Thursday, May 10, 2012
Return of Sabata (1971)
Lee Van Cleef returns to the role of Sabata in the film the Medveds picked as the worst Western ever made.(Clearly they hadn't seen some the the real turkeys I've seen)
The plot of this film has to do with the town of Hobsonville where McIntock, a now prosperous miner and town over seer is taxing the people in order to get the money to build up their fair town into something special. Enter Sabata, who is following a trail that led him from a murder in a traveling circus to the town. Clearly there is a great deal of money at stake and Sabata smells something a miss as well as sensing that there is a buck to be made.
This is a rambling, often seemingly plot less, (comedic) western. You're a good way into the film before you realize what exactly is going on. There a good number of characters who are two timing or three timing each other and we get dragged into their machinations, and it seems that there really isn't a central story (or real villain), or at least a reason why Sabata is in the town, until the movie is about half over. Its not bad as such but towards the end of the first half you really do begin to wonder why you're watching the film.
The reason you're watching it is Lee Van Cleef. Van Cleef as Sabata is pure smart mouthed hero. He can't be beat and he knows it. He is a hero we'd all like to be, even if his motivations are questionable. Van Cleef goes along with the nonsense on screen and in the process makes it somehow okay to go along too.
Worth a look for western fans, others may want to take a pass unless they are in an undemanding mood.