If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death

Infobox Film
name = If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death

image_size =
caption = Spanish-language poster.
director = Gianfranco Parolini
producer = Aldo Addobbati
writer = Adolfo Cagnacci Luigi De Santis Werner Hauff Renato Izzo Gianfranco Parolini Fabio Piccioni
starring = Gianni Garko William Berger Fernando Sancho Klaus Kinski
music = Piero Piccioni
cinematography = Sandro Mancori
editing = Edmond Lozzi
distributor =
released = August 14, 1968
runtime = 95 minutes
country = ITA
language = Italian
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0063568

"If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death" ( _it. Se incontri Sartana prega per la tua morte), also known as "Sartana", is a 1968 spaghetti western film directed by Gianfranco Parolini. The film stars Gianni Garko, William Berger, Fernando Sancho and Klaus Kinski, and features a musical score by Piero Piccioni.

"If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death" was the first in a series of spaghetti westerns based on the character Sartana. It was followed by four other official Sartana films; "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), "Light the Fuse... Sartana Is Coming" ("Una nuvola di polvere... un grido di morte... arriva Sartana", 1971) and "Sartana's Here... Trade Your Pistol for a Coffin" ("C'è Sartana... vendi la pistola e comprati la bara", 1970), in which Garko was replaced by George Hilton. All the four sequels were directed by Giuliano Carnimeo, whereas Parolini was chosen to direct The Sabata Trilogy, after producer Alberto Grimaldi saw his work with the first Sartana film. [cite web | author=Erickson, Glenn | title=The Sabata Trilogy | work=DVD Talk | url=http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s1855saba.html | accessdate=2007-04-28] As with Django a few years earlier, several directors, such as Demofilo Fidani, made unofficial sequels to cash in on the success of Sartana.


The name "Sartana" first appeared in the film "Blood at Sundown" ("Mille dollari sul nero", 1967), in which Garko played an antagonist called El General Sartana. The film was very successful in Germany and known by the short title "Sartana". Italian producer Aldo Addobbati noticed the film's success and set up a co-production with a German producer in Italy. Garko was offered a contract and he accepted after inserting a clause stating that the script must be approved by him. In a 2005 interview, Garko said he wanted a subject that would not be based on vengeance, as he had already portrayed characters bent on revenge in "Blood at Sundown" and "Guns of Violence" ("10.000 dollari per un massacro", 1967). After he turned down several scripts with a revenge theme, Renato Izzo wrote a story about a smart, non-sentimental character that profits by putting himself between two rival groups. Sartana's use of mechanical gadgets was added by director Parolini, who was a fan of the James Bond films. "If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death" then went into production. [cite interview
last = Garko
first = Gianni
subjectlink = Gianni Garko
interviewer = Inga Seyric
title = Interview with Gianni Garko
program = If You Meet Sartana Pray for Your Death DVD, Wild East Productions, Inc
year = 2005


A stagecoach is attacked by a gang led by Morgan (Kinski). Sartana (Garko) arrives on the scene and kills the robbers except for Morgan who gets away. Soon after, another stagecoach is robbed and the passengers murdered by a Mexican gang, at the order of General Jose Manuel Mendoza (Sancho). However, the gang is ambushed and killed by Lasky (Berger) and his men. Lasky then tells to his gang that he will meet them later. As the men are about to open the strongbox from the coach, Lasky kills them all with a Gatling gun. After opening the box and seeing it only contained rocks instead of gold, he heads into town to meet Jeff Stewal (Sydney Chaplin) and Alman (Gianni Rizzo), a politician and a banker, to collect his payment as part of an insurance fraud.

After Sartana takes Lasky's money in a card game, Lasky sends Morgan, his now-partner, to kill Sartana but he fails and gets killed. Lasky then collects a gang and goes after Sartana. A shootout ensues and Sartana kills Lasky's men but allows Lasky to get away. After Lasky blackmails Stewal and Alman, the two inform Mendoza that it was Lasky who killed his men. Mendoza's men capture Lasky and try to make him talk thinking that he knows where the gold is hidden. Lasky tells him that only Sartana knows the location of the gold.

Meanwhile, Stewal plans to escape with the gold, supposedly hidden in the late mayor's coffin, and Alman's wife Evelyn (Heidi Fischer). After Sartana tells him that Mendoza is going to dig up the coffin with the gold and keep it all for himself, Stewal goes to check if it is true and is killed by Mendoza's men. Thinking that Mendoza now has the gold, Lasky attacks his residence and kills him and his men with his Gatling gun. Sartana also arrives and the two open the coffin and discover it is filled with rocks instead of gold. The gold has been hidden by Alman who tells his plan to his wife. Evelyn betrays and kills him, and takes Lasky to the gold, hidden in another coffin. Lasky kills Evelyn, but as Sartana arrives the two engage in a duel. Sartana kills Lasky and rides out of town with the coffin full of gold.


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