Wanted Sabata review

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Review of Wanted Sabata (1970), aka Sabata vivo ou morto.

Wanted Sabata


Jim Sparrow (Vassili Karis) has sold his land to Sabata (Brad Harris) who still owes him $1,000. By poisoning the water Jim plans to kill the animals, so it will ruin Sabata. This is how he hopes to get his land back. But Jim gets caught by his brother Willy. Jim won't let anyone stop him and he kills his brother. Sabata hears the shots and goes to see what's going on. He finds Willy dead. Due to his presence at the crime scene, Sabata is now suspected of the murder. Jim traps Sabata by mourning his brother and making people bear false witness. The verdict of the judge is the noose. But before being hanged, Sabata gets help in his escape from prison. A mysterious person kills the guard and tells Sabata to hide in the old mine. Sabata starts an investigation to find out the culprit. In the old mine he finds Chiquita (María Luisa Sala), but she cannot speak. Did she help him escape?

(spoilers ahead!)

The names of Jim and the false witnesses were written by someone on Sabata's wanted poster. Not much later, the witnesses are murdered one by one. After each murder, the price on Sabata's head rises. We find out that Jim is behind this. Disguised in the same poncho as Sabata, he strikes. He manages to keep Sabata captive in the mine with Chiquita as guard and caretaker. Chiquita owes her life to Jim and is therefore in his power. Jim must now wait for the bounty to be increased to the correct price before killing Sabata and handing him over to the sheriff.


Foto 2 Wanted Sabata.jpg

This movie had the potential to be a good spaghetti western. The revenge story is well thought out with a nice twist, but unfortunately not developed well enough. The story lacks depth. There are too many scenes that add nothing and raise questions. These scenes only seem to serve as filler and not to tell the story. For example, we suddenly see that Sabata's mother is dying, which is not followed up in the film. Jim's motive, Sabata's background and Chiquita's story could also have been worked out better.

The whole movie actually revolves around villain Jim and not Sabata. Sabata's role is too small. And Sabata is not portrayed as a gunfighter, but Jim is. Vassili Karis, who plays Jim, has a lot more charisma in my opinion. I think it would have been better if Vassili had played Sabata. And that the Sabata character was portrayed more as a macho. Unfortunately, the film does not work towards a good climax. I found the ending disappointing. The music is good, but nothing special. Final verdict: 5/10.

This movie uses the fame of the Sabata franchise but has nothing to do with it. The only link that can be made is that Vassili Karis plays the role of acrobat Bionda in Return of Sabata (1971). Actor Brad Harris (who plays Sabata) began his career as a stuntman and became best known for roles in Italian sword-and-sandal films in the early 1960s. Director Robert Mauri has made 10 spaghetti westerns in his career. The most notable is Vengeance is My Forgiveness (1968). We find it at #137 in our ranking.

Foto 1 Wanted Sabata.jpg


Wanted Sabata is not a bad movie. The revenge plot is creatively conceived with a nice twist.

This is a good recipe for a good spaghetti western movie. Unfortunately, there are a number of undeveloped side stories that water down the movie. The film lacks depth and coherence. Sabata isn't portrayed as a cool gunfighter, but oddly enough, the villain is. The climax of the film is disappointing. It lacks action and suspense.

Written by Meceita (Roy), published April 1, 2023
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