A Bullet for the General (1966)

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Damiano Damiani directs Gian Maria Volontè, Lou Castel and Klaus Kinski in this spaghetti western following a group of bandits profiteering from the Mexican Revolution.

Starting with a domino rally of tense set pieces (so smartly devised that The Joker from The Dark Knight would be impressed by their cruel zero sum gamesmanship), Damiani’s Leone rip-off sets out his stall thrillingly. It eventually becomes a little mawkish and didactic but never dull. Volontè is superb as the criminal El Chuncho, a charismatic man whose better instincts keep him from true evil. The colours of the clear sky and arid vistas are beautiful in this.

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