Director : Giuliano Carnimeo
Screenplay: Ernesto Gastaldi Tito Carpi
Composer: Luis Bacalov
Starring: Gianni Garko, Nieves Navarro, Piero Lulli
Format DVD R2 Japan Macaroni Collection 4 Disk Collection
I have always enjoyed the Sartana series of features with the eponymous hero played by Gianni Garko and also including the more comical outing with George Hilton and Charles Southwood. This is the fourth in the Sartana series of Spaghetti Western starring Gianni Grako, ‘Una Nuvola Di Polvere… Un Grido Di Morte… Arriva Sartana’ was directed by Giuliano Carnimeo under the pseudonyme of Anthony Ascott.
In this adventure Sartana is on the trail of a case of gold coins which have been whisked away and ‘lost’. The only man who can get the stolen gold is Grand Full (Piero Lulli) who can piece the whole puzzle together but he is in prison, so who has to get himself inside the prison, well Sartana does! Once Full is free, Sartana has to piece the puzzle together without getting shot and killed. In his investigations Sartana meets a shady business man, a renegade Mexican bandit and and a one eyed sheriff who’s not all he seems with their only connection is that they all want the gold. With the help of an old man gambler and sometime inventor Plon Plon (Franco Pesce), Sartana finally puts the puzzle together and who and why. In a neat twist one of the inventions makes a great mobile timebomb dispatching one of the main villains in a hail of rocks! As the movie heads towards it’s climax Sartana has managed to re-introduce the main villains at a graveyard and a final shoot-out ensues.
In a very cool scene from the film, Sartana uses a church organ as a Gatling type gun to mow down Mexican bandidas on horseback in droves, very different and a cock at Nero’s Django and his Machine Gun out of a Coffin routine!
As a stand alone Spaghetti this is a fine example of the genre, though Luis Bacalov’s soundtrack sounds a little like an Ennio Morricone score (as he was Morricone’s main conductor) but nonetheless it is still a good soundtrack.
To watch this piece and the previous outings of Sartana, it is clear to see that iconogarphy is a main and essential element in the Spaghetti Western genre movie series. The trademarks of the all in black gunfighter, cigarillo, trick guns and even smarter one-liners. Sartana is the suave secret agent in the `Wild West’ a man mysterious but cool, who never seems to lose even when he’s been beaten up and had guns poked into his face he still seems the winner.
By the time the movie had been completed the Italian film industry had produced an incredible five hundred plus Spaghetti Western and the wave continued until the mid 70’s. ‘Una Nuvola…’ success as a Spaghetti Western is the fact that the lead actor Gianni Garko was the character of Sartana, much like Clint Eastwood as the ‘Man With No Name’ Garko epitomised the character, the smooth gunman, card sharp and very clever trickster who knew how to play his enemies and win in the end. As a style icon, the dress of all black with a red cravat and black cape made him look and feel like a ‘Western James Bond’ with gadgets coming out from all pockets and a neat verse of one liners which would put the Bonds to shame (probably not but you can see where I’m coming from). Sartana was a character created to monopolies on the fan base for the Django’s Ringo’s and the Sabata’s of the genre. Watching the Sartana films you are struck by the whole cool and collected character with trick guns and even more tricky situations.
The mythical feel of the Sartana character who seemed to know when and where anything was happening made Sartana an enduring character in the Spaghetti Western genre It is no wonder that these movies became so popular in the Far East, Asia and Africa as the cinema audiences sympathised and identified with a lone man who would bring justice to the evil men of the town.
Corruption, greed slavery they were what the establishment were portrayed as, Sartana and his ilk were the brave loners who dealt with the evils of the world, even if they too got the money. In a genre that spawned so many movies, it is refreshing to see that Sartana had some longevity with five official films, all but one starring Gianni Garko, and all with the cape, black wearing hero looking for a quick buck! and a guarantee that a Sartana film was not just about a gunfight or four but a good Spaghetti Western.
An old fashioned murder-mystery with plenty of card tricks and shoot-outs to keep the audience interested.
This was down to the skilled director, Giuliano Carnimeo, who helmed all the Sartana sequels and to his credit the movies established the character of Sartana and made him a well know cinema cowboy that even the character of Sabata (as played by Lee Van Cleef) was based on the Sartana template and many unofficial films and loose tie ins.
I have enjoyed the Sartana films very much and Gianni Grako will always for me, be Sartana. Una Nuvola Di Polvere… Un Grido Di Morte… Arriva Sartana is a recommended watch, enjoy!
There were alternate titles used for this movie such as
Light the Fuse… Sartana Is Coming! or Cloud of
Dust… Cry of Death… Sartana Is Coming.