Film scores

Soundtrack review: Sabata 3 (Marcello Giombini – 1971)

The third film from the Sabato trilogy was titled “Return of Sabata” (in original “È tornato Sabata … hai chiuso un’altra volta”) and featured once again Lee van Cleef as the title character. From what I read this one is the worst rated of the Sabata movies and even appears on a list of “Worst movies ever”. This time Sabata is working with a travelling circus as a stunt marksman and stumbles upon a town where a local baron is running everything. With the help if his circus friends, he prevails.

The first score of the trilogy was a wonderful gem while the second one was a Morricone rip off. I see only Marcello Giombini is credited with the third one, no more Bruno Nicolai. This time the cues don’t have titles anymore and are simply called “Squence 1” and so on, as I’ve seen happen with many Italian Spaghetti Western scores.

Third score – third musical style. The circus and carnival angle of the story seems to be what the composer focused on because the first few sequences are joyful piano tunes that set a permanent saloon mood. Unfortunately for me this mood stays for pretty much the entire score. I didn’t find any emotion or passion or even those action and suspense sequences I wasn’t appreciating that much in the second score. A Morricone clone sounds great know when I heard this light, feel good and largely forgettable composition.

The third Sabato score is nothing more than a collection of happy saloon tunes that would work right there, in a busy saloon where they could be ignored or kept in the background by the noise of glasses, feel and voices buzzing over each other. As a standalone listen this score did absolutely nothing for me. A couple of this cues work of course very well in a complex western score but they aren’t enough to make for a rewarding listen.

The Sabata trilogy has been very uneven but even so the interesting and unique sound of the first one and the nostalgic effervescence of the second one will make me listen to them again.

Cue rating: 69 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 0 / 41

Album excellence: 0%

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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