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Western films, from silent to today

If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

If You Meet Sartana, Pray for Your Death (1969) poster Three men in Gold Spring have hatched a get-rich-quick scheme that involves stealing $500,000 in bank gold and collecting insurance on the stolen money as well.

Al Hollman (Gianni Rizzo) and Jeff Stewell (Sydney Chaplin) are the businessmen in the deal. The job of robbing the stage of the gold box falls to the bandits working for the third partner, “El Tampico” (Fernando Sanchez).

Of course, no one trusts anyone in this partnership. So as soon as El Tampico’s bandits have the gold box in their possession, gunmen under the employ of Hollman and Stewell take it from them.

And, if that isn’t enough, the leader of those bandits, Lasky (William Berger) is waiting at the rendevous point with a machine gun so he can kill everyone who had anything to do with the holdup.

Problem is, he opens the chest of gold and finds — nothing but rocks.

Into this tangled web rides a mysterious stranger wearing a black coat who goes by the name Sartana (Gianni Garko) and introduces himself with the line, “I am your pallbearer.”

He’s going to fill more than a few graves before the gold is recovered.

Review:

The first of the Sartana Westerns scores high marks for style, with spirited performances from all three leads. There’s even a brief appearance by Klaus Kinski (misspelled Kinsky in the credits) as a gunman named Morgan.

Spaghetti gimmicks are in ample supply as well, from Lasky’s snuff box to Sartana’s four-shot derringer to the bell on Morgan’s spurs. There’s even a gold watch, capable of playing a tune that haunts Lasky for some reason.

The problem is a plot with so many twists and turns and double crosses that it’s almost impossible to sort out. It’s nearly as complex as the name of the character played the Fernando Sancho.

Stewell is sleeping with Jane Randall, wife of the recently deceased mayor, which has something to do with the plot to steal the money, though we never find out what.

Oh, Stewell’s also sleeping the Evelyn Hollman, his partner’s wife, Evelyn. As for Evelyn, she just wants the gold, regardless of who winds up with it.

Gianni Garko as Sartana in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1969)

Gianni Garko as Sartana in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

William Berger as Laskey in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1969)

William Berger as Laskey in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

Directed by:
Gianfranco Parolini
as Frank Kramer

Cast:
Gianni Garko … Sartana
as John Garko
William Berger … Lasky
Klaus Kinski … Morgan
Fernando Sancho … Gen. Jose Manuel Francisco Mendoza Montezuma de la Plata Carezza “El Tampico” Rodriguez
Sydney Chaplin … Jeff Stewall
Gianni Rizzo … Al Hollman
Andrea Scotti … Carlos Perdido
Franco Pesce … Dusty
Heidi Fischer … Evelyn Hollman
Maria Pia Conte … Jane Randall
Sabine Sun … Meg
as Sabine
Carlo Tamberlani … Rev. Logan
Gianfranco Parolini … Gamer
as John Francis Littlewords
Arrio Peri … Speedy
Remo Capitani … Lt. Miguel

Runtime: 96 min.

aka
Sartana
Gunfighters Die Harder
Two Bags of Gold

Score: Piero Piccioni

Fernando Sancho as El Tampico in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1969)

Fernando Sancho as El Tampico in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

Klaus Kinski as Morgan in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1969)

Klaus Kinski as Morgan in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

Memorable lines:

Bandit: “You look just like a scarecrow.”
Sartana: “I am your pallbearer.”

Al Hollman, sarcastically: “Very nice work, Stewall, old man. Now we just have to wait for a little blackmail from the mayor’s widow.”
Stewall: “Worry over your box of candy, Hollman. I’ll take care of the finances.”
Hollman: “Hmm.”
Stewell; “Just stay fat.”

Card player: “You bring me bad luck, Dusty. Go polish your coffin.”
Dusty: “I finished a new casket today.”
Card player: “Well, go climb into it then.”
Dusty: “It’s exactly your size.”
Card player: “Why you scrawny little embalmer!”
Sartana: “He’s my friend!”

Al Hollman, to El Tampico and Sewell: “It’s fine for us gentlemen to trust one another, but it’s better not to.”

Dusty: “You still haven’t tld me who you are.”
Sartana: “A first-class pallbearer.”

Gianni Rizzo as Al Hollman in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1969)

Gianni Rizzo as Al Hollman in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

Sydney Chaplin as Jeff Stewell in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1969)

Sydney Chaplin as Jeff Stewell in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

Heidi Fischer as Evelyn Hollman in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1969)

Heidi Fischer as Evelyn Hollman in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

Sabine Sun as Meg in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1969)

Sabine Sun as Meg in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

Maria Pia Conte as Jane Randall, the mayor's widow in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1969)

Maria Pia Conte as Jane Randall, the mayor’s widow in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

Franco Pesce as Dusty in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1969)

Franco Pesce as Dusty in If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death (1968)

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