Mr. Ugly Rides Again: Lee Van Cleef in THE BIG GUNDOWN (Columbia 1967)


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I’ll be the first to admit I’m no expert on Spaghetti Westerns. I’ve probably seen more than the average filmgoer though, and have learned to appreciate them  over the years. If I were to make a Top Ten favorite film list, Sergio Leone’s THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY would definitely make the grade. Recently I watched THE BIG GUNDOWN for the first time, and while it doesn’t quite measure up to classic status, it does serve as a good example of what the genre’s all about.

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Lee Van Cleef was fresh off his success in two Leone/Clint Eastwood Spaghettis (FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE and the aforementioned film) when he was cast in this Sergio Sollima saga. Van Cleef, who struggled for years as a villainous second banana in Hollywood, was now an international star, and THE BIG GUNDOWN was his first leading role. He plays the steely-eyed, steel nerved Jonathan…

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One response to “Mr. Ugly Rides Again: Lee Van Cleef in THE BIG GUNDOWN (Columbia 1967)

  1. Pingback: Rest in Peace, Tomas Milian | Through the Shattered Lens

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