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Sabata

3.8 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A mysterious gunslinger uncovers corruption in a western town and sets out to correct it with his own brand of justice.
Genre: Westerns
Rating: PG13
Release Date: 22-MAY-2007
Media Type: DVD

Amazon.com

In the grand tradition of spaghetti Westerns, Sabata is a hoot. Lee Van Cleef, who stars in this first of director Gianfranco Parolini's (screen name: Frank Kramer) three Sabata installments, was already familiar to fans of the mysterious stranger genre, having previously appeared in Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and For a Few Dollars More. But in those films he was second fiddle to Clint Eastwood. Here he's the star, portraying (with tongue at least slightly in cheek) the classic strong and silent type with no past and no identity save his one name, a natty dresser, an expert marksman, and an accomplished thief and gambler who nonetheless knows the difference between right and wrong and inevitably places his bets on the former. Within the film's first few minutes, when the cigarillo-puffing Sabata gives a handout to the town drunk (Pedro Sanchez, who soon becomes a trusty sidekick), foils some gamblers cheating with loaded dice, slays the seven bad guys who robbed the local bank and returns the stolen loot, we can see that this is no ordinary cat. Thereafter, Sabata and his pals (who also include Nick Jordan as an acrobatic Indian and William Berger as Banjo, a drifter who's either an adversary, a partner, or both) pursue the town fathers who were responsible for the original robbery--especially Stengel (Franco Ressel), whose fey manner and appalling comb-over are surefire signs of his villainous inclinations. In terms of production values, Sabata is second-rate at best; much of the dialogue is very poorly dubbed, resulting in a stilted, silly mien that the film never quite overcomes. Still, along with the twangy music and a surfeit of the kind of arch, cruel "I'm going to kill you now" cackling typical of such fare, it offers a few good laughs, plenty of cool shoot-outs, a nifty ending, and an obvious template for the sequels soon to come. There are no bonus features. --Sam Graham

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lee Van Cleef, William Berger, Ignazio Spalla, Aldo Canti, Franco Ressel
  • Directors: Gianfranco Parolini
  • Writers: Gianfranco Parolini, Renato Izzo
  • Producers: Alberto Grimaldi
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2007
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000NIBUZ8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,925 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sabata" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By William Amazzini on July 26, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
Kino Lorber Video has licensed the MGM library of titles to the Blu-Ray format that were released previously on DVD over a decade ago. Here we have Director Gianfranco Parolini 's aka Frank Kramer's brilliantly entertaining 'SABATA aka 'EHI, AMICO...C' E SABATA, HAI CHIUSO'-1969, the first of a supposed trilogy featuring Lee Van Cleef in the title role (although the character is not mentioned by name in the film). Released in 2005 in a 3 disc DVD set by MGM entitled the 'SABATA' trilogy , the transfer to the Blu-Ray format is outstanding. The colors are richer, the photography by Sandro Mancori is finally appreciated in 1080P 2.35 wide screen making the images sharper, clearer and eye-popping, and the music score by Marcello Giombini stands out rather than being stifled in the background as in the past.The film highlights the Euro Westerns best eccentric character actors: William Berger as Banjo, the only one who can out shoot Sabata more or less; Franco Ressel giving his best performance of villainy personified; the beautiful Linda Veras balancing both heroes between her fingers; Luciano Pigozzi here billed as Alan Collins showing why he was known as the Italian Peter Lorre; and Robert Hundar among others. Coming off his excellent oater 'SARTANA aka 'IF YOU MEET SARTANA, PREY FOR YOUR DEATH' aka 'SE INCONTRI SARTANA PREGA PER LA TUA MORTE'1968 , Parolini brings a cartoonish atmosphere to the proceeding but never going over the top as he does in the 1972 sequel 'RETURN OF SABATA' aka 'E TORNATO SABATA, HAI CHIUSO UN ALTRA VOLTA' where he brings in James Bondish gadgetry to the proceedings.Read more ›
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Format: DVD
This review is for Sabata on DVD and not Sabata on Blu Ray. I have not seen the Blu Ray version but I understand that the sound-synch problems have been fixed and the video and sound quality are improved on Blu Ray.

Sabata is one of the very best Spaghetti Westerns. Unfortunately MGMs american version of this DVD is marred by a terrible sound-sink problem throughout most of the middle of the film. And I do not mean bad dubbing! Sabata was filmed with the actors speaking entirely in English so the sound should be perfect. The sound becomes and stays so out of sink that voices and all sound effects (footsteps, slaps, gun shots etc.) are noticeably off by about a whole two seconds. There is one scene where Sharky's mother is slapping him. The slap sounds occur every time she pulls her hand back. Characters continue to move their mouths long after their voices have stopped. This completely mars one of the greatest spaghetti westerns of all time and the very best of the three Sabata films! This is a problem with the MGM/Sony DVD pressing not with the original film.

Sabata is otherwise an excellent combination of western action, acrobats, fancy gadgets, humor, good music and clever camera work. The acting by Lee Van Cleef and the rest of the cast is top notch.

Van Cleef, a great character actor has incredible presence yet never upstages the other actors giving the cast an ensemble feeling rather then a one man show.

The clever editing, fluid camera work, and color photography in Sabata is super. The film is extremely stylish and purposely tongue in cheek, highly entertaining, imaginative, and funny.

The plot - A trio of city-big-wigs attempt to empty the bank. Sabata finds out and blackmails the buch.
Read more ›
2 Comments 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Sabata is a great spaghetti western. If you are into this genre of way over-the-top, violent, non-traditional westerns, then this is a great film. It has a great story and the visual quality is very good (i.e. not grainy and cheap looking). The acting is also very good. I respectfully disagree with previous reviewers about the quality of the film... the sound sync issue isn't as bad as they make it out to be, and isn't worth missing this one. Yes, there are a few bad moments with sound sync, but not enough to ruin the film or make it unwatchable. Keep in mind, this is the norm for spaghetti westerns, they employed actors that spoke their lines in other languages and then were dubbed over later. Compared to some of the other lesser known spaghetti westerns that you buy on DVD, this one is high quality. I'm glad I have this film as part of my collection, and am happy I bought it.
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Format: DVD
Lee Van Cleef never looked so good. He is enjoying every minute of this film which is a tad fantastic but is saved by the great touch of Van Cleef. Too bad Hollywood never appreciated what a truly handsome man he wasn't--fabulous face and great physique. There are quite a few woman who find him gorgeous; I'm one. Altogether a fun movie and a break from the Angel Eyes of "For a few dollars more" and " The good,bad,ugly".
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What can I say about Sabata only that it is one of my favorite westerns and I am certain my grandfather would be proud of my interest in westerns. I realize spaghetti westerns are exactly thought of as entertaining, but they are to me.
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