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Western films, from silent to today

Sartana’s Here … Trade Your Pistol for a Coffin (1970)

George Hilton plays the dressed-all-in-black Sartana this time around and has a dressed-all-in-white counterpart, Sabbath (Charles Southwood).

The miners in the town of Appaloosa are turning their gold over to businessman Samuel Spencer for shipment. But the gold never seems to reach it¹s destination.

Is Spencer to blame? He has a habit of stashing gold in his safe and shipping sand instead. Or is Mantas to blame? He and his Mexican gang ambush each shipment, be it of gold or sand.

Caught in the middle is Trixie, who opened a saloon thinking the miners would have plenty of money to spend therein.

They don¹t. Sartana and Sabbath enter the fray, as much for their own gain as to restore justice and make sure the gold winds up where it belongs.

Review:

Stylish, great-looking film, filled with neat gimmicks. In the opening scene, Mantas’ gang is about to blow up a wagon with a stick of dynamite. Sartana flings his canteen in the air and shoots a hole in it, so that water streams down on said stick of dynamite.

The scenes with match sticks between a bandit’s toes and Mantas plucking petals off a sunflower while he contemplates whether he or Sartana are faster with a gun are classic, too. And Sabbath rides around with a tiny little umbrella years before Tony Anthony did in “The Stranger Returns.”

Shame the plots such a muddled mess. Follow the gold if you can? It’s quite the challenge.

Directed by
Giuliano Carnimeo

Cast:
George Hilton … Sartana
Charles Southwood … Sabbath
Piero Lulli … Samuel Spencer
Carlo Gaddi … Baxter
Erika Blanc … Trixie
Nello Pazzafini … Mantas
Linda Sini … Mantas’ woman
Marco Zuanelli … Dead Eye Golfay
Aldo Barberito … Angelo (bartender)
Federico Boido … Joe Fossit
as Rick Boyd

aka:
Fistful of Lead
I am Sartana, Trade Your Guns for a Coffin
Sartana’s Coming, Get Your Coffins Ready
C’e Sartana … vendi la pistola
e comprati la bara

Score: Francesco De Masi

Memorable lines:

Cafe owner, after watching Sartana gun down three men with a derringer hidden in a loaf of bread: “Hey, that’s the first time I seen that. What make is it?”
Sartana: “A sandwich gun.”

Sabbath: “I promised my mother never to play fair when cheating would give me the advantage.”

Sabbath, to a gunman: “You’re lucky. I never kill on Thursday. I promised.”
Bartender: “Promised who?”
Sabbath: “My mother.”

Trivia:

American born Charles Southwood appeared in just 11 films, including four Spaghettis. Back in the U.S. by the early 1990s, he formed the Death Tobacco Co., which packaged its own brand of cigarettes in a little black package containing a skull and crossbones. Southwood had smoked for 27 years before quitting and said he wanted to deliver truth in advertising. Of course, getting Death Cigarettes to market was no small feat, he told the Los Angeles Times. Southwood died in April 2009 at age 73.

Marco Zuanelli plays a Mantas gunman who has his face shoved in a plate of stew by Sabata in this film. You might not recognize him, but he was the owner of the laudramat in “Once Upon a Time in the West,” a film in which he’s gunned down a most unique manner by Henry Fonda.

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