A Bullet for the General (El chuncho, quien sabe?) (1966)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Chuncho Munos
as Bill 'Niño' Tate
as El Santo
as Gen. Elias
as Don Felipe
Critic Reviews for A Bullet for the General (El chuncho, quien sabe?)
The best reason to see the movie is for Kinski, who delivers the film's most arresting performance.
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Damiano Damiani directs it like a twenties gangster picture in the sun-baked desert and white-dust hills of the cutthroat west, where life is cheap, loyalty is rare, and rival gangs constantly battle for guns and contraband.
If all you know of the spaghetti western is Sergio Leone, Damiano Damiani's A Bullet for the General, presented in a largely satisfactory Blu-ray from Blue Underground, is an excellent reason to look beyond the holy "Dollars" trinity.
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Audience Reviews for A Bullet for the General (El chuncho, quien sabe?)
not well paced but when it works it's a lot of fun, with always hammy Klaus Kinski and enjoyably laughable Gian Maria Volonte in the leads.
As far as Zapata westerns goes this one has a strong reputation, and i can see why. It has good action sequences, a great cast and solid direction. Story wise it's an ambitious but problematic affair, the political commentary of the movie feels flat because of it's either naive or short-sighted nature. El chuncho is the cliche of the mexican bandit with the "heart of gold", tempted by the cold and greedy "gringo" who just wants to make a quick cash without caring for human life at all. The entire arc of this fable lacks smooth transitions, which ends giving us a Chuncho who switches gears too often and too abrupt depending of where the script is going, not so much of where the characters are going. There is never any particular motivation for him to trust gringo so much, so their relation is never as strong as the movie tries to portray it. The themes of friendship, loyalty and political beliefs are just not well devoleped, and considering films like compañeros and duck you sucker just did it better "el chuncho" really doesn't come out as highly as it's reputation would suggest.
A really fun and interesting Mexican Revolution story blended with the spaghetti western style. Gian Maria Volonte is always such an interesting character, no matter the role. He works really well as a crazy gun collecting Mexican Bandito with no shame. Klaus Kinski's also pretty memorable as a gung-ho priest who throws grenades whilst churning out bible quotes. I think it's very well made and intelligent, I'm a big fan of Westerns that try new things.
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