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-starred with genre regulars Frank Wolff, Luigi Pistilli, and Raf Baldassare.
by Robert Firsching synopsis