i don't agree, the Great Silence, is a very good film with or without this ending. he could have killed the bad guy at the end, still it would have been great. it has a strong feeling of tragedy that runs through it that makes it really unique. the idea of having a mute character came on the set, from JL Trintignant. and it works great. the hero looks good, and the bad guy as well.. Apart from that, the set is great (check out Day of the outlaws by Andre De Toth another wonderful western set up in a snowy village). and the atmosphere is priceless.. several scenes with Frank Wolf as the sherif are not very good, though. hands down, one of my personal favourite is the scene where the girl takes care of the hero after he got beat up: no dialogue, shot with long lenses, very dark and yet gentle and erotic. an amazing scene!