Film Reviews, Short Review

Ehi amico… c’è Sabata, hai chiuso! [Sabata] (1969)


More films need to introduce their main villain as he’s reading a book entitled “Inequality is the basis of society”, and then have him spout off sub-Randian philosophy. It just makes things easier on the viewer, y’know? Sabata is the kind of spaghetti Western that was ten-a-penny back in the late ’60s, and it bears all the hallmarks of the genre: preposterous villains, gung-ho dubbing, overactive camera work (there is barely a single shot in the film which doesn’t use a whip, pan, tilt, dolly, track or zoom). Sabata rises above the B-movie mire purely by virtue of the cold, steely eyes of Lee Van Cleef, here playing the same kind of cold, amoral gunslinger that catapulted him out of “third baddie on the left” status after the success of the Sergio Leone/Clint Eastwood Westerns. Granted, Sabata has no chance of being anywhere near the quality of those films, but as a genre film in which a badass kills a lot of people, Lee Van Cleef ensures proceedings are good fun, and there’s much worse out there.


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