A Bullet For The General is a 1966 spaghetti western set during the Mexican revolution in the early part of the Twentieth century. It stars Gian Maria Volonte(previously seen in A Fistful Of Dollars) as El Chuncho, a bandit masquerading as a revolutionary. He steals weapons and sells them to General Elias, a real revolutionary. Klaus Kinski is El Santo, Chuncho’s brother, a slightly crazed priest-bandit.
Bill Tate is a foppish looking young man riding a train when El Chuncho’s band attacks. At first, we’re not sure of his motivation as we see him climb to the engine, kill the crew, and stop the train while the gang is shooting it out with the soldiers on board.
When the fight is over, Tate is suddenly wearing handcuffs and claims he was being returned to the States because of a price on his head. El Chuncho takes a liking to him, dubbing him El Nino because of his youth.
They hook up and go increasingly complex raids, killing soldiers, and collecting all weapons and ammunition. The one thing Chuncho covets is a machine gun. When they finally get one, he becomes a conflicted man. Of course there is the money. But the people need protection as well.
All along the way, Tate keeps him from getting sidetracked. “We much get these weapons to Elias! He needs them!” It became obvious early on to me what’s going on with our young gringo. But that doesn’t spoil the fun.
This was a well done movie set in that period between 1910-20 and I highly recommend it.
Here’s the trailer: