A Bullet for Sandoval (1969)

George Hilton, Ernest Borgnine, Alberto de Mendoza, Leo Anchóriz,
A Confederate deserter, whose Mexican girlfriend dies during childbirth, starts a feud with her Mexican family, becomes an outlaw and vows revenge on all who wronged him.
  • 5.7 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Federico De Urrutia, Ugo Guerra, José Luis Martínez Mollá, Writer:
  • Julio Buchs, Director:
  • Producer:

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7 / 10

One of the best Paella Western with stellar cast as George Hilton and Ernest Borgnine

Gazpacho with Spaghetti Western co-produced between Spain and Italy , though this time with production mostly Spanish and plenty of violence , crossfire and elements of Greek tragedy . A Confederation corporal named John Warner (George Hilton) deserts his unit at the night before a major battle during American Civil War (1861-1865) , after receiving an important message from Sandoval's son . John along with other rebels (Albert De Mendoza, Antonio Pica) escape ; later on , unites to bunch a motley band of characters (Jose Luis Martin , Leo Anchoriz , Gustavo Rojo) . Meanwhile John heads across the border to Mexico to marry his pregnant girlfriend before she gives birth . Her father named Pedro Sandoval (the recently deceased Ernest Borgnine) had forbidden their marriage, but the corporal is determined to marry her . Circumstances change when John Warner learns a surprise and he becomes into an outlaw who vows vendetta on everyone involved in his misfortune .

Director Julio Buchs achieved in "A bullet for Sandoval" possibly his best work of a modest career , with some memorable scenes and good camera movement as the initial prologue and first part in which we see the death-stricken the main star, furthermore the ending duel in ¨Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid¨ style and that makes only can say that this movie seemed to be a true surprise . The story is wrapped in an aura of sadness , a tragic event on the metamorphosis of Warner , a good man turned into a crazed psychopath . Worthwhile watching for a demonstration of the deep hating among two protagonists . It will lead a tragic ending , which is underlined by the idea of fatality, the inability to change his own fate . It's an exciting western with breathtaking showdown between the main star Hilton and the enemy Ernest Borgnine and his hoodlums . Uruguay-born George Hilton is fine as the hero / villain of this thrilling story . Hilton is fine, he ravages the screen, he jumps, shoots , bounds and leaps, hit and run , and finally kills . His performance is astonishing , above average to level of these films . George Hilton as the suffering and avenger gunslinger , in possibly her most important role that was able to defend in a Spaghetti . During this process , the protagonist John results to be a character initially positive , but he will degenerate to become a bloody and despicable gunman without feelings and inability to love . While Ernest Borgnine in a top-notch performance , is a rich , arrogant, overbearing and vindictive Mexican rancher unable to admit the affair between his daughter and a miserable foreman who has dishonored him and he will be victim of its own code of honor . Alberto De Mendoza is the tough but likable outlaw partner and although he doesn't reaches the level of Hilton , is also quite restrained , with some looks that say it all . Many other familiar faces from Chorizo/Spaghetti , there appears ordinary secondaries in Spanish/Italian Western such as Jose Luis Martin as a nasty rapist , Leo Anchoriz as a Friar Tuck-alike , Manuel De Blas , Luis Barboo , Lorenzo Robledo , George Rigaud , Alfonso Rojas , Dan Van Husen , Tito Garcia and several others. A special mention I want to highlight is the soundtrack of the film, Gianni Ferrio creates melodies that manage to finish to give the story a point even more dramatic and disturbing, making the images gain strength with the chords , a high-level work similarly the great composers of the genre . Acceptable photography by Francisco Sempere , though being necessary a right remastering , filmed on location in Las Rozas , Madrid , Lucainena de Las Torres, Andalucia, and of course , Almeria . The movie was produced by Atlantida Films/Jose Frade productions that financed several Western during the 60s and early 70s such as ¨Cuatreros¨ , ¨Mestizo¨ , ¨Challenge of McKenna¨ , ¨The mercenary¨ , ¨Los Compa?eros¨, ¨twenty dollars for seven¨ and ¨Saddle tramps¨ , among others.

The motion picture was pretty well directed by Julio Buchs who also wrote the script along with Federico De Urrutia ; sometimes it is falsely claimed the movie was co-directed by Lucio Fulci, but this is not true, actor George Hilton has stated so in many interviews . Julio Buchs was an expert on thriller as he proved in ¨Salario De Crimen¨, ¨Alta tension¨ and ¨Trumpets of Apocalypse¨ and Spaghetti such as ¨Los Desesperados¨, ¨I'll kill him and return alone¨ also titled ¨El Hombre Mató Billy Kid¨ and ¨Mestizo¨ or ¨Django does not forgive¨ . Along with ¨A bullet for Sandoval¨ the Buchs's best film was ¨Encrucijada Una Monja¨ with Rosanna Schiaffino playing a similar character to ¨Audrey Hepburn's The nun's story¨ ; both of them were well directed by Julio until his early death at 46 years old .

6 / 10

No bullet, just a lot of bull!

Saturday continues with another Spaghetti western with Ernest Borgnine and George Hilton.

The story takes place during the Civil War. Hilton got Borgnine's daughter pregnant, and she died delivering. Hilton comes back to marry her, finds, out she's dead, and takes the baby, who dies because no one would defy Don Pedro Sandoval (Borgnine) and give him milk.

After the baby dies, he flips and gathers some murderers to get revenge on all who were responsible, particularly Sandoval.

Great knife fight between the two of them at the end, and I assure you it wasn't a bullet that did him in.

Good action throughout.

8 / 10

One of the best spaghettis..

Anybody who is into spaghettis should watch this film. The plot is about a woman that dies after giving birth to the son of her lover (George Hilton), a soldier away on duty. The father of the woman (Ernest Borgnine), hates Hilton and blames him for her death. The hatred the men have for eachother consumes them both and they spend the film stalking eachother, until they finally settle the account at the end, with one of the best and climatic endings I have ever seen in any movie.

For a start, the acting in this spag, is better than 90% of the spags I have seen. The atmosphere is dripping with a sense of fate and destiny...a sort of weird nihilism between the two men. The cinematography is gorgeous and the film moves from scene to scene very smoothly...making it easy to watch.

The ending is an unusual one for a spaghetti. Its simply brilliant.

7 / 10

Vengeance of Mermaid Man

This one is really bleak and nihilistic, so watch out for that. Set during the American Civil War, we have Confederate soldier George Hilton having to go AWOL in order to save the honour of a woman who has just borne his child. George has several problems, however, one being that the army aren't too lenient on deserters, and his lady's father, Sandoval (a very loud Borgnine, just the way we like him!), really hates his guts and wants nothing to do with him. Plus, he gets caught and sentenced to death in pretty short order.

Killing his captor and heading south with a couple of mates, George finds that the town his fiance lives in is suffering from an outbreak of cholera, his missus has just died, and Sandoval has just dumped the kid on him and banished him. Further still, George finds that his kid is starving to death, but no one will feed him as they think the kid has cholera. The kid dies, and George turns to the dark side and starts murdering everyone who turned him away. Is this a Western or an Adam Sandler film?

George gets himself a gang of bandits while on the other side of things Sandoval keeps getting madder and madder and madder to the point where he denies he even had a daughter in the first place (although in secret he's shattered inside that she's gone - nicely performed by Borgnine). Both men are gearing up for a confrontation that they cannot avoid, as both of them have lost their souls...

We all like Ernest Borgnine, right? You can't go wrong with him here, as a stubborn but honourable man consumed by grief. George Hilton too does a nice turn as the loved up soldier turned blank-eyed killer and it's the fact that both characters have more depth that carries the film. Neither of them are particular evil men, but through circumstance they are both turned into monsters.

Good film. Loved the custard-pie fight at the end!

Wait...no...that didn't happen.

7 / 10

A Bullet For Sandoval

This movie is in my top 20 list of the best spaghetti westerns. Ernest Borgnine was great for his only contribution towards the genre as Don Sandoval who blames the death of his daughter(Rosa) at the hands of John Warner (George Hilton) who wanted to marry Rosa but was not allowed due to the jealousy of Don Sandoval. Rosa dies giving birth to there child a boy who dies due to Sandoval's rage and jealousy and as well as the towns people's lack of help due the child being from a town having cholera. This last act makes warner turn outlaw punishing everyone who did not help. It is a great little story of revenge and hate that makes one of Hilton's best spaghetti roles ever. The ending is one of my favorites. A real comparison to the ending of "The Wild Bunch". The music was good and the acting and character profiles of the Warner gang was fabulous.