A Bullet for the General

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A Bullet for the General
A Bullet for the General.jpg
American theatrical release poster
Directed by Damiano Damiani
Produced by Bianco Manini
Written by Salvatore Laurani
Franco Solinas
(Adaptation and dialogue)
Story by Salvatore Laurani
Starring Gian Maria Volonté
Klaus Kinski
Martine Beswick
Lou Castel
Jaime Fernández
Music by Luis Bacalov
Ennio Morricone
(Musical supervisor)
Cinematography Antonio Secchi
Edited by Renato Cinquini
Distributed by Surf Film (Italy)
AVCO Embassy Pictures (US)
Warner-Pathé (UK)
Release dates
7 December 1966
Running time
135 minutes (Italy, lost)
118 minutes (International)
115 minutes (US)
Country Italy
Language Italian

A Bullet for the General (It. Quién sabe?), is a 1966 Italian Zapata Western film which stars Gian Maria Volonté, Klaus Kinski, Lou Castel and Martine Beswick. Originally entitled El Chuncho, quién sabe?, it is the story of El Chuncho, the bandit, and Bill Tate (or El Nino) who is a counter-revolutionary in Mexico. Chuncho soon learns that social revolution is more important than mere money. This is one of the more famous Zapata Westerns, a subgenre of the spaghetti western which deals with the radicalizing of bad men and bandits into revolutionaries when they are confronted with injustice. Others in this subgenre include Companeros, The Mercenary and perhaps most famously Duck, You Sucker!

Some parts of the soundtrack, composed by Luis Enríquez Bacalov, are featured in the videogame Red Dead Revolver.


The two Mexican brothers Chuncho and Santo and their mutual US-American friend Bill support the revolution in Mexico by delivering stolen guns to a rebel leader. Their mutual contempt for the current government unites the three men, but Chuncho only strives for maximum profit, whereas Santo is driven by political idealism. In the course of action their motives prove being incompatible. The brothers split up and then even oppose each other. Bill has to choose sides.



Damiano's film has been called a "serious statement about the Mexican Revolution" and has been recognised as an accomplished blend of "tension, action, politics and history".[1]


  1. ^ Hughes, p.66


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