According to director Alex Cox, who’s devoted quite a lot of attention to The Great Silence, the decision to film Silence in Spain’s snowy Pyrenees Mountain region was the result of Corbucci wanting to take a skiing trip. Whatever the case, it’s a decision responsible for giving the film a unique and visually striking character.
Tomas Milian, the Cuban-born actor who made a name for himself as an actor in Italy, plays Basco, a ruffian who hangs with a seedy general who claims to be championing the cause of the common man when in fact he’s little more than a thug doing his best to amass a fortune for himself.
Betty proves, in the best Turkish cinema tradition, to be quite a fighter in her own right, taking on a somewhat pointless undercover mission that involves her dressing as an Indian squaw and ultimately leading a climactic charge that saves the hide of the hopelessly outgunned Swing.
By the time filming on The Sons of Great Bear was nearing its end, Gojko Mitic, who considered the film a one-off effort on his part, had had it. The actor would later admit to some churlish onset behavior brought on by homesickness and impatience.
There’s just something about the combination of the Western genre’s Spartan, rough-hewn aesthetic with Bollywood’s tendency toward the exuberant and phantasmagorical that I find hard to resist. If you want to join me in this new obsession, Kaala Sona is certainly a good place to start.