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Showing 1-10 of 20 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 32 reviews
on July 26, 2015
'Bullet For The General' is typical of the material that was screened during the 'Spahetti-Western' era during the late
60's into the early 70's.
Many of the faces seen in the film were frequent throughout the series.......
The film is set during the Mexican-Revolution telling of bandit / gunrunner 'El Chucho' (Gian Maria Volonte) who with
his men attack the Presidents Soldiers to acquire weapons they have and indeed guard to sell to the revolutionaries,
not out of patriotism.
When attacking a train to steal weapons 'El Chucho' comes across an American Bill 'nino' Tate' (Lou Castel) who
claims to be a wanted man in the U.S making himself an acceptable addition to his number.
'Tate' brings an added dimension to the group with his own brand of bloody violence...but, why is he so eager to
be a part of 'El Chucho's' bandits, he plays his cards close to his chest.
They attack the small town of 'San Miguel' which is occupied by a company of the presidents soldiers, they capture much
ammunition along with a gold-machine-gun....most of the group just want to take the weapons to the Revolutions
General to collect payment, 'El Chucho' gets an attack of conscience knowing the town will be attacked by soldiers and
it's vulnerable and down-trodden residents slaughtered, he offers to stay and fight, but most of his followers along with
his new best friend 'Tate' but his brother 'El Santo' (Klaus Kinski) with a few others stay to help, however when 'El Chucho'
realizes the others have the prized 'golden-machine-gun with them, he gives chase promising to return....however money
proves to be his master and he and 'Tate set off to sell the captured weapons to the General.
The film does have some good action sequences typical of the 'Spaghetti' film series, however in my view it does lack the
polish and indeed humour associated with films such as the 'Eastwood' trilogy and indeed the Stieger/ Coburn offering.
The disc has both the U.S and International versions on-board with Audio for Italian and sub-titles also for French and Spanish.
There is a bonus disc with the Special-Edition with insights into both the films director and 'Gian Maria Volonte'
The Blu-ray upgrade is good.
Extras -
* A Bullet for the Director
* Interview with director Damiano Damiani
* Theatrical Trailers
* Poster and Stills Gallery
(The film is multi-region)
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on October 26, 2014
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 western. Some of the previous reviewers refer to this movie as a Zapata Western, because it takes place in Mexico, with Mexican characters, and with the Mexican revolutionary struggle as the historical background. On top of that, you have an entertaining story, packed with action, and underlined by two very contrasting but interesting perspectives of political contingency played by “Chucho” (Gian María Volonté) and Bill 'Niño' Tate (Lou Castel). So, if you are open to a “Mexican” rather than a “US for Western”, the movie would please you. Instead, if you are looking for a rather conventional western, or even a Spaghetti western dealing with personal revenge stories, I suggest you to avoid this one. By the way, as in other Spaguetti or Italian westerns , you have Klaus Kinski playing a secondary role, always a plus to me.

Technically, a very nice HD transfer presented in nice Widescreen format. The movie runs for 118 min (international version) or 115 min (US version). According to International Movie Data Base though, the original movie would run for 135 min. Audio for the International version comes in English and Italian, with English subtitles. The US version comes with Spanish and French subtitles. Extras include the US and International trailers, poster and other photo gallery. Most interesting, a short interview with Italian Director Damiano Damiani. In case someone from Europe cares, the Blu Ray claims to be region free, something I cannot test.
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on October 29, 2016
The movie is a top notch Zapata Western, but be forewarned that Amazon is trafficking in two different dubs of this fine film. On the Prime Instant video, Volonte and Castel are much better voiced than on this dvd they sold me. (I think the Prime version is actually Volonte and Castel doing their own voices; at least Volonte has the same wonderful low-pitched gravelly voice he had in Fistful of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More. In this dvd, his voice is high and whiny. Castel has a great detached icy voice in the Prime video, but in the dvd it's a much less effective earnest chatty voice.) I was so into the movie after watching it on my iPad that I decided to get the dvd and share it with friends on my television: Had I known it was a very different dub with quite inferior voice actors, I would have passed... Five stars for the movie, two stars for this dub.
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on January 12, 2014
Damiano Damiani had one of his exceptional successes with 1966's "A Bullet for the General" (AKA: "El Chucho, Quien Sabe?"). The director of "The Empty Canvas" had just directed "The Witch in Love," another film that could not be categorized as a horror film, although Sinister Cinema has a copy of the film out also as simply "The Witch" which is misleading. Both titles of this Blue Underground release on (DVD and) Blu-ray are valid and are included in the first disc of the two disc collector's edition as the U.S. release and the slightly longer international version. There are trailers and an interview with director Damiani, who is very much politically motivated when telling a story and it is clearly evident with "A Bullet for the General" as he says he didn't want to make a traditional western by an Italian but like Leone before him (the film's star Gian Maria Volonte as "El Chucho" (quite a memorable character for this chameleon-like actor was actually a leading actor in Sergio Leone's first spaghetti western "A Fistful of Dollars" although that film was not the actual "first" of that genre but brought it into popularity) was more interested in satirizing the American western and as is always the case with a Damiano Damiani film, he revolutionizes the genres he is working in to make something unique. Even his pre-quel in the "Amityville" franchise becomes a totally unique "sequel" that tests boundaries throughout. (See: "Amityville 2: The Possession"). There is a lot of humor in the film but it is not a standard "spaghetti western" and has a lot to say about the way of the peasants and working class which seems to become its major treatise. The second disc is DVD documentary about actor "Gian Maria Volonte: Un Attore Contro" which is often presenting blurry excerpts from the actor's films until his death rather recently. Although it is interesting, it is a bit disappointing as the package of a two disc set makes you think there are loads of extras about "A Bullet for the General" and the interview with Damiani is only a few minutes long on Disc One, the Blu-ray, but actually I am glad to know much more about Volonte as he always seems different in each film as he is at playing each character differently and hearing how he worked with other actors, writers, producers and directors. Top-billed opposite Volonte on the cover packaging is Klaus Kinski as "El Chucho's" half-brother who has less to do than Lou Castel as the villainous "gringo" and Martine Beswick is on hand with a tad too much dark make-up as a Mexican revolutionary female. Castel's make-up at times is a bit too heavy. The film is great, but not for the western or "Spaghetti Western" genre but for a film set in the American West that has clashes with people getting rich on the poor and their treatment like in Mexico or across the Atlantic and the Mediterranean in Italy and Sicily. Divergent and effective. Story and screenplay by Salvatore Laurani with adaptation by Franco Solinas and music by Luis E. Bacalov which was supervised by Ennio Morricone. Much thanks to Blue Underground for treating it so well.
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on May 18, 2012
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. What is a significant supplement is a bonus DVD - Gian Maria Volonte: Un Attore Contro running just shy of a whopping 2 hours. It has plenty of the actor/writer and fans of the genre will definitely want to indulge. This is a very nice documentary addition - in Italian with English subtitles.
Review By Gary Tooze of DVD Beaver, Thanks Gary.
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on November 15, 2001
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'.
Being honest it is not really a spaghetti western as such, the violence is often shown without stylistic camera work, merely the killing (alot of the time summary executions of unarmed prisoners) being in the centre of the frame without cutting during the deed. there is no tense pause or close ups, just casual violence. It is more a historical drama of mexican revolution, it would be thought so if the language was subtitled rather than dubbed. Maltin misses the point, is plenty of bloodletting but at no point is it sensationalist or 'gory'. It is a mature film unlike most 'spaghetti' westerns.
interesting moments and comedy abound, but the bottom line is, if you have seen for a few dollars more and the prospect of seeing kinski and volonte riding through the desert accompanied by a thunderous score doesn't give you a smile, you should probably avoid this one. Me, i love it. It is a fine film in its own right and a firm rebuttal to the nay sayers of european westerns, powerful and driven by a performance of immense character (as usual) by kinski and pricipally volonte (pleas anchor bay, more of his films, he is wonderful).
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on June 23, 2013
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 top at some times. A bullet for the General has some of these elements but never strays from being a movie that can be enjoyed by even those who can find the genre off putting. The story wanders about but the action keeps you interested until the thought provoking ending. Volonte's performance adds an extra star with his impassioned portrayal of a revolutionary trying to sort out the moral murkiness he finds himself in.
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on November 10, 2001
Quite good for it's genre.Though director Damiani is not renowned for Westerns.The movie's strong political undertones and theme of budding friendship leading to betrayal is an intersesting one.The fine performances by the two male leads add something special,especially Volonte who is always Good, as is Klaus Kinski in a supporting role.The late Volonte had often said he personally preferred his work on the more political Euro - Westerns of the Sixties than his Leone-Western villians.Movies dealing with the Mexican Revolution have often been used as a backdrop to the Euro Western genre,obviously because of the broad political canvass,aswell as the location of Almeria,Spain.I am happy to see that Anchor Bay DVD have now released the DVD version.They done a brilliant job with Companeros (Corbucci).No extras on disc worth mentioning,but for trailers. Picture and sound are great and film is presented in it's original 2:35:1 (Technoscope). A worthwhile purchase for Spaghetti Western fans.
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on October 23, 2015
Even though I was not expecting a Sergio Leone level film, I was still a bit disappointed in "A Bullet for the General." My main issue is the casting of Lou Castel as "Nino." I had a hard time accepting him as an assassin. He just didn't have the gravitas needed for that type of role. It is fun though watching Gian Maria Volonté in another spaghetti western which was apparently made right after "For a Few Dollars More." The transfer is pretty good for a 49 year old film from Italy but overall film was less than I had hoped. Maybe it will grow on me in the future. BTW, you do have the option of watching with subtitles or dubbed.
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on September 2, 2014
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. It is an enjoyable western and has some comedic moments, great action and an ending that took me by surprise. I'd recommend it to fans of the western genre.
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