07/04/2015  
Goodbye to All That on DVD Jul 14My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests on DVD Jun 30First Peoples on DVD Jul 7Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 on Digital Jun 30 & Blu-ray Combo Jul 14Tough Being Loved By Jerks on DVD Jun 9Turbo Fast: Season One on DVD June 2Inside the Court of Henry VIII on DVD Jun 16

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Watch the star-studded "Wet Hot American Summer" traile...
'Star Trek 3' Title Revealed by Director Justin Lin: Ta...
Mexico Won't Be Sending Anyone To Miss Universe Pageant...
Goodbye to All That on DVD Jul 14...
Cosby lawyer: Unsealing court docs 'terribly embarrassi...
Disney bans selfie sticks at all theme parks, including...
Jimmy Fallon hospitalized after hand injury...
Photos From New Episodes of "The X-Files"...
Apple's decision to pay artists a win for indies, Taylo...
My Little Pony - Friendship Is Magic: Cutie Mark Quests...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Anchor Bay presents
A Bullet for the General (Quien sabe?) (1967)

"What kind of place is this, that doesn't have one damn machine gun?"
- El Chucho (Gian Maria Volanté)

Review By: Mark Zimmer   
Published: January 23, 2002

Stars: Gian Maria Volonté, Klaus Kinski, Martine Beswick, Lou Castel
Other Stars: Andrea Checchi, Spartaco Conversi, Jaime Fernandez, Joaqauin Parra, Aldo Sambrell
Director: Damiano Damiani

Manufacturer: Crest National
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (violence, language)
Run Time: 01h:57m:47s
Release Date: December 18, 2001
UPC: 013131154498
Genre: western


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A A-BB+ C-

DVD Review

Americans aren't often aware that there's a whole enormous body of Spaghetti Westerns that have nothing to do with Clint Eastwood or Sergio Leone. Anchor Bay is doing their best to remedy that by bringing a few of the classics of the genre to DVD in their Spaghetti Western Collection. One of the best of these less well-known works is Damiano Damiani's highly politicized A Bullet For the General (onscreen title El Chucho). Gringo Bill Tate (Lou Castel) is traveling by train to Durango in 1910s' Mexico, a time of revolution and wandering bandolero gangs. When the train is ambushed by El Chucho (Gian Maria Volonté) and his gang, Tate makes the best of a bad situation and after being christened El Niño, joins the bandits, who are collecting guns for the revolutionary General Elias. A lengthy section of their adventures follows, but when the bandits hit the village of San Miguel, El Chucho begins to enjoy adulation a little too much, leading to friction amongst the members of the gang. This leads to a harrowing confrontation with the federales in the desert, as well as a couple of examples of poetic justice. Quite violent for its time (though not gory, it should be noted), the film is action-packed and has a good sense of humor, yet as noted above it is heavily political in nature. The script is by the authors of the notorious Battle of Algiers, and is accordingly highly sympathetic to the leftist revolutionaries. In particular, the closing sequence makes no bones about where the filmmakers' essential sympathies lie. Yet it is not quite that simple, for the bandoleros also engage in a bit of harrowing house invasion that exposes the seamy underside of the movement for redistribution of the land, exposing it as naked greed no better than that of the manorial landowners.There are plenty of iconic images to be seen, not least of which is El Niño's costume of gray fedora and pinstripe suit, kept impeccable despite what seems to be months in the desert. The ambush of the train is a memorable moment as well, for the ambush is staged by El Chucho placing an army captain on a pole on the tracks, and the standoff of the train and the suffering captain is a vision that will stay long with the viewer. The battle in the desert, with the unveiling of El Chucho's prized machine gun, is also unforgettable.Volonté is excellent and endearing as the revolutionary hero with feet of clay. Castel is suitably mysterious and cynical. Martine Beswick (best known as the Bond Girl in Thunderball as well as several Eurocult favorites) is gorgeous as always, despite makeup that is meant to downplay her beauty. She displays a venomous temper as well as conflicting affections well. Rounding out the cast is the always terrific Klaus Kinski, as El Chucho's religious fanatic brother. He merrily blows up troops while reciting prayers, and I don't think I've ever seen Kinski smile so much in a movie before; it's almost more unnerving than his usual scowl.Edited to move at a fast clip, this is always entertaining despite the heavy political message. The adventures of the bandit gang collecting guns are a series of wild picaresque exploits that cannot help but amuse. This is a worthwhile addition to any DVD library.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: The anamorphic scope picture looks quite good, apart from fairly heavy grain. Color is good, and detail is decent. The source print appears to be in excellent condition. The transfer is a shade soft, no doubt a remnant of an attempt to reduce the grain visible. Edges have a slightly digital appearance, but blacks are well rendered as are the many earth tones that dominate this movie.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglishno


Audio Transfer Review: The (marginally) dubbed English 2.0 mono is the only audio provided. The dialogue is quite clear throughout, despite a minor background hiss. Ennio Morricone's score (which is first-rate) comes through quite nicely, without excessive shrillness or tinniness. This is a very nice mono track that gets the job done.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 23 cues and remote access
2 Original Trailer(s)
Production Notes
Packaging: Alpha
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL
Layers Switch: 01h:10m:42s

Extras Review: Two trailers, a 2.35:1 international trailer and a 1.85:1 US trailer, both anamorphic are included. Both are in surprisingly good shape considering their age. The only other extra is a spoiler-filled set of liner notes that essentially outlines the entire movie. I'd thus suggest disregarding the notes until after you've watched the movie. There is some useful information there, however. Chaptering is adequate if not outstanding.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Although a little grainy, this is a decent presentation of a classic Spaghetti Western. Anyone who likes the Dollars movies or Once Upon a Time in the West is strongly urged to give this one a try.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

television, netflix, wet hot american summer: first day of camp, michael showalter, david wain, elizabeth banks, michael ian black, bradley cooper, judah friedlander, janeane garofalo, joe lo truglio, ken marino, christopher meloni, marguerite moreau, zak orth, amy poehler, david hyde pierce, paul rudd, molly shannon, movie, sci-fy, star trek, justin lin, j.j. abrams, star trek beyond, zoe soldana, chris pine, celebrity, donald trump, republican presidential candidate, nbc, televisa, ora tv, lupita jones, carlos slim, larry king, drama, bill cosby, sex-assault lawsuit, associated press, george m. gowen iii, disneyland, disney california adventure, selfie sticks banned, california screaming, coachella, lollapalooza, jimmy fallon, tonight show, hand injury, x files, david duchovny, gillian anderson, fox, january 24, 2016, music, apple music, allen kovac, motley crue, taylor swift, elvis costello, calvin harris, animation, kids, the tonight show, colin ferrell, vince vaughn, true detective, hbo, nbc nightly news, brian williams, anchor, matt lauer, today, msnbc, lester holt, mark feldstein, inside out, pixar, mindy-disgust, amy poehler-joy, phyllis smith-sadness, fear-bill hader, anger-lewis black., nbc evening news, cnn, robert barnett, daytime soap oprah, general hospital, genie francis, anthony geary, foo fighters, cancellations, wembley stadium, murrayfield, dave grohl, sci-fi, adventure action, avengers: age of ultron, spectre, star wars, cbs, big brother, julie chen, wwe wrestler, professional poker player, a poker dealer, a dentist, and a few college students, documentary, mission: impossible - rogue nation, tom cruise, pixels, adam sandler, ted 2, mark wahlberg, terminator genisys, arnold schwarzenegger, doctor strange, chiwetel ejiofor, benedict cumberbatch, tilda swinton, nightly news, the today show, dateline nbc, duck dynasty, jep robertson, jessica, the good, the bad, and the grace of god: what honesty and pain taught us about faith, family, and forgiveness, good morning america, beyonce, marco gorges, comedy, bridge of spies, tom hanks, steven spielberg, matt carman, coen brothers, spy thriller, true events, mission:impossible rogue nation, christopher mcquarrie, kirk krack, rebecca ferguson, lifetime, deadly adoption, kristen wiig, will ferrell, fantastic beasts and where to find them, eddie redmayne. the theory of everything

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store