7.2/10
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35 user 59 critic

A Bullet for the General (1967)

Quién sabe? (original title)
A band of Mexican gun-runners employed by a revolutionary general accept an American into their gang, unaware of his intentions.

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Writers:

(story and screenplay), (adaptation)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
El Chuncho (as Gian Maria Volonté)
...
...
...
Jaime Fernández ...
General Elías (as Jaime Fernandez)
Andrea Checchi ...
Spartaco Conversi ...
Eufemio
Joaquín Parra ...
Picaro (as Joaquin Parra)
...
Lt. Alvaro Ferreira
José Manuel Martín ...
Raimundo (as José Manuel Martin)
Santiago Santos ...
Guapo
Valentino Macchi ...
Train Engineer
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Storyline

In the rough years of the revolution in Mexico, the hardened bandit chief, El Chucho, is in need of arms, ammunition, and a much-sought-after machine gun to support the leader of the revolution, the rebel General, Elías. With this in mind, Chucho attacks a government supply train and gets an unforeseen assistance from Bill Tate--the American gringo in the impeccable suit--with whom will soon become friends. Now, Bill is truly indispensable to the gang, however, could he be hiding his true objective behind a boyish and calm face? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Like the Bandit... Like the Gringo... A bullet doesn't care who it kills! See more »

Genres:

Action | Western

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

September 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Bullet for the General  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(International Cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It is rumored to the point of almost being a legend that director Damiano Damiani became so frustrated with actors Gian Maria Volontè and Klaus Kinski, two actors who were notorious for being difficult to work with, that one day they pushed him to point he beat them and whipped them on the set until they finally behaved and did as they were told. See more »

Quotes

El Chuncho: [pointing to something on Don Felipe's automobile] What's this thing?
Don Felipe: It's a gear shift.
El Chuncho: What's it for?
Don Felipe: ...For shifting gears.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Red Dead Revolver (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Heraclio Bernal
(uncredited)
Performed by Gian Maria Volontè
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Above average and over-looked
7 January 2011 | by See all my reviews

Damiano Damiani's 1966 film 'A Bullet for the General' is one of the first examples of the Zapata Western, a sub-genre of the Spaghetti Western that mostly dealt with political themes during the Mexican Revolution of the early 20th century. Gian Maria Volontè plays El Chucho, the leader of a Mexican bandit gang who earn their pay selling arms to revolutionaries - he meets with a suave gringo named Bill Tate (played by Lou Castel) who claims to be on the run from the law and soon finds himself inducted into the group and deep in the heart of the Mexican revolution.

Despite the simple sounding premise 'A Bullet for the General' displays a great depth of character as the protagonists relationships shift with the plot before inevitably exchanging roles. The first hour or so seems like a standard western affair with lots of the usual train hi-jacks and bandit raids, but as the characters develop and their relationships become more strained we see some marvellous performances from the suspicious El Chucho, his brother El Santo (a fanatical Christian revolutionary played by Klaus Kinski) and the cool and un-flustered Bill 'Niño' Tate.

The doubt displayed by El Chucho towards Tate really sets up the finale, and as the film nears the heart of the revolution Tate's motives become clear - but that doesn't stop Damiani pulling a nice twist at the end, endearing Volontè's character and providing a juxtaposition to the characters he made famous in some of Sergio Leone's classic Spaghetti Westerns. In a film dealing largely with role-reversal this is particularly apt.

I didn't quite know what to expect from 'A Bullet for the General', I hadn't previously heard of the director and apparently this was his first foray into the Western genre - but I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Providing a good mix of action and politics with commendable performances from Volontè, Kinski and Castel 'A Bullet for the General' is an intriguing and unique example of the Spaghetti Western and well worth your time whether you're a fan of the genre or not.


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