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A Bullet for the General (1966)
"Quién sabe?" (original title)

M  |   |  Western  |  September 1968 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,507 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 57 critic

A band of Mexican gun-runners employed by a revolutionary general lure an American mercenary into joining their gang, unaware that he is targeting their general.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Adelita
...
Bill 'Niño' Tate
Jaime Fernández ...
General Elías (as Jaime Fernandez)
Andrea Checchi ...
Don Felipe
Spartaco Conversi ...
Cirillo
Joaquín Parra ...
Picaro
...
Lt. Alvaro Ferreira
José Manuel Martín ...
Raimundo
Santiago Santos ...
Guapo
Valentino Macchi ...
Pedrito - Durango train engineer
Edit

Storyline

El Chuncho's bandits rob arms from a train, intending to sell the weapons to Elias' revolutionaries. They are helped by one of the passengers, Bill Tate, and allow him to join them, unaware he is an assassin working for the Mexican government. Written by TOM SELDON <elpuro@msn.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When the bullet turns red... the General will be dead! See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bullet for the General  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(International Cut) | (Iost)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Quotes

[last lines]
El Chuncho: [to a beggar he gave money to earlier] Don't buy bread with that money, hombre! Buy dynamite! Dynamite!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Spaghetti West (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Ya Me Voy
(uncredited)
Written by Luis Bacalov
Performed by Ramon Mereles
Courtesy of EMI General Music srl
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A bullet for the General
28 April 2008 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

I have to admit I'm not the biggest fan of the political spaghettis revolving around the Mexican revolution that came out during the late 60's. It was a trend that coincided with the general left-ist sentiment that prevailed in Italy at that time and gave directors like Sollima and Damiani in this case a perfect opportunity to speak their views. However I'm a sucker for a good spaghetti western.

A Bullet for the General starts out fantastic with a train hold up by the Mexican bandit El Chucho (Gian Maria Volonte). The whole setting and the moral dilemma the captain of the train faces is just right on the money. For the next hour though the movie takes a sudden downturn in quality. There's plenty of shooting action, but it's uninteresting for the most part. We watch El Chucho's gang as they attack different posts to steal arms for a revolutionary general called Elias. There's a running sociopolitical commentary throughout the movie, but what really takes it down a notch is the heavy handed dialogue. The English dubbing is absolutely awful and the translations probably don't do justice to the original material. Some of them are so cringe-worthy that the ideas they're supposed to convey become caricatures.

The good thing is that the second hour is better as it focuses more on character drama and conflict. The last 20 minutes in particular elevate the movie from just OK and are worth the price of admission. The cinematography by Damiani is excellent, the desolate terrain becoming another character in the movie. The performances are solid for the most part, with Volonte stealing every scene he's in as the greasy Mexican bandito with a heart of gold. His change of heart during the end is a joy to behold.

Overall if it weren't for the atrocious dubbing and occasionally silly dialogue, this would be a classic. As far as political spaghettis go, Sollima's Faccia a Faccia is still the undisputed king. In the Mexican revolution-era adventure department, it doesn't top Corbucci's Companeros. However it's still very good as it is, combining bits and pieces from both worlds into an entertaining story. Recommended viewing for fans of the genre.


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