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
Damiano Damiani: A (possibly American) journalist who shakes hands with General Elias shortly after Chuncho and Tate's arrival. He is present in the Italian and "International" versions, but is cut from AVCO Embassy's American version. See more »
Excellent Political Spaghetti Western By Damiano Damiani!
Damiano Damiani's masterpiece "El Chuncho Quién Sabe?" aka. "A Bullet For The General" of 1967 is a very political Spaghetti Western set in the Mexican Revolution. A quite brutal tale about ideals, greed, friendship and selfishness, is not only a very entertaining Spaghetti Western, but also a unique study of an idealistic man's struggle between his greed and desire for wealth on the one hand, and his beliefs and ideals on the other hand.
El Chuncho (Gian Maria Volontè) is a bandit and revolutionary with a strong fondness for women, alcohol and cigars. Along with his slightly insane, but religious and very idealistic brother El Santo (Klaus Kinski), he leads a gang of bandits with beliefs, who help the poor and rob the government's army to sell the weapons to the revolutionary army. When the gang is joined by Bill Tate, an American who, due to his youth, is just referred to as "El Nino" by El Chuncho and his fellow Mexican bandidos, the gang leader starts to befriend with the gringo. El Nino, however is basically almost the opposite of El Chuncho, he doesn't drink, he doesn't smoke and he doesn't waste his time with women, and neither does he believe in any causes or ideals, the only thing he is interested in is quick and good money. His friendship to the baby-faced but selfish and cold-blooded Nino, becomes a breaking test for Chuncho, who is torn between his greed and his ideals.
Although Sergio Leone and Sergio Corbucci are two of my favorite directors of all-time, and their movies "Giù La Testa" ("Duck You Sucker", Leone) and "Il Mercenario" ("The Mercenary", Corbucci), are two awesome movies, and furthermore there are quite a few more excellent Mexican Revolution Spaghetti Westerns , I would name "A Bullet for the General" as my favorite of the Mexican-Revolution-themed Spaghetti Westerns. The acting in this movie is superb. Gian Maria Volontè played in four Spaghetti Westerns and each one of them is a masterpiece. After his excellent performances in "A Fistful Of Dollars", "For A Few Dollars More" and Sergio Sollima's "Faccia A Faccia"/"Face To Face", Volontè is superb as El Chuncho, the most lovable Spaghetti Western character he played. Klaus Kinski is great as always, the character of the rather crazy but idealistic El Santo is quite unusual, since Kinski's roles in Italian Westerns were, with a few exceptions, normally those of extremely cold blooded and selfish killers, who didn't think of anybody but themselves. Lou Castel perfectly fits into the role of baby-faced El Nino, and he manages to point out his character's cleverness and selfishness in a very good way. The directing by Damiano Damiani is brilliant and so is the cinematography. I would have rated this 10/10 if it wasn't for he one minor flaw: The score by Ennio Morricone and Louis Bavalov is good, but it is no quite as great as it could have been as it can't compete with the brilliance of other Morricone scores. Nevertheless, an excellent film!
A brutal, witty and very political Spaghetti Western, "A Bullet For The General" is an excellent film that genre-fans, and film buffs in general should not miss!
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