Silenzio

"They call him Silence because wherever he goes the silence of death follows."

The character Silenzio appeared in only one movie - Sergio Corbucci's 'The Great Silence' (1968) - but I include him here as one of my favourite Spaghetti Western protagonists. Superbly played by renowned French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant (admittedly his script was not exactly challenging), the characterisation is unique in this melancholy role.

Muted as a child, having had his throat cut by his parent's murderers, the gunman acts as an avenger for those persecuted by the law and it's representatives - a band of ruthless bounty hunters.

Sporting a Mauser machine-pistol, Silenzio stays inside the law by provoking his adversaries to draw first, before gunning them down or shooting off their thumbs to prevent them using a gun against him in reprisal.

The film's ending is unique, audacious, unforgettable, and I won't spoil it here.

A million miles away from a traditional western, John Wayne would have hated this movie - and it's all the better for it!

Appeared in:
The Great Silence (1968)