New York Times, Sept. 23, 1971


Brynner Rides Again in 'Adios Sabata'

New York Times

Yul Brynner, who apears to be as indestructible as many bad movie plots, is back again in "Adios Sabata," the latest of the Italian Westerns with dubbed English dialogue and filmed in color on Spain's rugged sierras, which clattered into the Victoria and 86th Street East Theaters yesterday.

The laconic Brynner, astride a prancing sable stallion and wearing the grim expression and black gunslinger's outfit he affected 'way back in "The Magnificient Seven" simply gets lots of exercise this time. There is little that's magnificent in "Adios Sabata" other than the scenery, which obviously isn't man made.

"There's too much violence in the world," a local priest remarks sadly at the opening of the explosive festivities in "Adios Sabata." So, immediately thereafter, it's mostly shooting and gore, as Brynner, the soldier of fortune on the side of the revolutionaries striving to free Mexico from the yoke of Emperor Maximilian in 1867, goes after Colonel Skimmel, the Austrian bad guy, and his assorted connivers.

There's nothing really historic or notable here except for the fact that Colonel Skimmel, a vicious blond dastard with muttonchop whiskers favored by Maximilian, is ready to take off with a hogshead full of gold dust that our good hombres led by Brynner want for obvious reasons.

On second thought, the reasons turn out to be somewhat less than obvious since Brynner and the revolutionaries are afflicted by avarice, which makes the going just that much dustier.

In any event, Brynner, a cool operator, is unusual in that he works with a gold-plated, sawed-off, repeating rifle that contains several shells and a cigar that our hero calmly puffs after each murderous fusillade.

His unusual sidekicks include Dean Reed, a young, handsome American artist who appears to be working both sides of the struggle; Sal Borgese, a mute who can dispatch an adversary by flipping balls at them with his feet, and Joseph Persuad, a gypsy who goes into a flamenco stomp before each kill. It should be mentioned that Brynner and Reed do a four-handed piano rendition of a Schubert piece too. Incidentally, no one gets the gold and despite these strange talents it's a pleasure to say "Adios Sabata."

ADIOS SABATA; directed by Frank Kramer; story and screenplay by Renato Izzo and Gianfranco Parolini; photographed by Sardro Mancori; produced by Alberto Grimaldi and released by United Artists. At the Victoria Theater, Broadway and 46th Street, and the 86th Street East, Third Avenue and 86th Street. Running Time: 106 minutes. (The Motion Picture Association of America's Production Code Administration classifies this film "GP-all ages admitted, parental guidance suggested."

Sabata . . . . . Yul Brynner
Ballantine . . . . . Dean Reed
Escudo . . . . . Pedro Sanchez
Colonel Skimmel . . . . . Gerard Herter
September . . . . . Sal Borgese
Ocano . . . . . Franco Fantasia
Folgen . . . . . Gianni Rizzo
Manuel . . . . . Salvatore Billa
Juan . . . . . Massimo Carocci
Gitano . . . . . Joseph Persuad
Major Metternich . . . . . Antonio Gradoli

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