I'm starting to get it, I think. The gig with spaghetti westerns, that is. Capitalism stinks, the Establishment is corrupt and everybody over thirty in clean clothes is likely to be shot. The good guys are greasy, sweaty, and rude. They talk when their mouths are stuffed with chicken stolen off the plate of the corrupt property holder. The good guys are a mescal induced nightmare of the progeny of hippies and Hell's Angels - a peculiarly sixties vision of a union of the odious with the sociopath.
The Hippie Creed is announced on the international trailer to A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL: "They gambled their lives for absolute freedom to do as they please." Right on, man.
None of this makes A BULLET an unpleasant viewing experience, but I didn't really much care who was going to be shot next, which was a good thing considering the body count in this one. Gian Maria Volonte plays El Chuncho, the leader of a band of marauders who loves The People. Klaus Kinski plays El Santo, El Chuncho's brother and a man who loves God. Lou Castel plays the gringo Bill Tate, dubbed "Nino" by El Chuncho, a man who loves Money. Castel is on a secret mission (he's carrying a golden bullet in his valise. Hint, hint) and to blend in with the banditos he's dresses up like a bank teller throughout the movie. How did he keep he shirt so clean and his collar so starched?
At one point El Chuncho tries to explain it to the uncomprehending Nino. While bear hugging a peasant he says "He's poor and filthy but he's a human being. Man the same as you. Do you understand?" Right on, man. Where was that little speech when you were murdering the land owner and ravishing his wife?
A BULLET FOR THE GENERAL is alright, but it might be a tough ride if you're like me and want someone to root for.
Honestly, I'm not a true critic, but I was nevertheless let down with the movie. Knowing Klaus Kinsky and Gian Maria Volonté were starring in the movie made want to buy it. But alas, the Volonte' character of Indio we came to admire for his acting skills and on stage persona, was NOT the same here. Primarily due to the dubbing. In For a Few Dollars more and Fist Full of Dollars, we heard the dubbed voice reflected a resonance and depth that is not represented in this film - a different dubbing voice was given... it almost made me laugh.
Buy this if you want, but I was sadly let down.
Bottom line, not in the best Leone spirit and poor dubbing.
save your money and put it towards "The Great Silence"... it's not Leone but has Morricone for the soundtrack, which is wonderful.