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 fans of theBad.net for their contributions and continued enthusiasm!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Obituary - LA Times

Cowboy Film Villain Lee Van Cleef Dies

Actor Lee Van Cleef, the steely eyed villain of American Westerns. who became an international star by playing the hero in Italian "spaghetti" Westerns of the 1960s died Saturday morning in Oxnard of an apparent heart attack. He was 64 years old.

Van Cleef, who had a long history of heart trouble, suffered a seizure at about 11:40 p.m. Friday at his home and was pronounced dead at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard shortly after midnight, according to the coroner's office.

From an obscure actor playing minor villain roles, Van Cleef was born Jan. 9,1925, stormed into international stardom after appearing opposite Clint Eastwood in Italian director Sergio Leone's "For a Few More Dollars."

By the early 1970s, Van Cleef had become one of the ten most popular box-office stars in Europe and had established himself as a cult figure. Some of his best known films include, "The Magnificent Seven Ride!" "Escape from New York," and Il Bruono, il Brutto, il Cattivo," or "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." In recent years, he had slipped out of the limelight, starring in such forgettable productions as the television show, "The Master," about a martial expert searching for his long-lost daughter, and the movie, "Killing Machine" with Margaux Hemingway.

Van Cleef was born Jan. 9,1925, in Somerville, N.J. After a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II, he returned home and acted in local theatrical productions.
In 1952, Van Cleef won his first film role as the sardonic killer who died in the showdown gunfight with Gary Cooper in the Western classic, High Noon." Van Cleef's cruel-looking hooked nose and demonic smile won him several villain roles afterwards. But it was in 1966 that Van Cleef was noticed by Leone, who was searching for actors with distinctive facial features to star in Italian-made Westerns.

"My story suddenly turned into a rags-to-riches saga," he said. "And just in time, too."

Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

God's Gun Trailer

Below is the trailer for the infamous dual role LVC film, God's Gun.  I'm reasonably sure whoever narrates the trailer also provided Lee's voice in the film!

Monday, June 25, 2012

High Noon Coming to Blu-ray

Coming from Olive Films on July 17.
SRP - $29.95

This groundbreaking western was voted at the 33rd greatest film of all time by the AFI® (100 Years… 100 Movies). Gary Cooper won the Oscar® for Best Actor in this classic tale of a lawman who stands alone to defend a town of cowardly citizens against a gang of killers seeking revenge. In one of the greatest showdowns in cinema history, Cooper’s Sheriff Will Kane stands to lose not only the town, but also his bride, Grace Kelly. The stellar cast includes Lloyd Bridges, Thomas Mitchell, Katy Jurado, Otto Kruger, Lon Chaney, Henry Morgan, Jack Elam and Lee Van Cleef.

High Noon won a total of four Academy Awards® including Best Editing, Score (Dimitri Tiomkin) and Song, “Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling”, written by Tiomkin and Ned Washington and sung by Tex Ritter. High Noon also received Oscar® nominations for Best Picture (Stanley Kramer), Best Director (Fred Zinnemann) and Best Screenplay (Carl Foreman).

Olive's 60th Anniversary Edition presents High Noon in a new transfer, restored in HD from the original negative. The disc also contains the following supplements:

  • The Making Of High Noon behind-the-scenes featurette, narrated by Leonard Maltin
  • Theatrical trailer

The blu-ray can be ordered from amazon.com below
High Noon (60th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Master - Color Press Photos

I am sure the first thing you think of when you hear the words "Lee Van Cleef", is ninja... I mean, why wouldn't you?

In 1984 LVC had a weekly action series on NBC, called "The Master", where he played a (you guessed it), Ninja Master.  The series was canceled after 13 episodes, and was later released as Master Ninja on VHS.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

eBay Watch: Return of Sabata Japan Program

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.

This is from the same seller as the Sabata program from last week.  A 24 page program for Return of Sabata.  Not in as good of condition as last week's, but interesting nonetheless.  "Buy it Now" is $24.99

Return of Sabata (E tornato Sabata... hai chiuso un'altra volta) JAPAN PROGRAM Gianfranco Parolini, Lee Van Cleef, Reiner Schone, Annabella Incontrera, Gianni Rizzo, Ignazio Spalla

Japanese Movie Program, written in Japanese, contains many photos from the movie

Condition: good/very good, staple rust, 20 pages

I've archived the photos from the listing below-

Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I have no idea what this photo from the late 1970's is about!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Big Gundown - New Soundtrack Release

Another month another new soundtrack rerelease.  This time we are looking at the 4th release of The Big Gundown (La Resa Dei Conti).  This release is by GDM (who also had a 24 track, 51:37 release in 2001)

This new version has a longer duration of 54:09 and it is the definitive presentation. This CD includes both the original album tracks in stereo and the mono film versions with completely restored sound and also it contains a true rarity bonus track: the film version of the FINALE with a never released intro featuring a grotesque effect of arghilofono with strings and oboe.

Soundtrack is due in July
Order Here

GDM/Legend GDM 4215 

 Track Listing

1.  Run Man Run (02:49)
2.  La vedova (01:11)
3.  Titoli di testa (La caccia) (02:40)
4.  La corrida (01:52)
5.  Dopo la condanna (01:44)
6.  Primo deserto (02:30)
7.  La condanna (01:13)
8.  La resa (02:48)
9.  La resa dei conti (Seconda caccia) (02:20)
10.  Arriva Cucillo (00:50)
11.  Coro dei mormoni (01:40)
12.  Secondo deserto (01:24)
13.  Titoli di coda (La resa dei conti) (01:03)
14.  Corri uomo corri (02:49)
15.  Arriva Cucillo (versione alternativa) (00:59)
16.  La resa dei conti (Titoli - Ripresa) (02:00)
17.  Primo deserto (Jonathan Corbett) (01:51)
18.  La vedova (Il ranch) (02:04)
19.  Primo deserto (Arriva Corbett) (01:52)
20.  La resa dei conti (Square dance nuziale) (05:08)
21.  Primo deserto (Il morso del serpente) (04:25)
22.  La resa dei conti (Rosita) (02:22)
23.  Primo deserto (Preso nell'imboscata) (00:55)
24.  La resa dei conti (Mariachi) (00:41)
25.  Run Man Run (Titoli Finale) (02:47)

Previous Editions-

Verita Note VQCD-10067 (24 tracks)

GDM Music 2027 (24 tracks)

United Artists UAS 5190 (13 tracks)

I will have a blog entry on the various LVC soundtrack releases next month, to guide you to which version of each score to buy.

Friday, June 15, 2012

El Condor - Poster Gallery

Check out these posters for El Condor!

Click on 'em to make 'em bigger!


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Best of the Badmen Excerpt

Here is an excerpt related to LVC from "Best of the Badmen" by Boyd Magers, Bob Nareau, and Bobby Copeland:

They nicknamed him Angel Eyes, "Being born with a beady-eyed sneer was the best thing that ever happened to me," Lee Van Cleef smiled as only he could.

Tall and lean, pointed nose, high cheekbones, cruel mouth, balding head--and those cold-steel squinty eyes, these physical attributes served to make Van Cleef one of the major heavies of screen westerns.

Born Clarence Leroy Van Cleef Jr., January 9, 1925, in Somerville, New Jersey, his parents (Clarence Leroy Van Cleef and Marian L. Fleet) were both Jew Jersey natives of Dutch extraction. Lee's father, a WWI veteran who served two years in Europe, worked as an accountant and bank cashier. His mother, by some reports, was once a professional singer. His father, an outdoorsman, taught Lee to shoot by age 10.

In June '42, after his junior year in high school, Lee took a summer job on an area farm. He quit the farming job in September to begin his senior year, but in October '42 the 17 year old left high school to enlist in the Navy. During this era, many high school seniors were given condensed courses to complete high school before entering service. Navy documents attest Lee did receive a high school diploma. Following recruit training as a Sound Man and in Mine Craft, he was assigned to the USS Incredible.

On December 10, 1943, Lee married high school sweetheart Patsy Ruth Kahle before he was sent to sea, eventually serving in the Atlantic and Pacific. He was discharged from the Navy March 6, 1946. During the war Lee had seen service aboard a subchaser in the Caribbean and a mine-sweeper in the Mediterranean and the China Sea, earning him several medals.

After Van Cleef was discharged, he and his wife worked in a Maine hunting/fishing camp. Before '46 was over, he was a farmer on the estate of a prominent socialite.

With the birth of two children, Alan in '47, Deborah in '48, Lee found better paying work at a Somerville factory. Also from '46-'50 he maintained a private practice as an accountant for several local businesses.

Encouraged by a factory co-worker, Lee became involved with the Clinton (NJ) Music Hall Players, appearing in "Our Town" and "Heaven Can Wait".

Enamored with stage work, Lee went to New York and obtained a small role in "Mister Roberts", then toured for 15 months n '50-'51 with the hit play. It was his work as a policeman in this production that caught the eye of producer Stanley Kramer who was preparing "High Noon". Kramer initially offered Lee the role of the deputy (which eventually went to Lloyd Bridges) with the stipulation Van Cleef have his nose surgically altered to appear less menacing. Lee refused and Kramer cast him as one of the heavies at $500 a week.

Van Cleef quickly learned to ride and, as production on "High Noon" didn't start till September '51, Lee was able to find work as a heavy on two episodes of Jock Mahoney's "Range Rider": "Greed Rides the Ranger" and "Outlaw's Double". Dick Jones, Dick West on "The Range Rider", was unaware these were Van Cleef's first screen roles. "He came on as an old professional. I liked working with him. He was very handy... did a good fight scene. I sure didn't know it was his first job."

Van Cleef is the first character seen on screen in "High Noon" and, without a word of dialogue, made a lasting impression in the Academy Award winning film, forever establishing Lee as a heavy.

After appearing in dozens of film and TV westerns, Lee was driving home from Lone Pine, California, in the Fall of '58 (after completing location work on "Ride Lonesome") with his wife and three children (a third son David had been born by this time) when he was involved in a head on collision with another car. The wreck fractured his left arm in two placed and shattered his left kneecap, hospitalizing him for a month. Lee was told he may never walk again without a limp or ride a horse. However, in a struggle later termed "mind over matter," he disproved the doctor's theories.

Tragically, the accident and aftermath led to a drinking problem for Lee which ended his 15 year marriage.

In 1960, Lee remarried, to Joan Miller. They adopted a daughter, Denise.

With westerns on the decline by the mid '60s, Lee hit bad financial times. Joan was working as an IBM secretary and Lee was doing freelance house painting and living off residuals. Good fortune returned in the person of Italian director Sergio Leone who had struck gold with Clint Eastwood in "A Fistful of Dollars". For the follow-up, "For a Few Dollars More", Leone wanted Van Cleef for his bounty hunter protagonist. That film, like "High Noon", changed Van Cleef's life.

Lee went on to make over 20 more Spaghetti westerns through the late '70s, never returning to the TV screen again until he starred in his own short-lived series, "The Master" in 1984. More than any other actor, he brought prestige to the Italian western.

While making 1974's "The Strange and the Gunfighter", Lee met Barbara Havelone, a concert pianist working on the score for the film. By 1975, he divorced Joan and married Barbara on July 13, 1976.

Heart disease slowed his work in the late '70s. He had a pacemaker installed in the early '80s.

Besides the failed 13 episode run of his series "The Master", Lee's screen roles were on a definite downturn as he accepted parts in lesser budgeted films.

On December 16, 1989, a few weeks shy of his 65th birthday, heart disease caught up with "the man with gunsight eyes" as he collapsed at his home in Oxnard, California. He was taken to St. John's Hospital where he died. Throat cancer was listed as a secondary cause of death. Lee had taken up smoking a pipe while in the Navy and can be seen smoking in many of his films. He was buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, California. His friend from "Mr. Roberts", actor Rance Howard gave the eulogy. Rory Calhoun, Harry Carey Jr. and others were pallbearers.

"Bad guys have always been my bag," Lee once explained, "I look mean without even trying. Audiences just naturally hate me on screen. I could play a role in a tuxedo and people would think I was rotten. You can do much more with a villain part. Movies are full of leading men--most of whom aren't working. It's much harder to find a good villain."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Codename: Wildgeese and The Commander Coming to Blu-ray (Sort of)

Here is a little piece of news.  Codename Wildgeese and The Commander both co-starring LVC are coming to blu-ray.

Sort of...

"Codename: Wildgeese" is being listed as an extra on the Richard Burton / Roger Moore film "The Wildgeese".  Similarly "The Commander" is listed as an extra on the Lewis Collins movie "Who Dares Wins".

I confirmed with Francesco Simeoni with Arrow Films that "Codename: Wildgeese" and "The Commander" will be in Standard Definition, unfortunately as a HD restoration does not exist for the films.

So the good news is these films will be available in the UK.  Bad news, not HD.

Disc information below.  Both are released in July.

The Wild Geese
Released: 02 Jul 2012

Starring: Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Richard Harris, Hardy Kr├╝ger and Stewart Granger
Directed by: Andrew V. McLaglen
Rating: 15
Duration: TBC

Overview: One Last Pay Day... One More Chance To Die!

Legendary hell-raisers Richard Burton and Richard Harris, along with a coolly detached Roger Moore are aging mercenaries with a taste for fine liquor, drawn together for a late but extremely lucrative pay day in The Wild Geese, an African adventure soaked in booze, gunfire and bloodshed.

Colonel Allen Faulkner (Burton) is secretly back in London to accept the task of reinstating an African leader deposed in a violent military coup, but without the combat skills of his two old friends, there isn’t going to be a mission. With his two reliable loose cannons in place, Faulkner and the team enact a text book rescue operation but disaster is close at hand when the cynical multinational who set up the whole deal turns the tables, striking a new deal with the local despot which sees The Wild Geese trying to escape with their lives intact.

The Wild Geese are ready for one last mission so finish your drinks and relive this classic old school British action adventure today.

Special Features:
- High Definition Presentation of the main feature
- Audio commentary with Roger Moore, producer Euan Lloyd and second unit director John Glen
- World Premiere Newsreel Footage
- Original Trailer
- Bonus Feature Film: CODE NAME: WILD GEESE, starring Lewis Collins, Lee Van Cleef, Ernest Borgnine and Klaus Kinski, directed by Antonio Margheriti aka Anthony M. Dawson
- Reversible sleeve with original poster and newly commissioned artwork cover
- Collector’s booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by Ali Catterall, co-author of Your Face Here: British Cult Movies Since the Sixties and a biography of Euan Lloyd

Region B
RRP £19.99

Who Dares Wins
Released: 02 Jul 2012

Starring: Lewis Collins, Judy Davis, Edward Woodward, Richard Widmark
Directed by: Ian Sharp
Rating: 15
Duration: TBC


Paranoia, black ops and espionage combine in Who Dares Wins, a violent and edgy anti-terror classic starring Lewis Collins (The Professionals) and Edward Woodward (The Equalizer).

The anti-nuclear movement is plotting a bloody outrage on British soil and, having already fatally lost their undercover operative at a violent protest, the secret services call on the aid of the SAS. Captain Peter Skellen (Collins) risks his career, his family and his life to infiltrate the terrorist group before they can unleash an attack that will devastate the country.

Relive a classic cold war thrill ride which remains relevant to this day... Who Dares Wins, a violent lesson in how to deal with the enemy within.

Special Features:
- High Definition Presentation of the main feature
- Audio commentary with producer Euan Lloyd and director Ian Sharp
- The Last of the Gentleman Producers: A Documentary on the life of the legendary producer Euan Lloyd, featuring Sir Roger Moore, Ingrid Pitt, Kenneth Griffith and more!
- Two Original Trailers
- Bonus Feature Film: THE COMMANDER, another Lewis Collins action spectacular co-starring Lee Van Cleef and Donald Pleasance, directed by Antonio Margheriti aka Anthony M. Dawson!
- Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork
- Collector’s booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by Ali Catterall, co-author of Your Face Here: British Cult Movies Since the Sixties plus press book extracts and writing by Euan Lloyd!

Region B
RRP £19.99

Monday, June 11, 2012

eBay Watch: Sabata Japan Program

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.

This is pretty cool.  A 24 page program for Sabata.  I don't speak Japanese, but this program looks to be packed with photos, many I have not seen.  "Buy it Now" is $24.99

Sabata (Ehi amico... c'e Sabata, hai chiuso!) JAPAN PROGRAM Gianfranco Parolini Lee Van Cleef, William Berger, Franco Ressel, Linda Veras, Ignazio Spalla, Gianni Rizzo, Aldo Canti  
Japanese Movie Program, written in Japanese, contains many photos from the movie  
Condition: good, small tear, 24 page  

I've archived the photos from the listing below-

Happy Hunting!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Commandos - Press Photos

Here are some photos from the often overlooked LVC film, Commandos.  Enjoy!

Click on 'em to make 'em bigger!

Friday, June 8, 2012

LVC eBay Flip!

I know I just made an eBay post, but I thought I would just go off on a little rant.

About a week ago this photo was on eBay-


It sold for $32.99.

Now look what I find on eBay today...  Look familiar?


Whoever bought it for $32.99, is now selling it for $200.00!!!  That's quite a markup!

I'm just bitter as I was the underbidder.  How awesome would it have been to put "AA" in front of the "RON" on the photo!

Rant over. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"Van Cleef Notes" - 2006 Entertainment Weekly Article

Chris Nashawaty on the spaghetti Western ''Sabata'' from an August 2006 article in Entertaiment Weekly Magazine, which coincided with the release of the Sabata trilogy on DVD.

Of all the struggling actors who headed to Europe in the '60s to kick-start their careers in spaghetti Westerns, Lee Van Cleef had the least to lose. After Clint Eastwood became a star thanks to 1966's A Fistful of Dollars, Europe quickly became the destination of last resort for B actors like Burt Reynolds and Charles Bronson. Like an international gold rush, every tough guy with a stalled career hightailed it overseas to find fame.

Over the next few years, hundreds of low-budget Italian, Spanish, and German spaghetti Westerns were cranked out. Most were crude, awfully dubbed hack-work. But a few, like the trio of films Eastwood made with director Sergio Leone, are still rightly considered masterpieces on par with the epics of John Ford and Howard Hawks.

Lee Van Cleef, with his beady, slit eyes, pencil-thin mustache, and malevolent smirk, rode along with Eastwood in the second and third films in Leone's ''Man With No Name'' trilogy: For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Until then, the rail-thin WWII veteran had been pigeonholed as bit-part villains in a string of films in the '50s. But he eventually got fed up with the business, dropped out, and took up painting... until he received a call and a plane ticket from Leone.

While Eastwood, Reynolds (1966's Navajo Joe), and Bronson (1968's Once Upon a Time in the West) returned to Tinseltown as conquering, international box office heroes, Van Cleef never left the spaghetti Western cheapies that changed his fortunes behind. Some would call this loyalty; others stupidity. Either way, the films Van Cleef made — like 1969's Sabata — are ripe for rediscovery.

Directed by Gianfranco Parolini (under the Anglicized pseudonym ''Frank Kramer''), Sabata is a stylish antihero western that owes as much to James Bond as John Wayne. At the outset of the film, Van Cleef's Sabata (''The man with the gunsight eyes'') is a shadowy figure dressed in black who rides into town on a dark, stormy night. Our first glimpse of him comes as he cups his hands to light a match and puffs on his signature cigar. He's a badass. But how much of a badass soon becomes clear as he swaggers into the town's saloon and exposes a dude cheating at craps with a pair of loaded dice. (For an almost identical scene, see Roger Moore in Octopussy.)

After a safe containing $100,000 is stolen from the local bank, Sabata dishes out some frontier justice and gets the money back. But it soon becomes clear that the rich dandies who run the town didn't really want the money found. They were in on the heist. So Sabata schemes to play both sides against the middle while picking fights with the men and politely declining advances from the ladies. Sabata's one smooth cat.

Van Cleef, with his long, graying sideburns and weaned-on-a-pickle scowl, looks like a sickly and more evil James Coburn (no stranger to spaghetti Westerns himself, by the way). His hat is black, his clothes are black, his horse is black, and, of course, his soul is black. All he cares about is exposing hypocrisy and getting the reward that's coming to him. No more, no less.

Sabata's a cool film, no doubt about it. At times, it's a bit too intricate for its own good. And there are a few too many colorful characters running around (a troupe of bank-robbing acrobats, a wandering musician who may or may not be a double-crosser and whose banjo-rifle seems to have been lifted by Robert Rodriguez for El Mariachi). But even so, it's no surprise that the character would return for two more films.

Van Cleef didn't suit up for 1970's Adios, Sabata. His role was assumed by Yul Brynner, who comes off more like a butch Neil Diamond imitator, what with his fringed chaps and open shirt. But Van Cleef did sign on for 1971's Return of Sabata. Both are interesting. But neither approaches the trigger-happy insanity of the original, in which a big, sweaty hitman in a sombrero comes to kill Sabata, draws his gun, and says, ''When I stop laughing, you're dead.'' He then begins to crack up maniacally.

Needless to say, Van Cleef puts a stop to his laughing for him.