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Beyond The Law ( 1968)


Moorman
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The spaghetti western genre, when done right, I personally feel is the best of the western genre. ( Sergio Corbucci, Sergio Leone, Gulio Petroni, Sergio Sollima, Giancarlo Santi and others).  Notice I said DONE RIGHT.  For the most part spaghetti westerns come across as western spoofs to me.  Beyond the Law had just enough drama going for it that I give it a pass and put it in a select few of the spaghetti westerns that I like.

Beyond the Law is one of the many Van Cleef films that he had to make over in Europe due to the waning American western genre during the late 60s, early 70s.  Its a shame because I truly feel he is one of the best if not THE best of the classic western genre actors and thats including Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.  Its the nuances and realness of Van Cleef's character that comes across in his acting.  I know I'm not alone in that sentiment.

The plot centers around Lee Van Cleef as the leader of a 3 man gang of thieves.  They decide to rob the town of Silvertown of its shipment of payroll for the miners.  Antonio Sabato ( Ben) was charged with getting the payroll to town.  As Ben comes to town and he finds out he was robbed enroute ( the money bag is empty that was locked in the stagecoach), the town turns on him and Van Cleef ( who has hung around because of further plans), likes the courage that Ben displays and takes up for him.  This leads to a inner battle within Van Cleef's character as to whether he should totally leave his gang background or become one of the good guys.

The look of the film was pretty good.  The stunts were fantastic and the main theme song is very good, a trait of the best spaghetti westerns.  The film was directed by Giorgio Stegani, music by Riz Ortolani and filmed by Enzio Serafin.  Its a pretty good production.  I rank this one a 7 out of 10...

 

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3 hours ago, Moorman said:

Beyond the Law is one of the many Van Cleef films that he had to make over in Europe due to the waning American western genre during the late 60s, early 70s.  Its a shame because I truly feel he is one of the best if not THE best of the classic western genre actors and thats including Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.  Its the nuances and realness of Van Cleef's character that comes across in his acting.  I know I'm not alone in that sentiment.

 

I definitely agree with you about Van Cleef. He was able to play both good and evil characters so well with unpredictability. Another good spaghetti western he was in was Sabata ( Ehi amico ... c'è Sabata. Hai chiuso!) as a good law enforcer going up a gang of bank robbers.

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1 hour ago, Gershwin fan said:

I definitely agree with you about Van Cleef. He was able to play both good and evil characters so well with unpredictability. Another good spaghetti western he was in was Sabata ( Ehi amico ... c'è Sabata. Hai chiuso!) as a good law enforcer going up a gang of bank robbers.

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I have seen Sabatha.  I might review it here. It IS one of the best spaghetti westerns and yes, Van Cleef was excellent here.  Like you pointed out, Van Cleef can play both good and bad guys and do both well.  In fact, the film in this very thread is one in which he pulled off being both characters. 

" Death Rides a Horse" is a very underrated western in my opinion and one of the best of the spaghetti westerns. I've said that if Clint Eastwood had played opposite Van Cleef in that one then it would've been considered a classic up there with the 3 Leone films that Eastwood did.  Its that good of a film...

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7 hours ago, Moorman said:

The spaghetti western genre, when done right, I personally feel is the best of the western genre. ( Sergio Corbucci, Sergio Leone, Gulio Petroni, Sergio Sollima, Giancarlo Santi and others).  Notice I said DONE RIGHT.  For the most part spaghetti westerns come across as western spoofs to me.  Beyond the Law had just enough drama going for it that I give it a pass and put it in a select few of the spaghetti westerns that I like.

Beyond the Law is one of the many Van Cleef films that he had to make over in Europe due to the waning American western genre during the late 60s, early 70s.  Its a shame because I truly feel he is one of the best if not THE best of the classic western genre actors and thats including Clint Eastwood and John Wayne.  Its the nuances and realness of Van Cleef's character that comes across in his acting.  I know I'm not alone in that sentiment.

I totally agree. I would like to see TCM give him a day next August. He deserves a Summer Under the Stars tribute. Lee Van Cleef was in a lot of films. Often he's the very best thing in them.

In one of these threads a group of us listed our top westerns. I have BARQUERO (1970) on my list. I love seeing him interact with Warren Oates (tough) and interact with Mariette Hartley (vulnerable). He has incredible range as a performer.

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4 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I totally agree. I would like to see TCM give him a day next August. He deserves a Summer Under the Stars tribute. Lee Van Cleef was in a lot of films. Often he's the very best thing in them.

In one of these threads a group of us listed our top westerns. I have BARQUERO (1970) on my list. I love seeing him interact with Warren Oates (tough) and interact with Mariette Hartley (vulnerable). He has incredible range as a performer.

I'm surprised that TCM has not done that already.  This is taking nothing from Eastwood, but its Van Cleef who took those Leone Films they did together to ANOTHER LEVEL.  Barquero to me is a underrated film over on the Leone Board. I think I remember now you putting it on your top western list.  I love that film.  Both Van Cleef and Warren Oates did fantastic work here.  The film reminded me of High Plains Drifter.  ( The premise of the protaganist helping the town fight off a gang).  The town itself was laid out EXACTLY like the gold mining town I visited in Phoenix.  Down to the slope of the Hill down the main street.

The Magnificent 7 Ride is another one thats underrated.  What threw me off here might surprise you. I thought the original Magnificent 7 was overrated ( I know I will get flack for that but I have a reason) and so I expected this sequel to be pretty bad.  It was a pretty good film and I believe I have it on my list of DVDS to purchase.

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1 hour ago, Moorman said:

I'm surprised that TCM has not done that already.  This is taking nothing from Eastwood, but its Van Cleef who took those Leone Films they did together to ANOTHER LEVEL.  Barquero to me is a underrated film over on the Leone Board. I think I remember now you putting it on your top western list.  I love that film.  Both Van Cleef and Warren Oates did fantastic work here.  The film reminded me of High Plains Drifter.  ( The premise of the protaganist helping the town fight off a gang).  The town itself was laid out EXACTLY like the gold mining town I visited in Phoenix.  Down to the slope of the Hill down the main street.

The Magnificent 7 Ride is another one thats underrated.  What threw me off here might surprise you. I thought the original Magnificent 7 was overrated ( I know I will get flack for that but I have a reason) and so I expected this sequel to be pretty bad.  It was a pretty good film and I believe I have it on my list of DVDS to purchase.

I have not seen all the MAGNIFICENT SEVEN films so I cannot comment on them in terms of rating their overall effectiveness. I also have not seen all the SABATA films.

Your comment about how they made the mining town in BARQUERO as authentic as possible is yet another reason for people to see it.

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