Welcome to theBad.net Lee Van Cleef Blog! Here you will find information, photos, videos, and some of my opinions of the badman himself.

Many thanks to the wonderful members of theBad.net Lee Van Cleef Web Board for their contributions and continued enthusiasm!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

LVC Year in Review - 2012

As the holidays approach this will be my last post for the year.  I though it would be appropriate to take a look back 2012, and what it has brought us in all things LVC!

Blu-rays!

A total of 5 blu-rays have been released this year-
  • Grand Duel
  • High Noon
  • Octagon
  • Big Gundown
  • Day of Anger

 
 


What a great time to be a LVC fan, and be able to enjoy these movies in high definition!

Soundtracks!

We got expanded scores to Grand Duel and Big Gundown!

 


Primus!

We got a cool song about LVC, and a music video!



Blog!

Last but not least, this blog has been a huge success, and I want to thank everyone who reads and enjoys it.   There have been over 18,000 hits since coming online in May!


I want to thank everyone for a great year!  See you all in January.

LVC Forever!

 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Final Resting Place


Lee Van Cleef left us on December 16, 1989, and while we can no longer interact with him, we can make sure the legend lives on through his films, television work, and our LVC online communities.

If you do wish to pay Lee Van Cleef your respects he is buried at:

Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills)
Courts of Remembrance (Front lawn, right side middle), Serenity Section, Lot 156
Los Angeles,  California, USA
The above photo was taken in 2005 when I visited.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Bavaria Beer Commerical - LVC's Final Performance

Shot only a few weeks before his death, presented here is LVC's final performace (appropriately a gunslinger) for the Dutch company Bavaria Beer.



Here are some comments from people that worked on this commercial-

Director of Photography
I was the DP on this commercial. We shot it in Fiddletown Ca. in an original old west era bar. Getting a chance to meet Lee van Cleef is something I will never forget. Lee had cancer and died I believe about two weeks after we shot this. He was wonderful to everyone there that day. He was so fast on the draw that we had to slow him down. From the holster to the muzzle blast was only about 1 frame of film. He was using special loads like small buckshot to smash the bottles.

Art Director
I was the art director for this spot and I bet no one knows that Lee actually shot the bottles! Special effects couldn't get a squib to work on a traveling bottle so what they did was to open the blank cartridges and put six grains of sand in each bullet. When Marsh, the bartender was ducking, he was really ducking! They had to slow him down so they could see his draw on camera.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

eBay Watch: Master Ninja Photo

From time to time I will post interesting items that I see on eBay that would be of interest to a LVC fan. These are not endorsements of the sellers, just merely my observations of interesting or rare items.


It's time to put a star at the top of the Christmas tree.  A Ninja Star!





http://www.ebay.com/itm/1983-Actor-Lee-Van-Cleef-in-TV-Ninja-Show-The-Master-Wire-Photo-/290823370084?pt=Art_Photo_Images&hash=item43b66c7564
 


Monday, December 10, 2012

LVC is not in Crime Boss!!


"Do I look like Telly Savalas?"




Crime Boss is a movie released in the early/mid 1970's starring Telly Savalas.  At some point during it's theatrical run, it was paired with a LVC movie as a double feature. 

Since then it is often advertised as being a film starring Telly Savalas and Lee Van Cleef.  Don't be fooled!  Lee ain't in it!




Saturday, December 8, 2012

Armed Response - Poster Gallery

Here is a look at a few posters from the 1986 feature, Armed Response.  This is arguably Lee's last decent role.  His crusty Burt Roth character is the highlight of the movie.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day of Anger Trailers

Presented here are 3 trailers for Day of Anger. Classic spaghetti western action, and a great trio of trailers. LVC in top form! 

"The weapon that's gonna kill me hasn't been invented yet"









Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Many Video Covers of God's Gun

I believe the Golan-Globus epic, God's Gun is considered a public domain movie, which might explain why we constantly get the same shitty print, no matter how many releases there are out there.

Below are the many different video covers from God's Gun over the years.  You will notice that none of them feature an actual photo of LVC from the movie, although there are some very creative "photoshops" of Lee.

Behold... God's Gun...








Sunday, December 2, 2012

LVC WTF?

A strange candid from Day of Anger...

Friday, November 30, 2012

Obituary - The Independant

The Independent (December 18th 1989)
By David Shipman

Lee Van Cleef, actor, born Somerville New Jersey 9 January 1925, died Oxnard California 16 December 1989.

Among classic westerns, High Noon is more classic than most, as Gary Cooper scours the town to find someone to help him against the three released convicts who are sworn to kill him. As the clock ticks away it is clear that they will not appear till the climax; it is equally evident that they will give no quarter. When they eventually step off that train they look as mean as they are dangerous. One of them was Lee Van Cleef, whose looks would make him one of the most relishable heavies of the Fifties, when Hollywood was producing more and better westerns than at any time in its history.

High Noon (1952) was his third film in three years, but he was splendidly in demand thereafter, four or five times a year, to threaten, harass and sneer at the likes of Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda and Gregory Peck. Steely-eyed and suave, with pinched features and an itchy trigger finger, he was at best a trouble-maker and at worst the most evil varmint for miles. Not for him the climactic duel - because, for one thing, he was destined not to live that long: early in the film, he would shoot the unarmed, or someone in the back, to give the hero just cause for revenge.

When the Italians appropriated the western, Van Cleef went too, and became a star. The first spaghetti western, A Fistful of Dollars (1964), was directed by Sergio Leone, and it made Clint Eastwood a household name the world over. The sequel, For a Few Dollars More (1965), called for a bigger budget and an American partner, as devious as Eastwood is straightforward, as genial as he is taciturn - though not in any likeable way, for they are killers both and one of them is a double-dealing dirty dog. Van Cleef rose magnificently to the occasion and Leone teamed them felicitously again, in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).

Eastwood returned to Hollywood and found superstar status; Van Cleef had to be content with the latter in Europe only. He did return temporarily to Hollywood, to top-billing or to villain, but the vasty plains of Arizona or Wyoming were more likely to be found in Italy or Spain, and unlike Eastwood he was not very effective out of the saddle. Europe not only kept him steadily employed, but in the postcard shops he was a cult in the order of James Dean.

In 20 years of European stardom he remained mean, and if he did a good turn it was only in contrast to villains even nastier than himself.

Most of these films have not been seen here, but his niche is secure: turn on an old western on television and if his name is on the credits you'll know there is someone you are going to love to hate.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Interview with Dolores Claman - Captain Apache Composer


John Mansell talks to Dolores Claman, composer of the music for Captain Apache and other Spanish westerns.   Below are excepts regarding Captain Apache and Bad Man's River.

Full interview is available here:
http://www.europeanfilmreview.co.uk/articles/dolores_claman.htm



JM: In 1971 you scored CAPTAIN APACHE was this your first full film score, and how did you become involved on this project?
DC: We were taking a long sabbatical in Madrid when Richard and another writer friend went to see Phil Yourdan, the producer and Bernie Gordon, head writer of "Captain Apache" and the other films in the series, about getting some work as scriptwriters. It turned out that they wanted a theme song or two for Lee Van Cleef, and it developed from there.

JM: Staying with CAPTAIN APACHE, the star of the movie Lee Van Cleef sang the title song on the soundtrack, who’s idea was it to get Van Cleef to do this, what was he like to work with and did you coach him for the performances ?

DC: As I understand it, after Lee Van Cleef heard Lee Marvin singing in "Paint Your Wagon", decided that he wanted to sing too. His wife, who was in Madrid with him, had been an opera singer, and encouraged him to have a go. We wrote 2 demos, thinking Yourdan and Gordon would pick one, but they decided on both.

To be honest, he wasn't easy to work with. I think he felt out of his depth as a singer, and covered up by being difficult, which - of course - is not unusual. After 2 rehearsals with me on the piano, he said the piano made him sing out of tune, so a roving English guitar player was hired to be on the set and rehearse with Lee when he had a break.

Funnily enough, his problem wasn't so much about pitch, because we got him to speak a lot of the lyrics, but with the fact that he was "rhythm deaf" - not feeling where the phrase begins or ends, if you know what I mean.

At the recording, the engineer had to cut up his tape and feed it into the proper places to match the orchestral accompaniment.

JM: I am told that the songs in CAPTAIN APACHE were recorded in London, was the main score also recorded in England or was this done in Spain?


DC: No, they were recorded in Madrid. English speaking singers were very few and far between, and not necessarily experienced , so we had to add a LOT of reverb.

The score was also recorded in Madrid - but we had a very fine conductor/ arranger, Pepe Nieto, with whom we worked on a lot of other projects before and after.

JM: What size orchestra did you use on CAPTAIN APACHE?

DC: Not a large orchestra, there was about 24 players as I remember.

JM: On the score for CAPTAIN APACHE there is a piece of music just before Lee Van Cleef sings APRIL MORNING, this contains some whistling, it sounds very much like Alessandro Alessandroni, did he perform on the soundtrack at.

DC: No, it wasn't Alessandro. It was probably Antonio Areta, who sang bass in the backing track and whom we hired quite often when we needed a whistler. He was also a composer of Spanish jingles

JM: The movie has something of a cult following nowadays, but at the time of its release it received some very unkind press, are you surprised that it is still popular now some 35 years on?

DC: To be honest, nothing surprises me nowadays.

JM: I understand that your husband worked on BAD MANS RIVER, were you involved in any way on this movie, and did you score any other Spanish or Paella westerns?

DC: Richard was hired to write the lyrics. They had to use a Spanish composer because of co-production "points". Actually he was a very good Argentinean born composer, but hadn't a clue about barber shop quartets (these were used as a Greek Chorus to move the story along)

So Richard, with a little help from me, actually wrote the melodies and sang them to the composer. I did some "covers" for another movie - but I can't remember the name of the film.


JM: There was a rumour recently that the songs from CAPTAIN APACHE had been issued during the 1970's on a single 45rpm record for members of the Lee Van Cleef fan club, do you know anything about this recording?

DC: No, I don't, but I'd love to get one, if it were issued.


JM: Do you find it suprising that record companies want to issue your music from CAPTAIN APACHE onto CD, after all this time ?

DC: Yes. But I think there are a lot of Euro-Western fans who would be prepared to buy it.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

LVC Sings! - "April Morning"

For the 1971 film Captain Apache, LVC sings the main title song (as well as the end credits). Below you will find the YouTube clip of the end credits, and the song "April Morning". I have also included an mp3 version you can download at well!



MP3 Download HERE

Thursday, November 22, 2012

LVC Sings! - Captain Apache

For the 1971 film Captain Apache, LVC sings the main title song (as well as the end credits).  Below you will find the YouTube clip of the opening credits.  I have also included an mp3 version you can download at well!




MP3 Download HERE

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

LVC on Blu-ray (US)

With the release of The Grand Duel on Blu-ray last week, I thought it would be a good idea to look at which LVC titles are currently available in high definition.

Below is a list of what is available through our partner site Amazon.



For a Few Dollars More




  • Format: Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1



  • This was a retailer exclusive at Target, but has now gone wide.  In my opinion the best looking transfer of the 3 Dollars films available in the US.







  • Format: Multiple Formats
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1



  • In my opinion a pretty weak transfer, with the Italian version being far superior in image quality (comparison blog entry coming soon!)








  • Format: AC-3, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1



  • Same discs as above with Fistful of Dollars included.




    Magnificent Seven Collection




  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 4



  • This is a set of all 4 movies, and includes The Magnificent Seven Ride.  Well... some LVC fan I am... I don't own this, so I can't comment on it!








  • Format: Multiple Formats
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1



  • Far superior to the region 4 version which looked like an upconverted DVD.



    We'll take a look at some other region LVC discs in a future post.