This is not the same "Sabata" character as in the Lee Van Cleef movies. This character was actually supposed to be named "Indio Black" but they changed his name for the English version. Why they thought that a western with a big star like Yul Brynner wouldn't be popular enough on it's own, and tried to cash in on the Sabata name is beyond me, but studios and distributors did a lot of stupid things to film titles back then, especially with the international releases, so it's par for the course.
Yul Brynner is interesting as the protagonist in this film. Too bad he didn't appear in any other spaghetti westerns. He's no Lee Van Cleef, but he does have a style of his own. His accent makes him sound like Arnold Schwartzeneggar in some parts. Gerard Herter is great as the wicked, Nazi-like Austrian Colonel. I wasn't very impressed with any of the other actors in the movie. Dean Reed was especially awful, and his character, "Ballantyne" was very irritating. I kept hoping he would get killed throughout the whole movie, but that damned Indio Black kept saving him.
The music score is OK, but not as good as most of Bruno Nicolai's other work, and there are very long stretches of the film with no music at all where it probably could use some.
The movie drags a little from the middle to the end. There's lots of action, but it just doesn't have the pizazz or suspense of the really great spaghetti westerns. It would probably be better if it was shorter. Some movies, like Sergio Leone's westerns for example, are able to go on for 2 or 3 hours and not have a dull moment, but this movie isn't one of them. It could have been 15 or 20 minutes shorter.
Overall, the production quality is good, and the story is OK, though it's nothing original. This one is worth watching, but probably for spaghetti western fans only.
9 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?