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Author Topic: Sartana(1968):review and plot reconstruction  (Read 21834 times)
Marco Leone
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« on: June 08, 2005, 02:23:20 PM »

And here's my latest review......

"Sartana (played superbly by John Garko) has one of the greatest entrances on screen of all the Spaghetti protagonists. When accused of looking like a scarecrow, he utters the classic line "I am your pallbearer" before gunning down all the bandits facing him. A classic moment, with the black clad Sartana setting the scene perfectly for this Gothic tinged western.

The story itself is a very complicated affair, and one which I'm not completely sure I followed from beginning to end (I blame the wine consumption). In simple terms, the story evolves around a stagecoach robbery and murder (with the culprits themselves hijacked and massacred by Lasky - played by the ever brilliant William Berger - and his gang). Enter Sartana, in the midst of further double crossing and more double crossing. And cue bloodshed aplenty!

Sartana combines the gadgetry of Parolini's later Sabata movies, with the darkness and brutality of Django. There are classic performances from Garko and Berger together with the familiar faces of Fernando Sancho and Klaus Kinski.

The success of Sartana is clearly demonstrated by the string of sequels (and name-checks) that followed. And rightly so, the character is in equal parts cool, mysterious and deadly. Much like the film. I just wish I understood it better (time to put away the bottle, and rewind the video perhaps)".

Any reviews or comments would be appreciated, as always, at the webpage below.

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The Firecracker
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2006, 11:08:42 AM »




Ok this thread is dedicated to making complete sense out of the winding and over complex plot of the film "If you meet Sartana, Pray for your death". Me and Banjo will start from scratch here.
For those who actually understand what is going on in Sartana, please dont post the explanation, it would ruin all the fun.

Cast
Sartana:The ghostly gunfighter
Lasky:the bad guy
Holman:The fat guy who is friends with the banker
Stoole:the banker
Tampico:weird mexican general. must be in charge of a renegade army.
Morgan: minor bad guy.

 Banjo: I rewatched it last night but only the first 40 minutes of it. This is what I have so far...

Sartana follows a stagecoah carrying insurance papers. A nasty named Morgan shoots all the passengers of the stagecoach including the driver. Sartana pretends to be shot off horse back and slams to the floor. Morgans band of cut throats come out of the wood work and search the coach for the insurence papers. they find them, sartana gets up and blows everybody to hell, save Morgan who he allows to flee.
Later that day Sartana rides into town where the occupants of the town are loading a large casket filled with "gold" onto a stagecoach.

First question...
Holman says some thing to Tampico about the shipment, He mentions to the fat mexcian that he will get 50% of what is in the casket...? what is this about?

moving on...
The gold is loaded onto the stage. passengers enter the stage. One of the passengers is Tampico's inside man "Roy". others enter, the likes of a woman, a sleeping man and a preacher. The stage leaves the town. Once it gets far enough the rest of Tampico's men(or mexican bandits) ambush the stage, Roy gets trigger happy and kills all the passengers. outside the bandits kill the driver and all the guards. The coach is stopped. Just before the mexicans can get there greedy hands on the loot, Lasky and his gang ambush them and kill them all, Roy included. Lasky rides off while his boys load up the gold on there wagon and head off to the rendevous point where they will meet up with Lasky...

question the second..
How do you spell rondavou?

Once everybody has left the scene of the crime, Sartana shows up and "shuffles" about the corpses. He takes a musical pocket watch from Tampico's best man "el moreno" who is now a corpse. The scene switches to Tampico suspecting El Moreno has cheated him and taken the gold, because he has not shown up yet. Meanwhile Lasky's gang reach the rendevous point with the "gold" and are all killed by Lasky with a gatling gun. Lasky goes for the casket and opens it only to find out the casket is filled with rocks, Lasky hears "el moreno's" (now sartana's) musical watch and gets scared that someone has seen him kill everybody and runs off.

Lasky rides into to town and collects the 5,000 dollars from bank owner stoole for killing tampico's men and stowing away the "gold". He does not tell them the casket is full of rocks though. later that night, Sartana enters  saloon and meets Lasky at a poker table, There Sartana cleans everybody out and ends up in a gunfight right outside the saloon.Sartana leaves the town and Lasky asks his remaining gang members to follow the mysterious gunfighter. Sartana rides off into the desert being chased by lasky's men. Our hero leads the band of ruffians into the gulch where lasky killed some of his own men just the other day, Lasky's posse get a look at the crime scene and go after Lasky intent on killing him for his treacherous acts against his own men. Lasky lures his men into a trap and kills them, he once again hears the musical watch and runs off.

I shall write more. Banjo see how Iam doing so far...tell me if I am missing something.

« Last Edit: June 14, 2006, 05:17:36 PM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2006, 02:02:49 PM »

I'm sure the answer to your first question is that Tampico is being paid half of the contents of the "gold " in the casket(he's not aware of the insurance scam at this point!).Lasky who is aware of the robbery and insurance fiddle from sleeping with Holmans wife (as we find out later )has already bribed the bankers (for which he's paid off in his first scene with them) but decides to also to foil the robbery to get his own hands on the gold.Roy is Laskys man!
   The reason there's rocks in the casket is because the bankers don't trust Tampico(or his right hand man Moreno as well as suspecting Laskys men of trying to snatch it because they say in a later scene that they didn't like to see the casket in Tampicos or Laskys hands)not to keep it all to himself but they need someone to do the robbery!
    Lasky must've had a former partner before Morgan because in the barbershop scene Sartana relates the story of this "other man" who was on a 50/50 agreement  of the takings  with Lasky and ended up being "dragged away by a gravedigger".This other man who "got too greedy and wanted it all "was obviously killed by Lasky before he brought in Morgan.
Its spelt rendezvous!!

« Last Edit: March 30, 2006, 04:53:53 AM by banjo » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2006, 10:06:43 AM »

I'm sure the answer to your first question is that Tampico is being paid half of the contents of the "gold " in the casket(he's not aware of the insurance scam at this point!).Lasky who is aware of the robbery and insurance fiddle from sleeping with Holmans wife (as we find out later )has already bribed the bankers (for which he's paid off in his first scene with them) but decides to also to foil the robbery to get his own hands on the gold.Roy is Laskys man!
   The reason there's rocks in the casket is because the bankers don't trust Tampico(or his right hand man Moreno as well as suspecting Laskys men of trying to snatch it because they say in a later scene that they didn't like to see the casket in Tampicos or Laskys hands)not to keep it all to himself but they need someone to do the robbery!
    Lasky must've had a former partner before Morgan because in the barbershop scene Sartana relates the story of this "other man" who was on a 50/50 agreement  of the takings  with Lasky and ended up being "dragged away by a gravedigger".This other man who "got too greedy and wanted it all "was obviously killed by Lasky before he brought in Morgan.
Its spelt rendezvous!!


How is Roy's lasky's man? Roy signaled the mexicans with the bandana(to notify he was there) when he was inside the stagecoach. And if Roy is Lasky's man why would Lasky kill him for no apparent reason?

As for the "other man" I always had a theory that it was "Sartana". There are many references to him and Lasky being partners in the past. Lasky killed Sartana and he comes back as a ghost. Of course it is not logical but it is interesting.

I wrote a bit more on my first post(where i wIll continue to type the story as we add more to it in the bottom posts).

« Last Edit: March 30, 2006, 10:14:08 PM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2006, 02:05:35 PM »

Roy is Laskys man working undercover with Tampico's men,and he indicates this by saying "well done Lasky" as he steps out of the stagecoach showing no signs of surprise at whats happened.As we see during the rest of the movie Lasky shows no scruples in eliminating any of his men at any time which would presumably mean a bigger share of the takings for himself!
I'm not sure about your "other man" theory.Can you tell me exactly which  references you are refering to?

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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2006, 02:10:50 PM »

Leone Admirer-just before i go,bearing in mind your pending Sartana review it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on the plot!
See you all tommorow!

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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2006, 04:27:30 PM »

I'll take care to give it specific mention  Smiley

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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2006, 12:52:40 AM »

Roy is Laskys man working undercover with Tampico's men,and he indicates this by saying "well done Lasky" as he steps out of the stagecoach showing no signs of surprise at whats happened.As we see during the rest of the movie Lasky shows no scruples in eliminating any of his men at any time which would presumably mean a bigger share of the takings for himself!
I'm not sure about your "other man" theory.Can you tell me exactly which  references you are refering to?

Still the whole killing Roy buissness makes little sense to me. True Lasky kills his own men left and right but he never does it with an audience. One sequence has Sartana being chased after Lasky's men, Sartana leads lasky's gang to the gulch where Lasky killed a handful of his own gang at. As a resutl the gang chasing sartana go after Lasky to kill him.
with that scene the film makes it pretty clear that lasky's men dont take kindly to lasky treating them as target practice.

which begs the question, why did he kill roy in front of his gang? And why did the gang have no scruples about it? To me, Roy was Tampico's man. When he got out of the stagecoach he realized he was now in the custody of lasky's group, so he thought to himself "if you cant beat em, join em". He says "good job lasky" because he had no other choice but to promote lasky's behavoir, he was hoping it would work too, but it didnt(that is my take anyway).

As for my "Sartana being the other man" theory...it just makes sense!
here is an example...just before sartana kills lasky at the end Lasky spouts out...

"I WAS RIGHT! YOU ARE THE..."

That is all he can get out before Sartana finishes him off. This statement brings up a few questions...


what was lasky right about?
what did he suspect about sartana(that apparently he was proved correct)?

The statment also hints of a relationship between the two before the movie started.

another example to back my theory up is when Sartana tells the "story" of the stolen casket full of rocks to Dusty the coffin maker. Sartana tells the whole story to dusty, dusty asks "who told you that story?" and Sartana tells him a man told him, a man that wanted 50% of the gold lasky stole(when he says the man wanted 50% he looks straight at lasky).

again, What other man? Nobody told him anything. My guess is he was talking about himself in the story. After all was he not there to witness the "story" himself? Nobody told him about it.
The "other man" he refers too is himself.


I wrote more on the first post Banjo...see how I am doing.

« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 01:02:57 AM by The Firecracker » Logged



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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2006, 02:16:33 AM »

Lasky rides into to town and collects the 5,000 dollars from bank owner stoole for killing tampico's men and stowing away the "gold". He does not tell them the casket is full of rocks though. I shall write more. Banjo see how Iam doing so far...tell me if I am missing something.
It isn't $5000 for killing Tampicos men-why would they pay him to do that?It's pure blackmail!
The way i see the scene is this:-
Lasky walks into the bankers office and the first thing he does is give a long lingering but knowing look at Evelyn Holman and then tips his hat to her and with her reaction you know that something has been going down with those two.At  the same time both Stool and Holman are looking at Lasky with utter distain.Holman says to Stool mockingly "Why Stool i didn't know you had another partner!" to which the agitated Stool replies "Why don't you shut up Holman?" and then annoyingly says to Lasky "You'll get whats coming to you Lasky" and here Lasky ups the bribe "deal" from $2000 to $5000 saying "It's just an advance,don't forget if you want to collect the insurance".Lasky exits and then Holman sarcastically tells Stool "And now we will have to wait for some blackmail from the mayors widow!"
Firecracker,now does that sound to you anything other than blackmail.Its the only thing that makes sense.
    And Lasky does not tell them about the rocks in the casket because he knows very well they've done something else with the gold!

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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2006, 02:22:06 AM »

yes I see now. it is blackmail.

and what of my "other man theory"?

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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2006, 02:24:52 AM »

Still the whole killing Roy buissness makes little sense to me. True Lasky kills his own men left and right but he never does it with an audience. One sequence has Sartana being chased after Lasky's men, Sartana leads lasky's gang to the gulch where Lasky killed a handful of his own gang at. As a resutl the gang chasing sartana go after Lasky to kill him.
with that scene the film makes it pretty clear that lasky's men dont take kindly to lasky treating them as target practice.

which begs the question, why did he kill roy in front of his gang? And why did the gang have no scruples about it? To me, Roy was Tampico's man. When he got out of the stagecoach he realized he was now in the custody of lasky's group, so he thought to himself "if you cant beat em, join em". He says "good job lasky" because he had no other choice but to promote lasky's behavoir, he was hoping it would work too, but it didnt(that is my take anyway).

As for my "Sartana being the other man" theory...it just makes sense!
here is an example...just before sartana kills lasky at the end Lasky spouts out...

"I WAS RIGHT! YOU ARE THE..."

That is all he can get out before Sartana finishes him off. This statement brings up a few questions...


what was lasky right about?
what did he suspect about sartana(that apparently he was proved correct)?

The statment also hints of a relationship between the two before the movie started.

another example to back my theory up is when Sartana tells the "story" of the stolen casket full of rocks to Dusty the coffin maker. Sartana tells the whole story to dusty, dusty asks "who told you that story?" and Sartana tells him a man told him, a man that wanted 50% of the gold lasky stole(when he says the man wanted 50% he looks straight at lasky).

again, What other man? Nobody told him anything. My guess is he was talking about himself in the story. After all was he not there to witness the "story" himself? Nobody told him about it.
The "other man" he refers too is himself.


I wrote more on the first post Banjo...see how I am doing.
Roy could've been Laskys undercover man unbeknown to the rest of his men.Tampico's man or Laskys man-either way it doesn't really affect the plot!
   Your "other man" being Sartana theory maybe correct but it could still be just a man who tipped off Sartana about the business with the gold.Again i don't think plotwise we need to worry about this little "story" too much!

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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2006, 02:28:14 AM »


   Your "other man" being Sartana theory maybe correct but it could still be just a man who tipped off Sartana about the business with the gold.Again i don't think plotwise we need to worry about this little "story" too much!

It is an interesting theory though and worth debating about. I think the film leaves it up for grabs.

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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2006, 02:31:23 AM »

yes I see now. it is blackmail.
I think this is the major cause of confusion with the movie and once one realises this is blackmail the rest of the plot falls neatly into place and as we know there are further dirty dealings including Stool trying to trick his partner Holman out of the gold.The sleevenote on the Wildeast disc about Lasky and Morgan being in the bankers employ is totally wrong!

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« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2006, 02:32:31 AM »

The sleevenote on the Wildeast disc about Lasky and Morgan being in the bankers employ is totally wrong!

I agree it makes it all very confusing.

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« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2006, 02:33:47 AM »

It is an interesting theory though and worth debating about. I think the film leaves it up for grabs.
Yes you theory may well explain Laskys odd utterances as he dies!

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