A master gunfighter teams up with his banjo-playing partner and a Mexican bandit to foil the town leaders of Daugherty, Texas, who want to steal $100,000 from their own bank to buy land that the approaching railroad will cross.
Lee Van Cleef,
In New Mexico, a Confederate veteran returns home to find his fiancée married to a Union soldier, his Yankee neighbors rallied against him and his property sold by the local banker who then hires a gunman to kill him.
In 1905, Polish horse thieves living near the Russian border find their livelihoods threatened by the new Russo-Japanese conflict because the Russian army requisitions all horses and forcibly conscripts all men for the war.
In Mexico, during the rule of the self-proclaimed Emperor of Mexico Maximillian (1864-1867), Mexican revolutionaries and Republican forces try to bring former Mexican President Benito Juárez back to power. The United States in neutral and is going through the pains of the American Civil War. Mexican guerrilla leader Señor Ocaño hires gunfighter Sabata to steal a wagon-load of gold from Emperor Maximillian's Austrian and French forces. When Sabata and his friends, Escudo and Ballantine, finally get their hands on a wagon, they discover it's full of sand rather than gold. They suspect that the gold was stolen by Austrian Colonel Skimmel. Therefore, Sabata and his partners set out to find the gold and give it to the Mexican revolutionaries. Written by
This was not originally a Sabata film. The original Italian title translates as "Indio Black, you know what? You're a big son of a...", Indio Black being the character played by Yul Brynner, but the title and Brynner's character name were changed for the American release to cash in on Sabata (1969), the original Sabata film. See more »
When Sabata invades Colonel Skimmel's quarters, he sees the reflection of a person hiding behind the door. The person in the reflection is not Hertz. See more »
The worst kind of informer. For gold he would have betrayed his own mother... or us. My father, Admiral Von Skimmel, used to hang such traitors from the *mast*!
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Firstly, this is *not* a sequel to 1970's "Sabata" ("Ehi amico... c'è Sabata, hai chiuso!") although it can be considered a follow up of sorts. Lee Van Cleef did not reprise the role until 1971's "Return of Sabata". "Adiós Sabata" was originally about a character called Indio Black and completely unrelated to the previous Sabata story - Indio, I believe, was meant to be nothing more than a bandit. The name was changed to cash in on the success of "Sabata" - though this film could be considered a true Sabata entry as a couple of stars return (Pedro Sanchez, Gianni Rizzo) and the screenwriters and director are the same. Gianfranco Parolini (Frank Kramer) perhaps out does the previous film here, keeping everything tighter - "Sabata" was a little too jokey (although still excellent and one of the truly great Italian westerns) whereas this is blatantly tongue in cheek. I feel the music is better in this film, never intrusive and always fitting: a triumph for Bruno Nicolai, despite the fact that it is incredibly reminiscent of Morricone.
As Sabata, Brynner is a kind of anti-hero counterpart to Chris from "The Magnificent Seven"; he even dresses out all in black here too. Gérard Herter is great as the Austrian Colonel Skimmel at the time of Emperor Maximillian's Mexico - a kind of borderline camp, Bond villain type, complete with monacle and perfectly trimmed moustache. Oh, and yes, he is a dead shot with a rifle. In "Sabata", Franco Ressel's Stengel had his shootout's behind man shaped shields (to live at the peak of danger or some such nonsense) as his playtoy; Herter's Skimmel has an even better one - a drawer beneath a model ship that when opened fires each cannon on the model directly into whoever opens the drawer. Like "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (which this film contains some surprisingly subtle references to) the plot centres around a shipment of gold: Sabata, Escudo (Sanchez) and Ballantine (Dean Reed) want the wagon load of gold, but it is also coveted by Maximillian's rebels. The scenes with the gold and the gold dust being poured out/spilled is nicely complimented by Nicolai's incidental music which really does bring out the joy of the characters.
I personally think it's a shame that Brynner and the others weren't brought back for another Sabata film because he plays the role much straighter than Van Cleef did and really does come across as a tough guy here, who doesn't need to rely on his gun. "Adiós Sabata" is a classic in it's own right and doesn't need to be viewed with the other Sabata entries. It's only downside is that after surpassing the superb original, it left most people disappointed with the later "Return of Sabata".
Are these subtle hints to Leone's 1966 masterpiece? Sanchez: "Me, I'd make a hiding place no-one would find - stick it in the ground, maybe in a cemetery..." Reed (the last line): "Hey fellas - are you gonna help me pick up the gold or not, you sons of...!" (music takes over)
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