A Man Called Blade / Mannaja (Sergio Martino, 1977)


(Sebastian) #1

Database page: http://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Mannaja

I am surprise how great this flick really is. Totally sinister, nice characters, apocalyptic mood and music, and good action. Really underrated I think. It reminded me a little of Keoma, another late-spaghetti.

what are your thoughts?


(JONAH HEX) #2

THIS MOVIE STRIKES ME THE SAME AS DJANGO,AWESOME SCENERY AWESOME “FEEL” BUT LIKE DJANGO NEVER SEEMS TO LIVE UP TO ITS POTENTIAL,BUT NONE THE LESS A GREAT LITTLE FILM,AND ONE OF THE COOLEST VILLIANS (the guy with the cape and the dogs).3 star.


(Cian) #3

I really like it. A shame Merli only made one western. I do think it borrowed heavily from earlier SW plots though.


(Sebastian) #4

well Maurizio died shortly after, and the spaghetti western was on the decline then anyways, but he wasnt really a western actor


(Bill san Antonio) #5

Good film indeed but I have always felt that this one is highly over-rated. It’s one of the great last spaghettis but there’s better ones: Keoma, California, Silver Saddle…

Maurizio Merli is one of my favorite actors in italian crime films but I don’t think he’s really suitable for westerns. Well, I guess it’s just the matter of taste.

Great landscapes, grim feel, good and strange music by De Angelis bros. and of course great donal O’brien but like Jonah said this film just doesn’t ever live up to it’s potential.


(Sebastian) #6

as much as it might be overrated, its also underrated I think, or at least over-looked, maybe because it is such a late one


(Bill san Antonio) #7

Why do you think Mannaja is under-rated? Many sw fans rank this in their top20 films and prefer it to Keoma.


(Sebastian) #8

I’ve read many reviews and comments where it is called trash and B etc…


(Silvanito) #9

I think the music is the best aspect of this film, really good, and with a style of it’s own, not influenced by Morricone.


(veda) #10

In my opinion this film has one of the greatest openings. The pursuit in the foggy, wet wilderness is truly haunting. As you already said, it promises a lot but doesn’t manage to give that much. This is also a great example of how SWs were much about copying each other. The influence of Keoma is clearly noticeable and even the main actor has been made to look like Nero. :slight_smile:


(Silvanito) #11

“This is also a great example of how SWs were much about copying each other.”

That goes for a lot of filmgenres, not just spaghettis, and with hundreds of sw’s there’s bound to be similarities between some films.

On the contrary I think a great many different types of spaghettis were produced over the years!


(Stanton) #12

A boring film, badly directed with unimaginative action scenes and uncharismatic actors (exept Merli).
Only thing I like is the score with the songs resembling Leonard Cohen.


(Yodlaf Peterson) #13

Merli died in 1989, a heart attack whilst playing tennis, though he is outstanding in the crime films he made (probably the most exciting Italian police movies) i think it is a shame he didn’t make any more westerns.


(New Brandon) #14

Yes, it bares a striking resemblance to Keoma, but is that a bad thing? It’s different enough that I don’t think you can call it a rip-off.

Keoma is the superior film, although I would say that Mannaja has the edge on the music. I would say that they’re in the same league, or at least close to being in the same league. This is the most eccentric I have seen Donald O’Brien (I have only seen him in about three or four movies).



(Dorado) #15

accidentally Maurizio Merli starred (uncredited) together with Donald O’Brien in his last film “The name of the Rose” with Sean Connery.


(Silver) #16

Never having seen this film before, this topic has pretty much convinced me to add it to my wants list. As for the comparisons to Keoma…i hope they aren’t that similar. I had Keoma on video many years ago and just couldn’t get into it, though everyone else seems to like it. And that damn song drove me nuts!


(ENNIOO) #17

The same people do the music to A MAN CALLED BLADE and it has some songs in the film, so you never know…


(Silver) #18

DAMMIT!! Thanks for that info. Forewarned is forearmed as they say! Guess i could watch it with the sound off. And on that note…nice talking with you; time for me to get going. Just hope the forum is still here when i get back online!


(ENNIOO) #19

Adios SILVER!


(Phil H) #20

Just watched this one again for the first time in some years. This time on the Blue Underground widescreen DVD which is a great improvement over my old fullscreen VHS. As a result I enjoyed it more but agree with most other posts here. A decent movie with some highlights but which overall doesn’t excite me too much. A strong 3 star similar to Keoma.

I have to say though that the song running through it is not as irritating as in Keoma while still being pretty weird.