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The Hills Run Red: Italian Westerns, Leone, and Beyond

Thursday, January 17, 2013
7:00 p.m. A Bullet for the General
Damiano Damiani (Italy, 1966)

(Quien sabe?). Viva Zapata, or at least the Zapata Western. Damiano Damiani’s well-riddled oater is the first of its breed, a high-impact tale of a rogue turned revolutionary. Fresh from A Fistful of Dollars, Gian-Maria Volontè plays El Chucho, a badass bandit bent on exploiting the revolution. He brings along his brother, the demented priest El Santo, played by feral hepcat Klaus Kinski. The action is packed in this compressed concentrate about deceitful perversion and political conversion. In a fit of Trotsky-like zeal, El Chucho tosses gold to a passing peasant and tells him, “Don’t buy bread with that, hombre, buy dynamite!”

—Steve Seid

• Written by Salvatore Laurani, Franco Solinas, from a story by Laurani. Photographed by Antonio Secchi. With Gian-Maria Volontè, Klaus Kinski, Martine Beswick, Lou Castel. (118 mins, Color, ‘Scope, Digital, From Blue Underground)