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The Hills Run Red: Italian Westerns, Leone, and Beyond

Sunday, January 27, 2013
5:00 p.m. Sabata
Gianfranco Parolini (Italy/Spain, 1969)

(Ehi, amico . . . c'e Sabata, hai chiuso!). Without Lee Van Cleef, the Spaghetti Western would be a holster without a gun, and certainly a lower caliber—from Colonel Mortimer to Angel Eyes to Sabata who would Return, then say Adios. Here, our glaring hero with the fatal smile witnesses a bank robbery only to discover it was masterminded by some highly respectable townsfolk. These upstanding citizens, especially the sadistic rancher Stengel (Franco Russel), make the mistake of dispatching a bevy of imported desperadoes to snuff Sabata, including a former foe Banjo (William Berger) whose concealed “banjo gun” was later lifted by El Mariachi. Viva Sabata, viva another great Van Cleef hanger.

—Steve Seid

• Written by Parolini, Renato Izzo. Photographed by Sandro Mancori. With Lee Van Cleef, William Berger, Linda Veras, Ignazio Spalia. (107 minutes, In English, Color, ‘Scope, 35mm, From Park Circus)