If You Meet Sartana, Pray for Your Death / Se incontri Sartana, prega per la tua morte (Gianfranco Parolini, 1968)

Hey all,

I watched the Wild East edition of Sartana last night (1968), and it is certainly a good spag. western. This one has a very different feel from the Sabata films. It doesn’t have as many comedic or playful moments. Instead, the film has a very mystical, almost supernatural, quality – both in the score and the way Parolini portrays the Sartana character.

The story itself is very simple (big surprise), but the execution is highly entertaining. The cool thing w/ the gunfights here compared to other SWs is all the movement involved in the shootouts. These are NOT classic standoffs or take cover and fire away exchanges. Instead, Sartana is leaping, jumping and rolling around as he picks off his foes (and not in the surreal acrobatic nature indicative of Sabata’s stunts).

If you love action (and we love SWs so who doesn’t, I guess), this film has more action scenes per capita than most spaghettis I’ve seen. It may have one of the highest, if not the highest, body counts of any of the Italian westerns. The downside is, though, that these shootouts do become a little repetitive. Although, the action is not particularly violent or bloody (which isn’t a bad thing, just stating it for the record).

The performances are nice, overall. Garko does the usual strong, silent type, but he succeeds in accentuating the mystical nature of the character and the film’s tone. William Berger is very good, as well. More dastardly than the charming style he brought to Sabata, which is good.

Parolini’s direction is quite good. He uses the composition nicely, and excels, as said, in implementing a supernatural feel to the material.

The story, while simple, becomes a bit convoluted due to all the changing alliances. Also, there’s probably not enough explanation to add sufficient credence to the story and Sartana’s involvement. However, this does not really detract from the “fun factor.”

Wild East’s transfer is solid as well. Some scenes are a little faded, it appears, and it does not seem to be a stylistic choice, but this is not distracting or annoying…just noticeable, if you’re looking for it. It is a good watchable disc.

In summing it up, Sartana is better than most SWs. But I don’t feel it rivals the best of the best (Leone’s big four, Great Silence, Big Gundown, Day of Anger). I need more time to digest the film, and probably another view or two, but Sartana will probably fall into the bottom portion of my top 10 SWs somewhere. So if you’re interested in this, and want to have a good time with an SW, then Sartana won’t let you down. It would be a unique addition to your spaghetti collection.

3 stars.




I didn’t think the story was that simple. I thought it was sort of convoluted. The story wasn’t all that original either (a musical pocketwatch - I wonder where they got that). I agree the execution was interesting and it is better than most spaghettis. I especially like the surreal, phantom-like quality of the title character. Lacking an original storyline, they could have built on the character more. I haven’t seen any of the sequals but I am interested in doing so.

And for your convenience, here’s our database link, including DVD cover and information:


‘Se incontri Sartana, prega per la tua morte’ is one of my favourite SW !!!

  • great cast (Garko, Berger, Kinski)
  • great atmosphere

Very good material !!!

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Yeah, I have to agree to Bluntwolf. I really liked it as well. It’s now probably part of my top 20… :wink:

Which version have you watched, Lode ???

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The Wild East version. Great thing!

my dvd arrived today.I’m gonna watch it tonight…

Have fun, it is a great flick!

If you look up this movie on imdb it is rated only 5.6. For a supposed SW classic that is kinda low don’t you guys think? Whats accounts for the low imdb rating?

i like Sartana but i find the later ones more enjoyable.

The cheap look, maybe.

imdb ratings are not to be taken seriously. Especially in case of spaghettis or other genre films. Few years ago Fidani’s Per una bara piena di dollari had very high rating because people were obviously believing it to be Fistfull of dollars.

I would take a barrel full of dollars over a fistful any day.

I heard somewhere that “Per una bara piena di dollari” is rather good for a Fidani’s movie. Is that true?

I think this is true but it’s still a typical Fidani !!!

Simple?! It is a huge MESS! Almost impossible to follow without losing the head!

Uhh, guess I’ll be the first one here to give a ONE lonely star for this…
Oh yeah I hate Sartana… maybe as much as I hate Sabata too…

Need to say, I found it almost incomprehensible, and that unbelievable amount of alliances throughout the whole film was completely ridiculous for me, honestly. The result was everybody trying to kill everybody for no solid reason! – Lasky killing that lady in the end was absurd! Why did he do that if she was on his side?!

And the story is NOTHING original! A musical pocketwatch? Well maybe the director thought he saw that in an UNKNOWN movie so he could steal the idea from it, right? Right?! U-huh…

Anyway, even worse is how a magnificent actor like Klaus Kinski plays such a minimum part (adding absolutely nothing to the story!) while that despicable William Berger (yeah, I HATE HIM!) plays the “big” villain… WHY?? God knows I couldn’t wait to see him get shot in the head!!

Well well, Sartana #1 is a piece of shit for me, and I don’t really care much about watching the other 4 official films of the character – just as much as I don’t give a damn about watching “Adiós Sabata”.


[quote=“Blacksheepboy, post:18, topic:188”]Simple?! It is a huge MESS! Almost impossible to follow without losing the head!

Uhh, guess I’ll be the first one here to give a ONE lonely star for this…
Oh yeah I hate Sartana… maybe as much as I hate Sabata too…


Well, I don’t hate Sartana and since some poll here told me I’m Sabata, I can’t hate that guy either.
But I know what you mean, and guess what, Sergio agreed with you about Sartana. He once picked up a fake title SE INCONTRI SARTANA DIGLI CHE E’ UN STRONZO (If you meet Sartana tell him he is a sunnova …).
When people start making up their own phoney titles, you know that a genre has outlived itself, Leone said. I think he’s right and I also think that this movie, the first Sartana-as-we-know-him started the process of desintegration that lead to the Trinities, the Twilight spaghetties and the slow death somewhere in the late 70’s.

But so what? The SW had a short-lived career and sometimes I think it became immortal (as a genre, Leone would have become immortal anyway) because of this short-lived career. It started in '64 with Clint and FISTFUL (I know some westerns were made before it in Europe but this one set things on fire) and ended some six years later with COMPAñEROS (the last truly great SW) or, if you wish, the first TRINITY (the mortal wound, but a well-aimed coup de grâce). The real glory years probably were '66-'68, starting with THE GOOD etc. and DJANGO ('66) and culminating in those two masterpieces ONCE UPON etc. and THE GREAT SILENCE ('68); virtually all great SWs were made in that period (The Sollima’s, Corbucci’s best, DEATH RIDES A HORSE, DAYS OF ANGER).
(This is my answer to another question raised on the forum)

And about this film: yes, it’s chaotic, disjointed, outrageously violent, incredibly funny and … well, a lot more, and I like it. The first time I saw it, I hardly had any idea what it was about. The second time I didn’t really care. Some films don’t need second thoughts and have no hidden agendas, they’re simply there to enjoy.
This certainly is such a film.
Maybe it started the desintegration of the genre.
But if they devote such a movie to my desintegration, I’ll be a happy dying man …

Too bad - it’s a good film in my book.