Sartana

Sartana is the name of a spaghetti western character first played by Gianni Garko and later by George Hilton. Other characters were unofficially called Sartana in unrelated films to capitalize on the success of the official films.

Unlike many spaghetti western anti-heroes, Sartana does not kill for money or revenge but because certain people deserve it. He dresses all in black and over the course of several films has acquired an arsenal of tricks, guns and toys that would be at home in a James Bond movie.

Official Sartana movies

* If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death "(Se incontri Sartana prega per la tua morte, 1968)
* I Am Sartana Your Angel of Death "(Sono Sartana, il vostro becchino, 1969)"
* Have a Good Funeral, My Friend... Sartana Will Pay "(Buon funerale, amigos!... paga * Sartana, 1970)"
* Sartana's Here... Trade Your Pistol for a Coffin "(C'è Sartana... vendi la pistola e comprati la bara, 1970)"
* Light the Fuse... Sartana Is Coming "(Una nuvola di polvere... un grido di morte... arriva Sartana, 1971)"

Unofficial Sartana movies

*"Halleluja and Sartana... They are sons of God" (1972) - played by Robert Widmark
*"Trinity and Sartana" (1972) - played by Robert Widmark
*"Django defies Sartana" (1971) - played by George Ardisson
*"Sartana Kills Them All" (1971) - played by Johnny Garko
*"Django and Sartana Are Coming... It's the End" (1970) - played by Hunt Powers
*"Sartana in the Valley of Death" (1970) - played by William Berger
*"One Damned Day at Dawn.... Django meets Sartana" (1970) - played by Hunt Powers
*"Django and Sartana...Showdown in the West" (1970) - played by Hunt Powers
*"Four came to Kill Sartana" (1969) - played by Jeff Cameron
*"Shadow of Sartana....Shadow of your Death" (1969) - played by Jeff Cameron
*"Sartana Does Not Forgive" (1969) - played by George Martin

artana movies with Gianni Garko

Sartana is one of the most famous characters in the Spaghetti Western genre. Gianni Garko, the only genuine, authentic "Sartana", played the character in 4 movies. The first movie was directed by Gianfranco Parolini (aka Frank Kramer). The other 3 movies were directed by Giuliano Carnimeo (aka Anthony Ascott). The movies were hits in Europe and due to the loose copyright laws, spawned many unofficial sequels. To this very day, Gianni Garko's depiction of Sartana has maintained a strong cult following among Spaghetti Western fans.

History and development of the character

Gianni Garko had previously played an antagonist named Sartana in the hit Spaghetti Western, "Mille dollari sul nero" (Blood at Sundown 1967). Parolini liked the name and cast Garko as an unrelated Sartana, a sleek,mysterious, well dressed, gambler and gunfighter. Parolini, being a James Bond fan, wanted to create a character who was a "James Bond of the West". Garko, having played a gunfighter out for vengeance in a previous film, chose to have his character motivated more out of justice (and to a degree money), than revenge. The first Sartana movie was a big hit in Europe and turned out to be very influential. Carnimeo took over the directing reins in three other Sartana movies starring Garko. Parolini went on to make another film with a similar character, Sabata (1969), starring Lee Van Cleef.

About the Unofficial Sartana films

Just like with other Spaghetti Western characters like Django, Trinity, Sabata, and Ringo, Sartana spawned numerous unofficial sequels, hoping to cash in on the success and popularity of the character. In many cases, the Sartana in these movies bared little resemblance to Garko's interpretation. In other cases, films added "Sartana" to the name, even if there was no Sartana character in the actual movie. Even Garko himself played an unofficial Sartana in "Un Par de asesinos" (Sartana Kills Them All 1971). In this movie, Sartana bares little resemblance to Garko's usual depiction of the character. In some movies, Sartana teamed up or faced off with Trinity or Django. For the most part these unofficial movies were vastly inferior to the official Sartana movies. The exception may be "C'è Sartana... vendi la pistola e comprati la bara" (Sartana's Here... Trade Your Pistol for a Coffin 1972). Many consider this movie to be an official Sartana movie, despite the absence of Garko. The film was directed by Carnimeo, but George Hilton replaced Garko in the role of Sartana.

artana, the character

It is heavily implied in the movies that Sartana is actually a spectral avenger, a sort of avenging angel with mystical qualities. Sartana tends to show up out of nowhere, is impossible to hit with bullets, and is always one step ahead of the bad guys. Little is known about Sartana's past or background. Sartana is always well dressed and likes to frequent gambling houses. He is always admired by the ladies. Sartana is not motivated by revenge, he only kills those that he thinks deserve it. Frequently he goes up against the rich and the elite. Sartana is a one man arsenal and very skilled with gunplay. Like James Bond, Sartana carries a variety of weapons in his arsenal, many of them gimmicked. Among them are a unique derringer like weapon, a long ranged Winchester, a Colt Peacemaker, playing cards thrown like Shuriken, and a Pocket Watch and chain made of lead, and cigars disguised as dynamite. Sartana also likes to ride a white horse.

The Sartana movies

The Sartana movies, despite their modest budgets are known for having a high body count and much action. The films have highly stylized direction and have a lot of gimmicks and anachronisms. A robot named Alfie, a "Chinese shoe" or foot disfiguring device, and a church organ that shoots bullets are just some of the outrageous devices seen in the movies. The Sartana movies, though they were big hits in Europe and are well loved to this day, are not without their critics however, who point out to the often hard to follow plot, campiness, excess, and unoriginality of the Sartana movies. Sartana fans would counter that the Sartana movies have a high degree of entertainment value, have rivetting musical scores, meticulous direction, and a well acted cast.

External links

* [http://www.fistfulofwesterns.com/] - Info about Sartana can be found here
* [http://spaghettiwesterns.1g.fi/characters/Sartana/sartana.htm] - Character profile of Sartana
* [http://fistfulofpasta.com/index.php?go=reviews/sartanaguide] - Guide to the Sartana movies


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Look at other dictionaries:

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