Have a Good Funeral, My Friend ... Sartana Will Pay Review

From The Spaghetti Western Database

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This is the second of Giuliano Carnimeo's Sartana movies, and it's his best, almost on a par with Gianfranco Parolini's If you meet Sartana, pray for your death. It's the usual Sartana story with many double-crosses and lots of ambiguous characters (including Sartana himself, whose motivation is doubtful and gets a nice twist near the end), all of them of course only interested in money.

This is one of the few films not written (or co-written) by Carnimeo's favourite screenwriter Tito Carpi. Instead it was written by Giovanni Simonelli, a similar prolific author of the second rank, but his stories are structured more logically. As a result the plot is more thoughtful developed, the characters are more colourful and the plot-twists more satisfying than in Carnimeo's other Spaghs. None of the twists will come as a real 'surprise' to the slightly experienced viewer, instead we know early on who is responsible for the murders, but still have to learn why they were done. We also have several other shady characters; there's no doubt about their shadiness, but we do not know in which way they are involved in the cheat, nor do we know who is cheating whom at a specific moment. This all leaves room for a fair amount of surprises, which are not too foreseeable, and what's even more important: they are presented in a satisfying way.


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Garko is as good as ever, but the dominance of his character is balanced by the roles of George Wang and Daniela Giordano, who adds a welcome erotic element to the Sartana formula. Both enrich Have a Good Funeral, My Friend ... Sartana will pay with their equally good performances a lot.

Along with Testa t'ammazzo, croce... sei morto... Mi chiamano Alleluja (My Name Is Halleluja), this also is Carnimeo's most inspired film as a director, a more disciplined, less leisurely constructed piece of work than most of his other films, which often were made in an 'anything goes' style. It also brings back my favourite image of Sartana: the black-clad hero standing there, with the rifle over his shoulders. The slightly mystical aspect of his appearances from the first Sartana movie is also re-introduced here.

Oddly enough Have a Good Funeral, My Friend ... Sartana will Pay seems to be the least popular of the four Sartana movies. Both on our forum and in the Fatmandan list, it is ranked only fourth. On the other hand, there seems to be no doubt that this is the entry with the best score (by Bruno Nicolai).


Cast: Gianni Garko, Antonio Vilar, Daniela Giordana, George Wang, Franco Pesce - Music: Bruno Nicolai - Director: Giuliano Carnimeo

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--By: Stanton

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