The Bullet For The General

“Don’t buy bread with that money. Buy dynamite!”
-El Chuncho

I love spaghetti westerns! This one begins with a raid on a train carrying weapons. The raid is carried out by El Chuncho who is very loyal to one General Elías. Near the end of the raid, he gets unexpected help from an American named Bill ‘Niño’ Tate who is aboard the train. What Chuncho doesn’t see is what we can, Tate is after the general. Tate joins Chuncho’s band including a religious man named El Santo, played by the German mad man Klaus Kinski.

Bill ‘Niño’ Tate (Lou Castel)

El Chuncho (Gian Maria Volonté)

El Santo (Klaus Kinski)

“I challenge you!”
“In the name of the father!” (throws grenade)
“And of the son!” (throws grenade)
“And of the holy ghost!” (throws grenade)
“Amen!” (throws grenade)
-El Santo

Together they raise a little hell as they gather weapons to take to the general. Chuncho gets really close to Tate in the process. In fact, he kills somebody close to him in order to protect Tate. All the while, Tate manipulates Chuncho in order to get to the general. I can tell you without ruining things that the general does buy it on the bullet at the beginning of the post. The film comes down to the close relationship between the two men and their true nature.

A movie like this hinges on it’s ending. The two key performances are important, but the ending is key. The ending of this film is perfect. I know I am partial to spaghetti westerns, but this one is a winner an early example of the political spaghetti westerns like Duck, You Sucker and Don’t Touch The White Woman! I highly recommend it.