used to make "an exciting Eastwood" vehicle? JOE KIDD? Apart from the gun, the comparisons end there. As many times as I've seen that movie (it's on at least once a week it seems) Corbucci's GREAT SILENCE has never come to mind.

AGAIN......the general consensus is that the alternate ending was shot because the Italian producers were mortified by the relentlessly bleak film as apparently the theater patrons were. Killing the hero was simply not done (or widely done) except in HK where Chang Cheh made a career out of it in 67 with his famous THE ASSASSIN.

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« Reply #216 on: March 12, 2007, 01:47:19 PM »

And BTW, no hostilities were intended but your somewhat condescending comments such as these classics--

"Sorry to disappoint you",

and this little ditty--

"if anyone watching has an understanding of film",

can be perceived as a tad inflammatory.

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« Reply #217 on: March 12, 2007, 02:31:55 PM »

I'm sorry regarding the 'somewhat condescending comments', some of us bloody Germans do have problems in being more diplomatic instead of being so straight. I know it's nor very popular in many countries as for us here it's mostly the other way around..

As for the rest, I could only repeat myself. Eastwood didn't distribute because he didn't aquire the rights to distribute (after all he's not a distributor), but to remake the thing. Not an uncommon practice in the business, buy the thing so nobody will see it while we make it all over again... JOE KIDD has elements, again, it was mentioned before by me.. Sure it's a different film. But Tarantino's remakes look different too, don't they.

As for 'dying heroes' I disagree. I'm sure we could list dozens and dozens here. Film Noir, WAGES OF FEAR, SANDS OF IWO JIMA, GODARD's Films, BONNIE & CLYDE, HELL IS FOR HEROES, EASY RIDER, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD..

To close this issue: I never questioned the facts why this footage was shot, I just said that Corbucci was a Ford-fan and used the old trick of shooting it in such a way it was unusuable and vision was therefore protected. Silenzio's Death was essential for Corbucci making the film. And I find that it is very obvious in terms of that footage being bad and inappropriate for the mood of the (whole) rest of the film. Even the producers got that...

attached the nice German set (First release, 18 Cards, includes images from the unused footage)

http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/13731420/236788827.jpg
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1612/7186524/13731420/236788821.jpg

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« Reply #218 on: March 12, 2007, 03:02:36 PM »

I never doubted that the alternate ending was purposely shot as to be unusuable merely that the "happy" ending was shot at the behest of the producers for other markets. Corbucci having as much pull as I'm sure he had at this time, had final say over the version of his film that would see release. The other ending being more for markets where such a thing would be intolerable and also I suppose to cover themselves should the film not perform (which it did not) as hoped.

Your list of dying heroes contains a few that are not in fact heroes at all. NOTLD is a horror film and should not be included as the very nature of "horror" is to be horrible and arouse certain feelings in the spectator. I can list dozens of horror films where the protagonists are killed off in shock endings. when I use the term "hero", I'm using it to refer to an individual who is a staunch believer in truth, honesty, honor towards country and fight till the last where 'dying' is not an option. I simply used Cheh as an example as he perfected this heroic symbolism to the extreme during his 1966-1976 output even utilizing filmic techniques before certain well known American filmmakers.

Also, Tarantino has yet to make an 'official' remake of anything; at least a film acknowledged as such by Mr. T himself.

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« Reply #219 on: March 12, 2007, 03:19:01 PM »



 JOE KIDD has elements


Where?

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« Reply #220 on: March 12, 2007, 03:55:35 PM »

Quote
Where?

Not many, just the gun, the costume of scarf over the head with the hat on top of that, and the basic premise of the Outlaws up in the hills and the bounty hunters after them.

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« Reply #221 on: March 12, 2007, 03:57:54 PM »

Not many, just the gun, the costume of scarf over the head with the hat on top of that, and the basic premise of the Outlaws up in the hills and the bounty hunters after them.


I've seen the film (always seem to fall asleep before the much talked about "trian through a saloon" climax) but I hardly think the gun counts as an element lifted from TGS.


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« Reply #222 on: March 13, 2007, 11:51:57 AM »

I was hoping to find out where that book excerpt was from possibly Weisser's erronious tome. I'm curious as to when Eastwood did see this as he should have been in pre-production on HANG'EM HIGH around this time. Plus he had his Malpaso Productions Co. Should he have wanted to do a remake, could he have not financed it through his own production company? Since he was so big at this time I'm sure he could have cojoled a major to at least finance a portion of THE GREAT GAMBLE.

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« Reply #223 on: March 13, 2007, 01:40:16 PM »

most of it I mentioned. But again: He saw it while being busy with WHERE EAGLES DARE in Europe. That one was shot in winter/spring of 68 in Austria. As well as SILENZIO in the Italian mountains some 100 miles away. I was only 8 months back then, don't know what he did on Sundays back then... Maybe he visited old grounds, Cinecitta in Rome, around that time and saw an early screening. A journalist told me 20 years ago Eastwood saw it in London while doing post on WHERE EAGLES and the Italians brought new IW's to town hoping to find distributors/buyers for the UK/US market.

Anyway, HANG'EM HIGH was shot BEFORE Il Grande Silenzio even went before the cameras, so there can't be any influence there.
Next in line was COOGAN for Eastwood. He worked like hell (as always), made KELLY, SISTER SARA, THE BEGUILED, his own directing debuts with the Beguild-Don Siegel documentary HEY, HAS ANYBODY THAT THING?? I'M LOOKING FOR IT FOR LOONG TIME - !! REWARDS!! and PLAY MISTY. Then HARRY and JOE KIDD. And as all his films from 1970 on iJOE KIDD WAS co-produced by his MALPASO Company... But let's not get into any creative discussions why he or other people decided to make the film as it stands now. And of course the MAUSER is one of those elements they took from SILENZIO..

I know people who know him, a couple of more entries and I'm motivated enough to go through the trouble of finding out the whole story... Oh, the book is called CLINT EASTWOOD-HOLLYWOODS LONER by a british film historian, don't know his name right now and the books are in another building... But as I said before, that story isn't unknown at all. My best buddy worked for Corbucci in his later years and although he never saw JOE KIDD he knew that story too.

I hope you guys don't think too bad of me because of tone in some of my postings. It's just a bit unusual to me to find so much resentment in this discussion here. The first time I saw JOE KIDD I thought 'he looks like a speaking SILENZIO...'. Not that I immediately thought of the facts I know by now, but when I learned about it, everything became crystal clear...

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« Reply #224 on: May 03, 2007, 01:53:54 PM »

I've seen it a few weeks ago. It's a masterpiece, for me, one of the best westerns, not only in the spaghetti sub-genre.

I love tragic-ending films  Cry Like the early Jean Gabin movies and Giu la testa. But this is much, much more tragic, and so COLD...

Poor Silenzio... poor Frank Wolff... poor Pauline...  Cry

But Tigrero is sooo great villain. Who said Frank's wrong? He's an angel...  Grin

Alternate ending? No, thanks.


What's the reason, that so many spaghetti western actors committed suicide?

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