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A Bullet for the General (1968)

Gian Maria Volonté , Klaus Kinski , Damiano Damiani  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gian Maria Volonté, Klaus Kinski, Martine Beswick, Lou Castel, Jaime Fernández
  • Directors: Damiano Damiani
  • Writers: Franco Solinas, Salvatore Laurani
  • Producers: Bianco Manini
  • Format: Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: December 18, 2001
  • Run Time: 135 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059PPR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,258 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Bullet for the General" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

At the height of the Mexican revolution, a mysterious young American (Lou Castel of Fist in His Pocket) joins a gang of marauders led by El Chucho (Gian Maria Volonte of A Fistful of Dollars) on a series of savage raids to steal guns for a powerful rebel general. But when the Gringo brings his own cold-blooded ideals to the bandits, El Chucho discovers that the real weapons of war belong to no army. In a land ravaged by poverty and violence, can true freedom be bought with a single bullet?
Klaus Kinski (For a Few Dollars More) and Martine Beswick (Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde, Thunderball) co-star in this legendary western directed by Damiano Damiani from a powerful screenplay co-written by Oscar nominee Franco Solinas (The Battle of Algiers, The Big Gundown). Also known as Quien Sabe?, this thrilling epic features some of the most surprising performances radical politics and shocking violence of an "Spaghetti Western" ever made.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lots to enjoy November 15, 2001
By A Customer
anyone who has seen For a few dollars more knows that the partnership of kinski-volonte is potentially explosive, unfortunately while volonte is hypnotic kinski suffers from a small part and poor dubbing. However Kinski goes further than his For few dollar performance, this time totally taking on the mantle of religious icon, shouting 'in the name of the father' whilst throwing grenades and dressing in messianic fashion (perhaps the producers had seen his infamous 'jesus tour' where he proclaimed himself christ only to have abuse hurled at him from the audience and more worryingly because he perhaps believed it: see 'my best fiend'). It is a shame so few volonte films are available in the US and britain (investigation of a citizen above suspicion for one)
the overtly political screenplay is by franco solinas, rare for so good a writer to be employed on a spaghetti western, rather than extreme violence this film is a thoughtful meditation on themes both political and personal, concerning friendship is very touching though the film makes sure where it stands on the issue of politics and friendship conflicting with the end. the film as a whole carries surprisingly heavy emotional weight.
The best of damiano damiani's mise en scene is breathtaking and in this dvd version the photography is finally appreciable . With morricone involved in the music (though not writing it,luis enrique bacalov using some of his score from django, himself a fine composer for film)there is a lot of audio fun to be had with this film too.
There is a wonderful ending and a casualness that reminds me of films like the roaring twenties, when volonte shoots a comrade for threatening the life of his new friend a subordinate asks him 'but why? guapo was your friend too?' volonte replies 'eh, guapo is no more'.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOP BLURAY TITLE May 18, 2012
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Blue Underground's disc contains both the US and the 3-minute longer International versions of the film A Bullet for the General. These are separate 1080P transfers and NOT seamlessly branched - sharing the same Blu-ray disc. There may be some very slight differences in the image quality between the two versions but it won't be a lot - if any at all. I've made a couple of comparison captures below. The transfer seems a little inconsistent with some sequences showing that nice sheen of grain we often see with Blue Underground but there are a few spots that look waxy - as if DNR were the culprit. This wasn't at all egregious and I'd say that overall the visuals are extremely impressive with great detail in close-ups and depth being displayed. Colors are bright with true skin tones. The 2.35:1 widescreen is used in a slick fashion and the the video comes across pleasing throughout most of the presentation.The US version offers a healthy DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel at 1906 kbps that is comparable to the DUB on the International version that also has the option of lossless Italian at equally as robust a transfer. Gunshots are piercing and the aggressive pats of the soundtrack seems easily handled by the uncompressed audio. The flatness is expected. We have an original score by Luis Bacalov and the iconic Ennio Morricone that supports the 'Spaghetti' aspects very well. There are optional subtitles - both English (SDH) and English - for the Italian version - as well as French and Spanish. Region Free too.

Extras :

There isn't much more on the Blu-ray disc which is fairly filled with the two films but we still get a A Bullet for the Director - Interview with Director Damiano Damiani running 50 minutes in Italian with English subtitles, plus some trailers and a stills and poster gallery.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Don't buy bread - buy dynamite!" January 4, 2008
Following with the unlikely alliance of an opportunistic American (Lou Castel) and a Mexican bandit (Gian Maria Volonte) who sells arms to the rebels, the first half hour or so of Damiano Damiani's cult classic is more than a bit ropey. The director has difficulty establishing the relationship between the two leads and resorts to a succession of shoot-em-ups. Thankfully, these are better handled than the drawn out opening attack on the train carrying Castel's enigmatic gringo, in which too many of the ideas are in the script and too few in the execution.

If the first half is the usual running with the rebels territory, the film becomes more complex as it progresses. It is clear from the beginning that the gringo is working to his own agenda, and throughout the course of the film he steers the group towards it. Not interested in women, he professes to be interested only in money, yet at one point kills a rebel paymaster and throws away his cash. Yet even after his objective and the bandito's part in it become clear, the film manages to take the characters even further in an intriguing epilogue.

Both may be mercenary, but finally choose their own executioners, although in very different ways. Castel inadvertently because, despite ruthlessly killing those on both sides to achieve his end, he is ultimately not ruthless enough, Volonte voluntarily, passing judgement on himself when he realises the consequences of his actions.

Castel is a fairly anonymous lead as the 'ugly American', a potential flaw which the director manages to turn to the film's advantage. A moral void, he has no ideals and no scruples but is instead a remorseless pragmatist.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a very nice HD transfer presented in nice Widescreen format
According to his director, Damiano Damiani, A bullet for the General (1966; aka: Yo soy la revolución) did not mean to be truly a Western, nor even a Sergio Leone Spaghetti... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Nostalgicman
5.0 out of 5 stars A great Zapata Western
A Bullet for the General is a great example of a Zapata western, a western set in Mexico during the revolution. It is pretty much the opposite of Duck You Sucker. Read more
Published 1 month ago by anonymous rogue
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Completamente satisfeito!Obrigado!
Published 2 months ago by Judson Eduardo G.Ribeiro
2.0 out of 5 stars An Italian Western in Disguise
A Bullet for the General is a Spaghetti Western that neither looks nor sounds like the things that have distinguished the sub-genre. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Julian Pope
5.0 out of 5 stars QUIEN SABE!!! aka A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL
QUIEN SABE! Aka A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL (ITALY-SPAIN 1967) directed by DAMIANO DAMIANI starring Gian Maria-Volante, Lou Castel and Klaus Kinski is a well structured political... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Roy Garrett
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique Western That Defies Genres
Damiano Damiani had one of his exceptional successes with 1966's "A Bullet for the General" (AKA: "El Chucho, Quien Sabe?"). Read more
Published 9 months ago by V. Risoli
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than Average Spaghetti Western
I like spaghetti westerns. That being said, I know they certainly aren't for everyone. The genre is marked with exploitation and tongue in cheek humor that can really get over the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by V. Sandoval
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cinematography
Beginning in the 1960s, and even into the 1970s, many westerns were filmed near Almeria, Spain. Because most were directed by and often acted by Italians, they came to be known as... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Don E. Marchione
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual Western..
A Great Western if unusual. It's really a film in 3 parts and any attempt to talk about the film might give away the plot. Read more
Published on July 4, 2012 by R. Shore
4.0 out of 5 stars Spaghetti with a sprinkle of allegory cheese
Although I'm confident it's a minority opinion, I always felt that Gian Maria Volonte was the best part of A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More, though not in the same... Read more
Published on August 13, 2011 by Bryan Byrd
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