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Quien Sabe

From The Spaghetti Western Database

Quien Sabe (Italy 1966 / Director: Damiano Damiani)

  • Runtime: 118 min
  • Release Date: 7.12.1966

Also known as

A Bullet for the General (U.S.A.) | Gringo Desperados | Who Knows! | ¿Quien sabe? (Italy) | Töte, Amigo (Germany) | O Mercenário (Portugal) | El Chuncho (France) | El Chuncho, quién sabe? (Spain) | Yo soy la revolución (Spain) | Naurava Paholainen (Finland) | Töte Amigo (West Germany) | Uma Bala Para o General (Brazil) | Zlatni metak (Croatia) | För några smutsiga dollar (Sweden) | Viva Bandito | Gringo (Poland) | Kula dla generała (Poland) | Gunto Koyawo Saku (Japan) | Kulka pro generála (Czechoslovakia)

Cast and crew

  • Cast: Gian Maria Volonté (El Chuncho), Klaus Kinski (El Santo), Martine Beswick (Adelita), Lou Castel (Bill 'Niño' Tate / El Gringo), Jaime Fernandez (General Elias), Andrea Checchi (Don Felipe), Spartaco Conversi (Cirillo), Joaquin Parra (Picaro), Aldo Sambrell (Lieutenant Alvaro Perada), Jose Manuel Martin (Raimundo), Santiago Santos (Guapo), Carla Gravina (Rosario, Felipe's wife), Valentino Macchi (train engineer)
  • Also with: Aysanoa Runachagua (Federale aide who pays Tate), Antonio Ruiz (Chico), Rufino Ingles (Captain tied to rails), Vicente Roca (hotel manager), Damiano Damiani (journalist w/Elias), Bianca Manini
  • Story: Salvatore Laurani
  • Screenplay: Salvatore Laurani, Franco Solinas
  • Cinematography: Antonio Secchi (as Tony Secchi) [Technicolor, Techniscope 2,35:1]
  • Music: Luis Bacalov
  • Song: "Ya me voy" sung by Ramon Mereles
  • Producer: Bianco Manini

Synopsis

During the height of the Mexican revolution a gang of bandits led by "El Chuncho" (Gian Maria Volonte) are stealing weapons and selling them on to the revolutions leader "General Elias" to aid the cause. During an attack the bandits are making on an armed train, the gang are unexpectedly helped by one of its passengers, the gringo "Bill Tate" (Lou Castel) who kills the driver and stops the train. "Tate" convinces the bandits he is a wanted man facing a death sentence in America. "Chuncho" takes an immediate liking to the young gringo and the gang agree to him joining them. The bandits weapon stealing exploits are greatly improved with the gringo aboard and the friendship between him and "Chuncho" grows. But unknown to the bandits "Bill Tate" has another agenda, one which will take him to the heart of the revolution and "General Elias" himself. --The Halitosis Kid 12:48, 16 December 2006 (CET)

Comment

This groundbreaking political western was probably the first of the so called Zapata westerns, and Quien sabe?'s surprise success set the basis for lots to follow. With director Damiano Damiani, writer Franco Solinas and the lead played by Gian Maria Volonte, 3 key figures of the Italian political cinema of the 60s and 70s were involved, so no wonder that this was also one of the most serious examples of this type of SW. Set in the revolution years between 1914 and 1920, the film was aiming in fact at the illegal CIA underground activities in contemporary South America. In Damiani's view this film is not a western, but there are still enough western elements in it to be included as a vital part of the genre.

by Stanton

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