Sergio Leone Web Board
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
December 16, 2017, 02:23:16 AM
Home Help Search Calendar Login Register
News:


+  Sergio Leone Web Board
|-+  Films of Sergio Leone
| |-+  Other Films (Moderators: cigar joe, moviesceleton, Dust Devil)
| | |-+  El chuncho, quien sabe? aka A Bullet for the General (1966)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 Go Down Print
Author Topic: El chuncho, quien sabe? aka A Bullet for the General (1966)  (Read 17272 times)
Arizona Colt
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1874


"Clear the ground of their traitorous feet!"


View Profile
« Reply #30 on: February 22, 2007, 01:32:54 PM »

Nino never showed his "true" colors until the final moments when he was bullying the mexican peasants. Chuncho was reminded of a scene much earlier when he and his gang murdered, or executed the rich mexican landowner for keeping the common people poor for so long. That was initially his mission to liberate the poor but as the film progressed, Tate has seduced them all into forsaking their original plans leaving only Santo to remain true to his ideals.

Chuncho is obviously torn between trusting Tate and following his beliefs. He repeatedly doubts his own motives particularly in the above scene where he is asked why he killed one of his own men as opposed to the American. Tate was a con as much as he was an assassin and at the end, Chuncho realizes that Tate, after witnessing him taunting the peasants, that he never cared about the "cause" at all. He was no different from the US funded Federales or the wealthy landowner from earlier.

During the final moments Chuncho is still unsure why he must kill Tate, he knows he has to, even after the American's apparent "kindness" towards him the duration of the film. Ultimately, the liberation of the poor proves more noble than living as a traitorous pawn for the wealthy.

I think he always cared about the revolution, he was merely blinded by Tate's ambition and was steered down "greener" pastures.

Logged

Banjo
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4428


Don't you like music with your supper?


View Profile
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2007, 04:40:59 AM »

Leone Admirer's  review from his SW VIRGINS GUIDE:-

A Bullet For The General

A politically charged film, A Bullet For The General still manages to be an exciting western with interesting (if not all together sympathetic) characters, good direction by Damiano Damiani and more guns then you can shake a stick at.
     The film begins with a mysterious young American called Bill Tate (Lou Castel) joining a gang of marauders led by El Chucho (Gian Maria Volante) with his brother El Santo (Klaus Kinski) and Adelita (Martine Beswick) as they go around revolution strifed Mexico stealing guns so they can sell them to the head of the mexican opposistion Elias (Jaime Fernández). However it seems that Bill perhaps some other agenda, which involves a gold bullet.
     The opening of the film is quite stark, without any warning we are subjected to seeing some Mexican peasents being shot by a firing squad. They bungle the shooting of one of the men and whilst he shouts out his support of the revolution they shoot him. You are immediatly thrown in to the Mexican revolution and all its brutality. This would be enhanced later when Chucho and his men protect a village from reprisals and what happens when Chucho leaves them.
    The major thing I find interesting in the film is the portrayal of the characters. Most particualy, the fact that all the characters have major flaws. Bill is portayed as an arrogant bastard, always expecting something to be done for him and he expresses how much he dislikes being in Mexico. Chucho is a thieving bandit, who only later gets some morals. However there are elements of his character that raise him above as being a ruthless bandit like a lot of the men in his band. He has a winning personality (excellently played by Volante) and his devotion to his brother is almost touching. Kinski, as a priest like character, seems to be almost a bit insane. He chastises a priest for siding with the goverment and in one of the sequences (that again re-inforces the tone of place) doesn't voice a single complaint when the priest is shot down in cold blood. He calmly throws explosive devices at soldiers and yet still prays over the dead and at times takes on an almost child like devotion to his older brother. Adelita, the beauty of the bunch, is shown as being greedy and hate filled, not protesting and even enouraging the men when during a scene they try to rape a rich mans wife. However the small blossoming relationship Bill and her have is at times affecting.
     The acting is of a very high standard with Volante being on top form, expertly playing the ruthless, yet strangely bemused Cuchillo. Castel is excellent as Bill, the strong silent type. Kinski is also good as the slightly unbalanced priest. Beswick is more the proficcent as Adelita but my only complaint is the character at times seems tacked on and when at some point during the movie she rides off, she isn't missed.
     Direction by Damiani is also excellent. The worry was that this politically heavy film would be weighed down by its politics and whilst we are battered with imagery, such as the constant shots of women in grief, showing that it is often the women who suffer the most during war, the film manages to be an excellent spaghetti with all the right elements, excitement, violence, large vistas, good score, interesting characters and good acting. The fact that the characters are much more complex in this film then that is usually found in Spaghetti's, really adds to the film and the fine choice of actors helps to accentuate this.
    Cinematography is good, with Damiano using some interesting set ups to keep audience interest going and helps him to bring across the desired symbolism. The pace of the film is quite fast, with the group often galloping around from one gunfight to the next. The film also contains a nice vein of black humour running though it, both visually and through the characters. Score, composed by Ennio De Concini but supervised by Morricone was also good, though it did sound very Leone era Morricone-esque at times.
    This DVD was part of a boxset called Once Upon A Time In Italy: The Spaghetti Western Collection which was released by Anchor Bay for R1 and contains the films Texas Adios, A Bullet For The General, Companeros, Four Of The Apocalypse and Keoma. These can also be bought seperatly.
    The back of the box erroneously lists the aspect ratio as 1.85:1 when it is actually 2.35:1. The print used for the DVD is very good. it brings across the dusty yet beautiful Mexican/Spanish landscape. Colors are strong, detail is usually good but can appear soft at times and at times there is some print damage, but what is really to be expected for a film thats nearly forty years old. Audio is good also, with the English Mono being presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. Voices and music effects can be clearly heard but a low level hiss is prevalent through some of the scenes.
     The only extras included on this DVD are two international and Domestic trailers.
     An enjoyable film that, even if you don't agree with its politics, can be watched for its excellently staged action and interesting characters. I again recomend this film to all fans, new and old, of the spaghetti genre.


Logged
Banjo
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4428


Don't you like music with your supper?


View Profile
« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2007, 04:51:29 PM »

Arizona Colts review:-

A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL- 1967-Damiano Damiani’s classic political western about a young American secretly hired by the Mexican government to assassinate a powerful Mexican bandit leader. Stage actor Gian Maria Volonte portrays the rude but likeably filthy bandit chief Chuncho who wants at first to help his people by providing them with arms but then is seduced by Nino’s ideals for wealth and power. He becomes an unknowing participant in the General’s death as well as his somewhat unhinged brother Santo (Klaus Kinski) among other events. He gains redemption during the final moments when he finally sees the rich American influence treading over the poor and harmless Mexican peasants that he was blinded to all along. Anti American sentiment runs throughout as well as the notion that all those with money are evil and must be killed. Some have written about the supposed homo erotic nature of the relationship between Chuncho and Nino although I don’t see it. Chuncho is merely bewitched by Nino’s fast talk and get rich schemes that permeates the other members of his band eventually leading to many of their deaths. Martine Beswicke also stars in this must see classic. Luis Bacalov provides the great score some of which was recycled from DJANGO.

Logged
Ben Tyreen
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 592


Well, Major, I shall see you in Texas!


View Profile
« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2008, 11:16:35 AM »

 Thank you Netflix, finally got to see this spaghetti that's been recommended to me more than a few times.  Right up there with The Great Silence as my favorite non-Leone spaghetti.  The dubbing took some getting used to after only seeing Volonte in FOD and FAFDM, the new voice caught me off-guard, but Volonte as El Chuncho was perfect and reminded me some of Tuco except in a more politically charged setting.  His last line, "Don't buy bread, buy dynamite!" was a great capper and really showed his transformation from beginning to end.

 I loved the ending although you knew something like it was coming.  Chuncho and Nino, why they are actual friends IMO, there was no way they were going back to America together.  And in a Zapata western, no way Chuncho's biting the bullet.  Lou Castel was very good too as Nino although the makeup he wore was a little overdone.  Klaus Kinski was criminally underused as El Santo, his "In the name of the Father...."scene was a spaghetti classic.

 8.5/10  Afro

Logged


Nobody throws me my own guns and says run...nobody.
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2008, 02:58:14 PM »

I could've sworn I posted on this thread when I saw Bullet... I give it a 5/10. I thought it was pretty weak, but I haven't seen it in awhile so I'm not sure how in-depth or insightful I can be. I remember being peeved by the dubbing (which only bothers me when there aren't other things to distract me), laughing at the sophomoric Marxist platitudes, and finding the ending ridiculous. I think I've mentioned I'm not a huge fan of the Spaghetti subgenre, though... Undecided

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
Tucumcari Bound
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5814



View Profile
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2008, 12:45:44 PM »

I could've sworn I posted on this thread when I saw Bullet... I give it a 5/10. I thought it was pretty weak, but I haven't seen it in awhile so I'm not sure how in-depth or insightful I can be. I remember being peeved by the dubbing (which only bothers me when there aren't other things to distract me), laughing at the sophomoric Marxist platitudes, and finding the ending ridiculous. I think I've mentioned I'm not a huge fan of the Spaghetti subgenre, though... Undecided

I blind bought it because a few people here raved about it and I just thought it was ok. Nothing special. I dunno if I''ll ever even watch it again.

Logged



"This train'll stop at Tucumbari."
Silenzio
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2905



View Profile
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2008, 05:51:40 PM »

I agree, it was ok.

Logged
Eric
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 153



View Profile
« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2008, 12:32:42 PM »

I just had a chance to watch this one for the first time last night, and really enjoyed it. I thought it served as a nice balance to the Corbucci revolution movies (Mercenario and Companeros), in that [spoilers, I guess] whereas the gringo characters played by Nero in the latter bring the Mexican leads (Musante and Milian) to support the revolution by mostly learning to support it themselves, Tate leads Chuncho to his realization by undermining it.

And I think that the answer to the titular question Quien Sabe? is that Chuncho does know. I think he's still been planning, perhaps subconsciously, to exact revenge on Tate, even after being cleaned up and dressed in a new suit. Seeing the way Tate treats the Mexicans in the line just cememnts that point. I don't think it has much to do with his brother -- someone else  mentioned the, "Don't buy bread, buy dynamite!" line that certainly shows his support of revolution -- but also note that the first thing he does in his getaway is to strip out of the clothes that Tate has provided him with: he's shedding the life that Tate had handed him, and I think he'll head back to the headquarters of the revolution a changed man.

My favorite part of the movie was that I constantly had to reconsider Chuncho as a character. When we first meet him, he seems a cool collected strategist (The captain on the tracks? Wow.). We also see that he was once enamored with the revolution, and still retains a bit of that by keeping around the photo of he and Elias. But money and fame are enough to dull his wit, enough to be manipulated by the American. But his rejection of the money in the end -- he throws it away as he pulls his gun -- shows that he's grown as a character.

I'd also disagree with the commenter who described aspects of the movie as sophomoric Marxism -- I think this movie is much more fair than others I've seen in the genre, especially in the scene with Don Feliciano, who comes across as one of the most sympathetic characters. We start the movie watching the Mexicans execute the revolutionaries, but we also see many scenes -- even early, in the train sequence -- where the revolutionaries execute the foot-soldiers in similarly cold-hearted ways. Things are bad all over.

Overall, I'd give this one a 7.5/10. Not my favorite, but a good one nonetheless.

Logged
Groggy
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 11458


This post gets Agnew's stamp of approval!


View Profile WWW
« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2008, 04:24:54 PM »

DIVIDE THE BREAD EQUALLY! Grin

Logged


Saturday nights with Groggy
Eric
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 153



View Profile
« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2008, 12:00:13 PM »

No. Save the biggest piece of bread for Dad. He works hard to put it on the table for you.

Logged
Jill
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 989

This time I did


View Profile
« Reply #40 on: August 14, 2008, 09:57:15 AM »

Finally bought it! In Austria. And where did I found it? In the horror/18+ section.  Roll Eyes

So I'll watch it and review.

Volonté... oh, my God, I need a dosis of him! I was unfaithful. I fangirled Philip Quast and Les Mis and haven't watched SWs for weeks. Mea culpa. I'll do a Leone Maraton, too.

A violent Zapata W with a lot of shooting and explosion... that's what I need now.

I also saw Blindman and some lesser known SWs in the horror section. Well, if it were about Django Kill or 4 of the Apocalypse, I would say ok, but the others... WTF?  Huh

Logged

"Does this unit have a soul?"
cigar joe
Moderator
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12783


easy come easy go


View Profile
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2008, 08:22:36 PM »

I was wondering what happened to you Smiley

Logged

"When you feel that rope tighten on your neck you can feel the devil bite your ass"!
Jill
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 989

This time I did


View Profile
« Reply #42 on: August 15, 2008, 04:46:15 AM »

I was Mizzified, if such word exists.  Afro So I am now like: "Let's rebel against the king and build barricades and sing!" And I am obsessed with a certain police Inspector.  Tongue


Logged

"Does this unit have a soul?"
Jill
Bounty Killer
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 989

This time I did


View Profile
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2008, 09:52:29 AM »

Finally had time to watch it.

Well... maybe 8/10.

It's a lot like to Tepepa, and, of course, has all the Zapata panels (Red Car, too). Oh - there was no man saved from the firing squad, but still.
I hate this gringo lad. Boring, cold, evil, but not badass and not cool. Just a greedy little rat who's also a fop. Blecch.
Volonté is sexy, but not tragic and demonic as usual. But his character developed a lot.
Kinski is lovable and badass. And mad but honest. I was so angry when stupid gringo SPOILER shot him in the back. Angry

I liked the short role of Sambrell, but he was killed off too early.

Logged

"Does this unit have a soul?"
uncknown
Gunslinger
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 406

What about me?


View Profile
« Reply #44 on: October 17, 2009, 01:38:01 PM »

The film has excellent production values and is technically well made but....
I was bored most of the time. The main problem for me was the repetiveness of the gunfights:
gang attacks ; gang kills, gang takes guns over and over.

The characters were interesting and deserved more screen time. As for Volonte, like Mexican banditos in every SW he never stops laughing. Irritating. Had Morricone scored this I probably would have enjoyed it more.

Logged

"Other Morton's will come along  and they'll kill it off"

My article on the restoration of the The Big Gundown
http://thekinskifiles.blogspot.com/2009/01/cinemaretro-13-big-gundown.html
Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  



Visit FISTFUL-OF-LEONE.COM

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.038 seconds with 19 queries.