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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sabata - Pressbook

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  1. Great post! Love LVC in the Sabatas. Excellent understated humor and Lee never looked so good--great hat, moustache and fun. What a handsome man he was!

  2. I saw Sabata when it was released in 1970. I think it was September. I was in Charlotte, N. C. and it was playing at a cinema there. I liked it. It was a little over the top with the weapons and theatrics and later Lee said he was a bit "cartoonish" for his taste and was why he turned down Indigo Black. But it was a huge hit in Spain and Italy and did okay in the U. S. It was fun and Lee was terrific in the film. He seemed to enjoy himself too and must not have been okay with it as he came back in 1971 for Return of Sabata.

    Yul Brenner did the Frank Kramer film Lee turned down and Lee did Yul's part in the next Magnificent Seven film in 1972. Too bad Lee didn't turn down God's Gun:-)

    I'm still not sure what happened between Richard Boone and Frank Kramer on God's Gun. It seems Boone didn't like what the director was doing and attempted to correct him which fell on deaf ears and Boone said the man couldn't hear, got really mad and left the production before filming ended.

    I thought the film was going to be a big one for Lee with Boone and Jack Palance starring with him and Kramer seemed to do okay with Sabata but was stunned when I read Boone stateside trashing the film as the worst western to have even been made in the history of film and the director was an idiot and deaf so he walked and let them take me to court before it was released. So my hopes of this being a big one for Lee were dashed.

    Some on an Italian western board claim Boone walked under a different director and Frank Kramer was brought in to save the film. But I can't find anything to confirm that. Then when the film came out, Lee not dubbing his own voice made it even more disappointing. In 1970 while promoting El Condor, Lee explained in an interview how the films he had been making overseas were shot without sound because of use of an international cast with actors speaking different languages. But he felt it was important for English speaking audiences to hear his voice so he always made time to be in on the dubbing for the English speaking version. But not here for some reason. Lee's son Alan Van Cleef said on this site several years ago he ask his father about that and was told it wasn't in his contract. So who knows. Lee, I think, should have dubbed it. And they didn't even try to get someone with a voice close to Richard Boone for the few scenes he did do. In my area it debuted at the drive-inn with another feature so maybe they were just attempting to recapture some of their expenses on a film they knew they messed up and Lee decided it wasn't worth the trip to the dubbing studio.

    The Leone films were dubbed in English in New York and I think Big Gundown was too but in 1970 in one interview, Lee indicated he dubbed in Rome on his recent films and God's Gun was shot in Israel so maybe it was logistics and no pay for Lee to travel to dub. Of course Barquero was shot with sound on film as it was Lee's first Hollywood film with top billing.

    Wonder if DCG has found out any info on God's Gun from our Sabata director?

  3. Never thought I'd have enjoyed Sabata and the Return of Sabata so much...well maybe the only reason is Lee just looked fabulous (or gorgeous if you ask me). Sabata looked very much like Mortimer but in a much more better shape spiritually wise and that alone should make Lee's fans happy. Too bad he turned down the second one and Yul Brynner isn't just this zany wild colourful character at all. Sabata is kind of underrated maybe people was expecting some logic from it. It's really an full blown crazy roller coaster kind of fun with Lee giving some of his funniest performances. It comforts me a bit thinking that he must have enjoyed making these two movies as he just had that vibe of wild animal.