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Films of Sergio Leone => Other Films => Topic started by: Banjo on May 25, 2007, 03:35:16 AM

Title: Return Of Sabata(1972)
Post by: Banjo on May 25, 2007, 03:35:16 AM
Can't believe there's not a topic here already for this misunderstood classic! ;)

Anyway here's Leone Admirer's  review from his SW Virgins Guide:-

Return of Sabata

Well I was warned that as my  review for Sabata was a negative, then my experience of Return of Sabata would be worse. However, I went in with an open mind, After all I am on an trail to experience many different types of spaghetti films, not only the good, but the bad and ugly ones too. Having just come back from the Premiere of Keane (a damn good film, please go see it if you can) so I was in a good mood. I turned on the DVD player, put the disc in, tried in vain to skip past the R2 Anti-piracy advert before pressing the icon to play the movie in the rediculously rubbish DVD menu. Sadly, an hour and forty two minutes later I found that I did not enjoy this movie at all
      The film begins with a strange sequence in which Sabata (Lee Van Cleef) hunts down some men and kills them. However a disturbingly high pitched clown rushes into the frame and thanks everyone for enjoying the show. It turns out that Sabata was part of an act in which he didn't kill anyone, merely shoot paint at them. Outside he finds his ex Lieutenant, Clyde ( Reiner Schöne) and they both discover that Joe McLintock (Giampiero Albertini) has in his possesion $1 million of gold that Sabata had got in an earlier job. Sabata and the seemingly friendly Clyde get together to get the gold back.
       The film runs along similar lines to the first film in which Sabata needs to get some gold and kill the main villain, his best friend is a treacherous man and his helper is played by Ignazio Spalla who played the Mexican helper Carrincha in Sabata. This harms it as, unlike a Bond film which has the gadgets, guns and gals which also follows a set rule in each film and plays variations on one story, the writer Gianfranco Parolini who was also the director of the first film, doesn't create, for me at any rate, interesting and sympathetic characters. Van Cleef as Sabata is the most character I get sympathetic too, because of the actor, but as we know that this super-hero like character is never going to get into trouble or even get injured, we hardly ever feel any sense of danger or threat towards him.
     Van Cleef does look like he is having the time of his life when making this film and he pulls off again another likable role as the protagonist.  Nods and referances to situations and gadgets he used in the first Sabata film are used to re-inforce his, again superhero like status.
    Reiner Schöne, as the best friend role, is similar in some ways to Berger's characterisation of Banjo, however I must admit, whilst I don't think he was any better to Berger, I didn't seem to have such a hostile feeling towards Clyde  then I did at the end of Sabata with banjo, most likely because it was like watching the same character, just with a few differences and played by another actor.
    The main antagonist Joe McIntock is in my opinion better then Franco Ressels Stengel in Sabata. Whilst coming nowhere near as close as some of the villains in the other spaghetti's I suppose these weak villains help the light hearted feel of the film.
     The films opening with surreal colors and clown aspects seems to set a dark tone, but when the lights go up and a heavily grinning Van Cleef hove into view, we know that the film is going to be even more light hearted then the first film. Regarding the gadgets, I love Bond movies and the gadgets within them but for me, I just don't think it works transposed to the West. I can imagine why these films were very popular but it just didn't agree with me. The gadgets in this film, and the games that surround them are even more over the top then the first film. I did like the idea of the see-saw draw, even if its execition wasn't perfect, but whats going on with the human caterpolt. I don't want to see a stone fly out of a mans groin thank you very much and its constant use was very unwelcome.
     Director Parolini (Known here as Frank Kramer) handles the action scenes quite well, and he does use some interesting angles but the script was weak and the over-reliance on humor didn't gell with me at all. The cinematography was of a general good standard but wasn't as 'grand' as with the first Sabata film. Music, again for me was weak point, though I did think the incidental music was much better then the first film.
     This film can be bought as part of The Sabata Trilogy Collection R1 DVD set which contains the three Sabata films, Sabata, Adios Sabata and Return of Sabata. I believe that the A/V is the same between R1 and R2 but if your a Sabata fan it may be worth buying the R1 set, though R2 buyers be warned, it contains the RCE coding.
    This MGM R2 DVD has good picture quality, with little print damage, and again like the first film it looks a little desaturated, most likely the Director and DP's decision. Audio was good, presented in two channel English mono. Other mono options available on the disc are German, French and Spanish. The disc has no extras and a hideous menu and again that cursed anti-piracy advert, which I am informed that can be skipped on the R1 version.
    I must admit, I was warned that I wasn't going to like this film and I didn't. But on a positive note, at least i got to watch two more spaghetti's and it shows me what style of Spaghetti I don't like. However, because of the debate stirred up by my disliking of Sabata, I am going to wait a while, and then watch it again and see if it has grown upon me at all. I don't want to watch it too soon as at the moment all I feel towards the film are negative opinions. I'll give an update in a couple of months time when I do watch it. Again, if you are a Sabata fan (and I know there are a lot of you out there) then you'll have your own feelings about this film and recomend it to the people who you think will enjoy it, however for me, I would recomend it to people who either are huge Van Cleef fans or like the comic book humorous spaghetti's.
Title: Re: Return Of Sabata(1972)
Post by: Banjo on May 26, 2007, 03:55:06 AM
LA  whatever happened to the update? :(

Here's Silenzio's review:-

Return of Sabata -- A quite inconsistent film.  There are some great moments, but also too many lame parts to bring it down.  Some good moments, for example, is Sabata's duel using the see-saw device, but, of course, a lame moment follows with a bad attempt at comedy.  The Sabata standards are here, with the untrustworthy friend and the acrobats.  The score is as inconsistent as the movie.  Everything outside of the main theme is good, but the main theme is a poorly thrown together piece that has no place in a Spaghetti, and lyrics that were probably written out in five minutes.  There's a gag in the lyrics ripped off from the last line of "The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly."  This is the second time Parolini ripped off that gag, with the first being in Indio Black, a.k.a. Adios, Sabata.  This film kept me entertained enough, though, to warrant a two-and-a-half star(out of four) rating.

Title: Re: Return Of Sabata(1972)
Post by: Jill on November 05, 2007, 12:10:53 PM
It's not a masterpiece, but a quiet good SW. I missed two things what the first Sabata had: a great villain (this Irishman is sooo lame, Stengel was badass), and Banjo. He was just awesome.

And it's a little too funny. But watchable.
Title: Re: Return Of Sabata(1972)
Post by: Ben Tyreen on November 05, 2007, 02:03:07 PM
  I never saw this one, only the original with LVC and then Adios, Sabata with Brynner.  I liked both of them, but I've avoided this one because I've heard it's not as good as the first two.  Maybe I'll check this one out after those positive reviews... :)