biography

Born Clarence Leroy Van Cleef on January 9, 1925, in Somerville, New Jersey, Lee Van Cleef cultivated an interest in acting following a stint in the Navy during World War II. Immediately before shipping out with the U.S. Navy, Van Cleef married his high school sweetheart, Patsy, in 1943, and the couple eventually had three children. After his release from active duty, Van Cleef worked as an accountant. But soon he began taking roles in off-Broadway stage productions, and Van Cleef's natural acting talent got him noticed by famed director Stanley Kramer. He cast the young actor as the villainous Jack Colby in High Noon (1952). His success in this role and other westerns typecast him; throughout the 1950s, Van Cleef usually portrayed the bad guy. He also made several film noir thrillers and a couple of science fiction films. And even in the low-budget science fiction American International release It Conquered the World (1956; with Beverly Garland), Van Cleef's character is ultimately a villain who helps a menacing alien in a quest to take over Earth.

During his years as a contract player at United Artists and Universal, Van Cleef acted in memorable films such as Kansas City Confidential (1952; with John Payne; The Lawless Breed (1953; with Julie Adams; and The Big Combo (1955; with Cornel Wilde and Richard Conte). By the late 1950s, his career was going very well; for example, in 1957, he appeared in at least ten films and made several guest appearances on television shows. However, in 1959 a serious auto accident sidelined Van Cleef; his convertible was hit head-on by a truck. The accident shattered his kneecap and left him with a limp. But with theraphy and determination, he was able to regain full use of his leg. With his film career gone and the end of his first marriage, Van Cleef remarried and tried to rebuild his acting career by taking any role he could find, often small roles on television series. Nearly broke by 1965, his film career was revitalized when Sergio Leone sought out Van Cleef to cast him as Colonel Douglas Mortimer in For a Few Dollars More. Van Cleef quickly became an international star in spaghetti westerns playing both villains and heroes.

the films of lee van cleef

Tumbleweed (1953)

Lee Van Cleef, Audie Murphy, and Chill Wills

With Audie Murphy and Chill Wills in the Universal-International western Tumbleweed

It Conquered the World (1956)

Lee Van Cleef

As scientist Tom Anderson, Van Cleef is killed by the alien life form he guided to Earth in Roger Corman's campy science fiction flick It Conquered the World, released by American International

The Quiet Gun (1957)

Forrest Tucker and Lee Van Cleef

With Forrest Tucker in the 20th Century Fox western The Quiet Gun

The Big Gundown (1966)

Lee Van Cleef and Tomas Milian

Van Cleef and Tomas Milian in the spaghetti western The Big Gundown

Day of Anger (1967) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Lee Van Cleef and Giuliano GemmaGiuliano Gemma and Lee Van Cleef

From the spaghetti western Day of Anger with Giuliano Gemma

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1967) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Lee Van Cleef

Van Cleef as Angel Eyes in Sergio Leone's The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, probably the best spaghetti western ever made

Commandos (1968) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Lee Van CleefLee Van CleefLee Van Cleef

From the Italian-made war film Commandos

Barquero (1970)

Lee Van Cleef and Mariette HartleyLee Van Cleef

From in Barquero. LEFT: With Mariette Hartley. RIGHT: Van Cleef as Travis

El Condor (1970) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Lee Van CleefJim Brown and Lee Van Cleef

From the western El Condor, which was shot in Spain. LEFT: Van Cleef as Jaroo, who attempts to steal a fortune in gold. RIGHT: Luke (Jim Brown) and Jaroo are caught by soldiers

Sabata (1970) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Lee Van CleefLee Van CleefLee Van Cleef

Van Cleef as the heroic gunslinger Sabata

The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Lee Van Cleef

Images from The Magnificent Seven Ride!, the final film in the Magnificent Seven series of films.

The Perfect Killer (1977)

Lee Van Cleef and John IrelandLee Van Cleef

From The Perfect Killer. LEFT: With John Ireland. RIGHT: Van Cleef as hit man Harry Chapman

The Master (1984 NBC TV Series)

Lee Van Cleef

Van Cleef as John Peter McAlister in NBC's The Master, his only television series. This show was based on the travels of an aging ninja, assisted by a sidekick portrayed by Timothy Van Patten. All thirteen episodes of the show were later edited into seven different films, two of which aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the early 1990s

later years

Throughout the late 1960s and 1970s, Van Cleef worked steadily in Europe. When the spaghetti western craze died down, he returned to Hollywood, remarried once more, and continued acting in films, mostly low-budget affairs. At the age of 59, Van Cleef took the starring role in the short-lived NBC series The Master, which was canceled after just 13 episodes. After production wrapped on the film Thieves of Fortune (1990; with Michael Nouri and Liz Torres), Lee Van Cleef was felled by a heart attack at age 64 on December 16, 1989. He was survived by his third wife, Barbara, and a daughter and two sons from his first marriage.

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TELEVISION
Golden Age Theater, Vol. 10 [DVD] DVD
Includes four episodes of "Crossroads" featuring appearances by Lee Van Cleef and Pat O'Brien. 101 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English. Plays All Regions.
Annie Oakley, Vol. 3 [DVD] DVD
Includes "Annie Breaks an Alibi," "Annie's Desert Adventure," "The Front Trail," and "Navajo Trail." 100 min. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English. Plays All Regions.
Northwest Passage, Vol. 1 [DVD](1958) DVD
First, after Rogers, Marriner and Towne are ambushed by a contingent of French soldiers, they must "Break Out" of a prison camp or endure torture. Then, when they are paid in bogus bills by "Counterfeiters," the Rangers uncover criminal activity. Next, DeForest Kelley guests in "Death Rides the Wind," detailing a hunt for missing convicts. Lastly, while investigating a highway robbery, Major Rogers helps a man prove his innocence in "The Fourth Brother." Lee Van Cleef co-stars. 102 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English. Plays All Regions.
The Twilight Zone, Vol. 6 [DVD] DVD
Includes "Death Head Revisited," "The Grave," "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank" and "The Passerby."
The Twilight Zone: Season 3 [Blu-ray](1961)
All 37 episodes from the third season--including "Two," "It's a Good Life," "Deaths-Head Revisited," "Kick the Can," "To Serve Man," and "I Sing the Body Electric"--are featured in a five-disc set. 16 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English PCM mono; audio commentary on selected episodes; interviews; promos; isolated music score; radio dramas; more. **37 episodes on 5 discs. 16 hrs.**
The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition: Season 3 [DVD](1961) DVD
All 37 episodes from the third season--including "Two," "It's a Good Life," "Deaths-Head Revisited," "Kick the Can," "To Serve Man," and "I Sing the Body Electric"--are featured in a five-disc set. 16 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; audio commentary on selected episodes; interviews; promos; DVD-ROM content; more.
Branded: The Complete Second Season [DVD](1965) DVD
All 32 episodes from season two--including "Judge Not," "I Killed Jason McCord," "The Greatest Coward on Earth," "Nice Day for a Hanging," and "Kellie"--are featured in a three-disc set. 13 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; featurettes.

FILM
High Noon (60th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray](1952)
Four Academy Awards, including Gary Cooper's second Best Actor Oscar, went to director Fred Zinnemann's landmark western drama. Cooper shines as retiring frontier marshal Will Kane, who must stand alone when a vengeance-seeking outlaw comes to town. Grace Kelly co-stars as Kane's new Quaker wife; with Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Ian MacDonald, Thomas Mitchell. 85 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; "making of" documentary; theatrical trailer.
High Noon (60th Anniversary Edition) [DVD](1952) DVD
Four Academy Awards, including Gary Cooper's second Best Actor Oscar, went to director Fred Zinnemann's landmark western drama. Cooper shines as retiring frontier marshal Will Kane, who must stand alone when a vengeance-seeking outlaw comes to town. Grace Kelly co-stars as Kane's new Quaker wife; with Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Ian MacDonald, Thomas Mitchell. 85 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; "making of" documentary; theatrical trailer.
The Nebraskan [DVD](1953) DVD
At the dawn of Nebraska's statehood, frontier scout Phil Carey rides to broker peace with the native tribes, but the acts of warmongers on both sides ultimately leave him on the wrong end of an outpost shoot-out. Enjoyable oater bolstered by support from Lee Van Cleef, Dennis Weaver, Jay Silverheels, Wallace Ford, and Regis Toomey. Not in 3D. 77 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Vice Squad [DVD](1953) DVD
Edward G. Robinson works on the right side of the law--at least for a while--in this exciting crime thriller, playing a police captain out to avenge the shooting of a colleague. Using every resource at this disposal, Robinson soon decides that the law won't be an obstacle to cracking the case and preventing an ambitious bank robbery in the process. With Paulette Goddard, K.T. Stevens, and Lee Van Cleef. 88 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English.
The Bandits Of Corsica [DVD](1953) DVD
Thrilling swashbuckler stars Richard Greene (in a dual role) in this loose adaptation of Dumas' "The Corsican Brothers"--Siamese twins separated at birth who each feel the other's joy and pain. When a sadistic aristocrat rises to power in 18th-century Corsica, the siblings must reunite to stop him--encountering action and excitement aplenty along the way. With Lee Van Cleef, Paula Raymond, Raymond Burr. AKA: "The Return of the Corsican Brothers." 82 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English.
The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)/Them! (1954) [DVD] DVD
Atomic testing in the Arctic revives a gigantic "rhedosaurus" frozen in the ice for millions of years, and soon the creature is cutting a path of destruction down the streets of New York. Based on a Ray Bradbury story, "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms" features stop-motion animation by Ray Harryhausen. Paul Christian, Paula Raymond star. And, the landmark sci-fi classic "Them!" chronicles how atomic testing in a New Mexico desert results in ordinary ants being mutated into behemoth killing machines. As the enlarged insects wreak murderous havoc across the Southwest, police sergeant James Whitmore teams with FBI agent James Arness to stop a pair of queen ants before they can give birth to another generation of terror. With Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon. 171 min. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; featurettes; theatrical trailers.
Greatest Classic Films Collection: Sci-Fi Adventures [DVD] DVD
Two-disc set includes "The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms," "Them!" (1954), "World Without End," and "Satellite in the Sky."
Kansas City Confidential [Blu-ray/DVD](1953)
A bitter ex-cop becomes the criminal mastermind behind a huge armored car heist, and a former con must turn investigator when he's falsely accused of the crime. Intriguing underworld saga stars John Payne, Neville Brand, Coleen Gray, Lee Van Cleef. 98 min. Standard; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: Spanish; featurette; theatrical trailer. Also includes a DVD version of the film. Two-disc set.
Kansas City Confidential [DVD](1953) DVD
A bitter ex-cop becomes the criminal mastermind behind a huge armored car heist, and a former con must turn investigator when he's falsely accused of the crime. Intriguing underworld saga stars John Payne, Neville Brand, Coleen Gray, Lee Van Cleef. 98 min.
Classic Western Round-Up, Vol. 1 [DVD] DVD
One-time desperadoes Fred MacMurray and Jack Oakie go straight and join "The Texas Rangers" (1936) in their fight to uphold the law in Lone Star territory. When one of their former partners continues his outlaw ways, MacMurray and Oakie are called on to catch him. Lloyd Nolan, Jean Peter co-star. Next, the Oregon Territory of the 1850s is the setting for a bitter rivalry between scout-turned-general store owner Dana Andrews and crooked banker Brian Donlevy--a rivalry that intensifies when beautiful Susan Hayward comes between them--in "Canyon Passage" (1946). Audie Murphy stars as a young Jesse James, who becomes the protege of notorious outlaw William Quantrill (Donlevy) before making history as leader of his own gang, in "Kansas Raiders" (1950). With Marguerite Chapman, Tony Curtis. And, in his fir st starring role, Rock Hudson plays famed frontier badman John Wesley Hardin in director Raoul Walsh's well-crafted Western biodrama "The Lawless Breed" (1953). Julia Adams, John McIntyre and Lee Van Cleef also star. 6 hrs. total on two discs. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH), French; theatrical trailers.
Princess Of The Nile [DVD](1954) DVD
With her 13th-century Egyptian domain under the thumb of Bedouin conqueror Michael Rennie, deposed regent Debra Paget poses as a dancing girl while planning a counter-insurgency, and makes a needed and valuable ally of visiting Baghdad nobleman Jeffrey Hunter. Lush, fast-paced costume actioner co-stars Michael Ansara, Jack Elam; keep an eye out for Lee Van Cleef. 71 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Western Horizons: Universal Westerns Of The 1950s [DVD] DVD
Embittered Confederate veteran Robert Ryan builds a Texas land empire through force and graft, but his ambition brings him into conflict with the law and marshal brother Rock Hudson, in "Horizons West" (1952). Julia Adams, Raymond Burr, James Arness co-star; Budd Boetticher directs. Cree-raised Mountie Alan Ladd must tread lightly when the warlike Sioux cross the border in search of a tribal alliance in "Saskatchewan" (1954). Shelley Winters, Hugh O'Brian, Jay Silverheels co-star; Raoul Walsh directs. Tubercular gunman Rory Calhoun makes a new life in New Mexico, but conflict manages to find him still, in "Dawn at Socorro" (1954). Piper Laurie, Lee Van Cleef, Alex Nicol co-star. Cowpoke Richard Widmark rides after the survivor who left his father to die in an Apache ambush in "Backlash" (1956). Donna Reed, John McIntire, Barton MacLane co-star; John Sturges directs. Sergeant Jeff Chandler's orders to keep peace on an Oregon reservation are challenged by encroaching army engineers in "Pillars Of The Sky" (1956). Dorothy Malone, Ward Bond, Lee Marvin co-star. 7 hrs. total on five discs. Standard/Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English; photo gallery.
The Big Combo (Remastered Edition) [Blu-ray](1955)
This downbeat "noir" thriller raised a few eyebrows due to its violence and controversial themes. Cornel Wilde plays a dedicated cop--out to bring down crime boss Richard Conte--who gets involved with icy blonde Jean Wallace, Conte's mistress. Wilde must immerse himself in the Mafia underworld and deal with hit men and seedy informants to take Conte down. Brian Donlevy, Lee Van Cleef, and Earl Holliman co-star. 84 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English.
The Big Combo (Widescreen Version) [DVD](1955) DVD
This downbeat "noir" thriller raised a few eyebrows due to its violence and controversial themes. Cornel Wilde plays a dedicated cop--out to bring down crime boss Richard Conte--who gets involved with icy blonde Jean Wallace, Conte's mistress. Wilde must immerse himself in the Mafia underworld and deal with hit men and seedy informants to take Conte down. Brian Donlevy, Lee Van Cleef, and Earl Holliman co-star. 87 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo.
Treasure Of Ruby Hills [DVD](1955) DVD
The title treasure is valuable ranch land that rival cattlemen will stop at nothing to gain control of, and a newly arrived landowner finds himself caught up in the deadly feud in this frontier drama. Zachary Scott, Dick Foran, Barton MacLane, Carole Mathews, and Lee Van Cleef star. 71 min. Soundtrack: English.
Ten Wanted Men [DVD](1955) DVD
Randolph Scott stars in this Technicolor ballad of the range as a powerful Arizona rancher whose desire to keep the peace by force of law is challenged by a gun-loving landowner. With Richard Boone and Jocelyn Brando. 80 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Japanese.
John Wayne: An American Icon [DVD] DVD
Two-disc set of John Wayne classics leads off with "Seven Sinners" (1940), with Marlene Dietrich as a sexy singer whose stint at a cafe in an exotic South Seas island is marked by intrigue, romance, and the love of Navy lieutenant Wayne. Randolph Scott co-stars. In "The Shepherd of the Hills" (1941), Wayne is an Ozark Mountain moonshiner who seeks vengeance on his father for abandoning him and his mother years earlier. Wayne, Dietrich and Scott reunite for "Pittsburgh" (1942), a rugged drama about a pair of coal miners whose friendship is ruined when they fall in love with the same woman and take different paths in the coal and steel industry. The sweeping historical spectacle "The Conqueror" (1956) became notorious for its unique casting (John Wayne as Mongol leader Genghis Khan, Susan Hayward as a Tartar princess) and for its on-location shooting near atomic test sites in Utah (many working on the film later suffered health problems). And, finally, "Jet Pilot" (1957) is a high-flying Cold War drama with American Air Force colonel Wayne charged with looking after defecting Soviet pilot Janet Leigh. The pair fall in love, but Wayne begins to wonder if Leigh is actually a double agent. 8 1/3 hrs. Standard/Widescreen; Soundtrack: English.
Tribute To A Bad Man [DVD](1956) DVD
James Cagney is the title character, a no-nonsense rancher in the Colorado territory during the 1870s who uses a ruthless style of justice to punish a group of helpers he finds stealing. His frightening demeanor eventually scares his mistress into the arms of a newly hired ranch worker. Irene Papas, Don Dubbins, Vic Morrow also star; Robert Wise directs. 95 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Gunfight At The O.K. Corral [Blu-ray](1957)
Superbly mounted, landmark western that authentically depicts the famous showdown between Wyatt Earp and "Doc" Holliday and the Clanton Gang, while exploring the friendship between the rugged marshal (Burt Lancaster) and the dentist-turned-gunfighter (Kirk Douglas). Co-stars Rhonda Fleming, John Ireland; directed by John Sturges and written by Leon Uris. 122 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital mono, Spanish Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH), French, Spanish.
Gunfight At The O.K. Corral [DVD](1957) DVD
Superbly mounted, landmark western that authentically depicts the famous showdown between Wyatt Earp and "Doc" Holliday and the Clanton Gang, while exploring the friendship between the rugged marshal (Burt Lancaster) and the dentist-turned-gunfighter (Kirk Douglas). Co-stars Rhonda Fleming, John Ireland; directed by John Sturges and written by Leon Uris. 122 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English.
China Gate [Blu-ray](1957)
One of the first war films to be set in Vietnam (back when it was called French Indochina), writer/director Samuel Fuller's tale of a multinational mercenary mission to blow up an ammo depot near the Chinese borders stars Gene Barry as the squad leader, Angie Dickinson as half-Chinese smuggler "Lucky Legs," Lee Van Cleef as a communist rebel officer, and Nat King Cole as an American WWII veteran. 97 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English.
China Gate [DVD](1957) DVD
One of the first war films to be set in Vietnam (back when it was called French Indochina), writer/director Samuel Fuller's tale of a multinational mercenary mission to blow up an ammo depot near the Chinese borders stars Gene Barry as the squad leader, Angie Dickinson as half-Chinese smuggler "Lucky Legs," Lee Van Cleef as a communist rebel officer, and Nat King Cole as an American WWII veteran. 97 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English.
The Lonely Man [DVD](1957) DVD
Emotionally charged western featuring Jack Palance as gunfighter Jacob Wade, who attempts to reintroduce himself into son Riley's (Anthony Perkins) life after deserting him 17 years earlier. But Riley's anger gets in the way of a resolution, and an ornery gambler seeks vengeance from Jacob for stealing his woman. Neville Brand, Robert Middleton also star. 87 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
The Tin Star [DVD](1957) DVD
Riding into a tiny town to collect his latest bounty, a cynical ex-peace officer (Henry Fonda) finds the local law enforcement to be in the hands of an unseasoned rookie sheriff (Anthony Perkins). The mercenary elects to show the greenhorn how to live up to his badge, and face down owlhoot Neville Brand, in this thoughtful oater from Anthony Mann. Betsy Palmer, Lee Van Cleef, John McIntire co-star. 92 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital mono.
The Young Lions [DVD](1958) DVD
A powerhouse performance from Marlon Brando, as a WWII German soldier whose enthusiasm erodes into bitter disillusionment as he witnesses the horrors of war and the Holocaust, highlights this exceptional character study from director Edward Dmytryk. Montgomery Clift, Maximilian Schell, Dean Martin and Hope Lange also star. 167 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby stereo, French; Subtitles: English, Spanish; theatrical trailer; scene access.
The Bravados [DVD](1958) DVD
Powerful drama of frontier justice stars Gregory Peck as the man out to catch four outlaws he believes were responsible for assaulting and killing his wife, only to learn that his vigilante actions come at a terrible cost. Thoughtful Western co-stars Stephen Boyd, Joan Collins; look for Lee Van Cleef and "Curly Joe" De Rita as a hangman. 99 min. Standard and Widescreen;
Ride Lonesome [DVD](1959) DVD
Bounty hunter Randolph Scott sets out with a young widow and two reformed outlaws to capture a wanted killer, but none of them know Scott's real motive: to bring the killer's brother, who murdered his wife, out of hiding. Fine frontier drama also stars James Best, Lee Van Cleef, Pernell Roberts, Karen Steele, James Coburn; Budd Boetticher directs. 73 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
The Slowest Gun In The West [DVD](1960) DVD
Fun comedic western stars Phil Silvers as a cowardly lawman hired by the citizens of a small Arizona town. When the outlaws who've been terrorizing them don't have the heart to kill him, they recruit craven cowboy Jack Benny into their gang to even the odds. Jack Elam, Bruce Cabot, Jean Willes, and Lee Van Cleef also star. 54 min.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance [DVD](1962) DVD
John Ford's epic western stars James Stewart as a U.S. senator who returns to his old home after 25 years for the funeral of old friend John Wayne. When asked about Wayne by a reporter, Stewart tells of the story of his friendship with Wayne and how he saved his life from sadistic outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin). Vera Miles, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine, and Woody Strode also star in this classic. 122 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English; theatrical trailer.
How The West Was Won (Special Edition) [Blu-ray](1963)
The sprawling story of three generations of 19th-century pioneers, and their odyssey from New England to the frontier, is a true western classic with an all-star cast. The saga begins as families are joined together when fur trapper Linus Rawlings (James Stewart) marries Eve Prescott (Carroll Baker) after saving her family from river pirates. John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Debbie Reynolds, and Gregory Peck co-star; Spencer Tracy narrates. Co-directed by John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and George Marshall. 162 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English. Includes a special "wraparound" version that replicates the original Cinerama theatrical experience. Two-disc set.
How The West Was Won (Three-Disc Special Edition) [DVD](1963) DVD
The sprawling story of three generations of 19th-century pioneers, and their odyssey from New England to the frontier, is a true western classic with an all-star cast. The saga begins as families are joined together when fur trapper Linus Rawlings (James Stewart) marries Eve Prescott (Carroll Baker) after saving her family from river pirates. John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Debbie Reynolds, and Gregory Peck co-star; Spencer Tracy narrates. Co-directed by John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and George Marshall. 164 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1; Subtitles: English (SDH),French, Japanese, Spanish, Thai; audio commentary; theatrical trailer. Also includes the documentary "Cinerama Adventure" (2002). Three-disc set.
For A Few Dollars More [Blu-ray](1965)
Clint Eastwood squints his way to the top in Sergio Leone's slam-bang sequel to "A Fistful of Dollars." This time around, the Man with No Name is on the hunt for a ruthless bandit (Gian Maria Volonte), as is his rival, the brutal wanderer Colonel Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef). Unable to capture their shared foe alone, both men agree to an uneasy partnership in order to get their prey before he gets them. With Klaus Kinski, Mara Krupp. 132 min. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio, Dolby Digital mono, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1; Subtitles: English (SDH), French, Spanish; audio commentary; featurettes; radio spots; theatrical trailers.
For A Few Dollars More [DVD](1965) DVD
Clint Eastwood squints his way to the top in Sergio Leone's slam-bang sequel to "A Fistful of Dollars." This time around, the Man with No Name is on the hunt for a ruthless bandit (Gian Maria Volonte), as is his rival, the brutal wanderer Colonel Mortimer (Lee Van Cleef). Unable to capture their shared foe alone, both men agree to an uneasy partnership in order to get their prey before he gets them. With Klaus Kinski, Mara Krupp. 132 min. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; theatrical trailer; trivia.
The Man With No Name Trilogy [Blu-ray]
Three-disc set includes "A Fistful of Dollars," "For a Few Dollars More," and "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly" (Remastered Edition).
Death Rides A Horse (Widescreen Version) [DVD](1967) DVD
A young man looking for the outlaws who killed his parents teams up with an embittered gunslinger after those responsible for his imprisonment in this violent Western tale. Lee Van Cleef, John Phillip Law, Anthony Dawson star. 112 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English (dubbed); interview; photo gallery; theatrical trailer; TV spots. Dubbed in English.
War Classics, Vol. 2 [DVD] DVD
A group of American "Commandos" (1968) disguises themselves as Italian soldiers in order to capture an important North African oasis before the Allies land. Lee Van Cleef, Jack Kelly star. Then, an Israeli commando undertakes a dangerous mission with an elite squad to infiltrate Arab territory and break into the prison where he was once held, in "Eagles Attack at Dawn" (1975). With Rick Jason, Peter Brown. AKA: "From Hell to Victory," "Hostages in the Gulf." Also includes "Go for Broke!" (1951) and "Hitler's SS: Portrait in Evil." 7 hrs. total. Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital 5.1.
Day Of Anger [DVD](1968) DVD
First-class Italian frontier saga starring Lee Van Cleef as a master gunslinger who joins forces with an orphan to take over a small town. After teaching the youngster everything he knows, Van Cleef finds himself facing his student in a showdown. With Giuliano Gemma, Walter Rilla; directed by Tonino Valerii ("My Name Is Nobody"). AKA: "Days of Wrath." 111 min. Widescreen; Soundtracks: English, Italian mono; interviews; theatrical trailers; photo gallery; more.
The Sabata Trilogy [DVD] DVD
Stylish and action-packed trio of spaghetti Western classics follows the exploits of a master gunslinger-for-hire. First, Lee Van Cleef stars in "Sabata" (1969), which finds the gunman recruiting a travelling musician with a rifle-rigged banjo and a drunken knife thrower to help retrieve a stash of U.S. Army gold. Franco Ressel, William Berger co-star. Next, Van Cleef is back in "Return of Sabata" (1971), this time going up against a wealthy land baron who taxes the citizens of a small town and then fleeces them out of their money. With Giampiero Albertini, Reiner Schone. Finally, Yul Brynner takes over the title role in "Adios Sabata" (1971).
El Condor [DVD](1970) DVD
To a band of hombres and an Apache raiding party, it's an impregnable Mexican fortress crammed with gold ready for plundering. To a fearless generalissimo, it's a secret place to defend at any cost. For all of the men, El Condor is an outpost whose riches are worth dying for--and certainly worth killing for. Jim Brown, Lee Van Cleef, Patrick O'Neal star. 102 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Captain Apache [DVD](1971) DVD
Steely Lee Van Cleef stars as a Native American who becomes a U.S. Army officer tasked to investigate the murder of another Indian agent. The cryptic phrase "April morning" seems to somehow be involved in the mystery, but as Lee gets closer to discovering its meaning and solve the case, he uncovers a dastardly plot to assassinate President Grant. Stuart Whitman and Carroll Baker co-star. AKA: "Deathwork." 95 min. Soundtrack: English (dubbed) Dolby Digital stereo. Dubbed in English.
The Magnificent Seven Collection [DVD] DVD
Four-disc set includes "The Magnificent Seven" (1960), "Return of the Magnificent Seven," "Guns of the Magnificent Seven," and "The Magnificent Seven Ride."
The Great American Western, Vol. 2: Lee Van Cleef [DVD] DVD
When a young gunslinger finds himself falsely accused of murder, it's up to veteran outlaw Lee Van Cleef to look out for him and set things right, in "The Grand Duel" (1972). With Peter O'Brien, Horst Frank. Collection also includes "Beyond the Law" (1968), "Death Rides a Horse" and "God's Gun." 7 hrs. total. Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital 5.1.
Rio Conchos (1964)/Take A Hard Ride [DVD](1975) DVD
A drunken ex-Confederate major (Richard Boone), a U.S. Army captain (Stuart Whitman) and sergeant (Jim Brown, in his film debut), and a Mexican bandit (Anthony Franciosa) make an unlikely team as they try to stop the major's former commanding officer (Edmond O'Brien) from supplying renegade Apaches with rifles in an effort to reignite the Civil War, in "Rio Conchos." And, "Take a Hard Ride" is an unusual "blaxploitation western" starring Brown as a grizzled cowboy on a dangerous trek to deliver a large sum of money to his boss's widow in Mexico. Joined by a gambler (Fred Williamson) and a mysterious martial arts master (Jim Kelly), Brown comes up against a ruthless bounty hunter (Lee Van Cleef) and a disreputable sheriff (Barry Sullivan).
God's Gun [DVD](1976) DVD
Sagebrush stunner casts Lee Van Cleef in a dual role: a courageous priest, shot down defending his village from a marauding gang, and his gunslinging twin brother, who's out to prove that vengeance is his. Looks like the good is about to unload on the bad...and it's gonna be ugly! Jack Palance, Richard Boone, Sybil Danning, Leif Garrett co-star. AKA: "A Bullet from God." 93 min. Soundtrack: English (dubbed). Dubbed in English.
Kid Vengeance [DVD](1977) DVD
Leif Garrett stars as a young pioneer who hits the trail in search of revenge upon Lee Van Cleef and his murderous outlaw band, who killed Garrett's parents. Jim Brown, Glynnis O'Connor, John Marley co-star. AKA: "Take Another Hard Ride." 90 min.
The Squeeze [DVD](1978) DVD
Action ace Lee Van Cleef is a retired safecracker who is lured back into the "business" by the son of a former partner who has a job planned that will make them rich...but is everything what it seems? Compelling caper suspenser also stars Edward Albert, Karen Black, Lionel Stander. AKA: "Diamond Thieves," "The Heist," "The Rip-Off." 97 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English.
Mafia & Mob Movies [DVD] DVD
Two recent law school graduates land positions in the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan and work to bring down a citywide crime syndicate. James Olson, David Canary, Richard Castellano, William Shatner, and Gilbert Roland star in the gripping crime drama "Incident on a Dark Street" (1973). Next, sexy Yvette Mimieux stars as a "Hit Lady" (1974) who uses her body as well as her mind to get the job done. Clu Gulager, Joseph Campanella also star. Four-disc set also includes "Port of New York," "The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery," "C.C. and Company," "Angels Hard as They Come," "Evel Knievel" (1971), "Family Enforcer," "The Squeeze" (1980), "High Risk" (1981), "Mob War," and "Mob Story." 18 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English.
Escape From New York [Blu-ray/DVD](1981)
1997: New York City has become a walled-off maximum security prison for the nation's most violent offenders. When the president's plane crashes inside Gotham, tough Special Forces-soldier-turned-criminal Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) is given 24 hours to rescue him...or die trying. John Carpenter's action classic also stars Donald Pleasence, Adrienne Barbeau, Ernest Borgnine, and Isaac Hayes. 99 min. Also includes a DVD version of the film. Two-disc set.
Escape From New York (Special Edition) [DVD](1981) DVD
1997: New York City has become a walled-off maximum security prison for the nation's most violent criminals. When the president's plane crashes inside Gotham, a tough ex-con (Kurt Russell) is given 24 hours to rescue him...or die trying. John Carpenter's action classic also stars Donald Pleasence, Adrienne Barbeau, Ernest Borgnine and Isaac Hayes. 99 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; audio commentary by Carpenter, Russell, others; deleted scene; featurette; photo gallery; theatrical trailers; more.
College Essentials: Anti Social Studies 101 [DVD] DVD
Three-disc set includes "Escape from New York," "The Usual Suspects" and "Leaving Las Vegas."
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection, Vol. 20 [DVD] DVD
Can Joel and the bots survive two doses of martial arts mishegas, courtesy of black-turtlenecked Lee Van Cleef and sidekick Timothy Van Patten, in the culled-from-TV episodes actioners "Master Ninja I" (1984) and "Master Ninja II" (1984)? Four-disc set also features "Project Moonbase" and "The Magic Voyage of Sinbad." 6 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; featurettes; theatrical trailers; more.

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filmography

FILM
Thieves of Fortune (1990) with Michael Nouri and Liz Torres
Speed Zone! (1989) with John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Tim Matheson, and Donna Dixon
The Commander (1988) with Donald Pleasence and Brett Halsey
Armed Response (1986) with David Carradine, Ross Hagen, and Dick Miller; directed by Fred Olen Ray
Jungle Raiders (1985)
Code Name: Wild Geese (1984) with Ernest Borgnine, Klaus Kinski, and Mimsy Farmer
Killing Machine (1984) with Jorge Rivero, Margaux Hemingway, and Willie Aames
Master Ninja I (1984) with Timothy Van Patten, Clu Gulager, Claude Akins, and Demi Moore; once aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000
Master Ninja II (1984) with Timothy Van Patten and George Lazenby; once aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000
Escape from New York (1981) with Kurt Russell, Ernest Borgnine, Donald Pleasence, and Adrienne Barbeau
The Octagon (1980) with Chuck Norris
The Hard Way (1979) with Patrick McGoohan
The Squeeze (1978) with Karen Black and Robert Alda
The Perfect Killer (1977) with John Ireland
Nowhere to Hide (1977) with Russell Johnson
Take Another Hard Ride (1977) with Jim Brown, Leif Garrett, and Glynnis O'Connor
God's Gun (1976) with Jack Palance, Leif Garrett, Richard Boone, and Sybil Danning
Take a Hard Ride (1975) with Jim Brown, Fred Williamson, Dana Andrews, Jim Kelly, and Barry Sullivan
Blood Money (1974) with Erika Blanc
Mean Frank and Crazy Tony (1973) with Tony Lo Bianco and Jess Hahn
The Big Showdown (1972) with Horst Frank and Jess Hahn
The Magnificent Seven Ride! (1972) with Michael Callen, Mariette Hartley, Stefanie Powers, Ralph Waite, and Gary Busey
Bad Man's River (1972) with James Mason, Gina Lollobrigida, and Jess Hahn
Return of Sabata (1971)
Captain Apache (1971) with Stuart Whitman and Carroll Baker
El Condor (1970) with Jim Brown, Elisha Cook Jr., and Patrick O'Neal
Sabata (1970) with William Berger
Barquero (1970) with Forrest Tucker, Mariette Hartley, and Warren Oates
Beyond the Law (1968) with Norman Mailer and Rip Torn
Commandos (1968) with Jack Kelly and Marilu Tolo
Death Rides a Horse (1968) with John Phillip Law
Beyond the Law (1967) with Gordon Mitchell, Antonio Sabato, and Lionel Stander
Day of Anger (1967) with Giuliano Gemma
Blade Rider, Revenge of the Indian Nations (1967) with Burt Reynolds, Chuck Connors, David Brian, and Robert Lansing
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967) with Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach
The Big Gundown (1966)
For a Few Dollars More (1965) with Clint Eastwood and Klaus Kinski
The Slowest Gun in the West (1963) with Jack Benny, Phil Silvers, and Bruce Cabot
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) with John Wayne, James Stewart, Vera Miles, John Carradine, and Woody Strode
Posse from Hell (1961) with Audie Murphy, John Saxon, and Vic Morrow
Guns, Girls, and Gangsters (1959) with Mamie Van Doren and Gerald Mohr
Ride Lonesome (1959) with Randolph Scott, James Best, and Pernell Roberts
Machete (1958) with Mari Blanchard and Albert Dekker
The Bravados (1958) with Gregory Peck, Stephen Boyd, Joan Collins, and Barry Coe
The Young Lions (1958) with Montgomery Clift, Marlon Brando, Dean Martin, Barbara Rush, and Hope Lange
Day of the Bad Man (1958) with Fred MacMurray, Marie Windsor, and John Ericson
The Tin Star (1957) with Henry Fonda, Betsy Palmer, Neville Brand, and Anthony Perkins
China Gate (1957) with Gene Barry, Nat 'King' Cole, and Angie Dickinson
Raiders of Old California (1957) with Jim Davis and Marty Robbins
Gun Battle at Monterey (1957) with Sterling Hayden and Mary Beth Hughes
Joe Dakota (1957) with Jock Mahoney, Claude Akins, and Luana Patten
The Lonely Man (1957) with Jack Palance, Elisha Cook Jr., Anthony Perkins, and Neville Brand
The Last Stagecoach West (1957) with Jim Davis, Victor Jory, and Glenn Strange
The Quiet Gun (1957) with Mara Corday, Forrest Tucker, and Jim Davis
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) with Burt Lancaster, Rhonda Fleming, Kirk Douglas, John Ireland, Lyle Bettger, and Martin Milner
The Badge of Marshal Brennan (1957) with Jim Davis and Marty Robbins
Accused of Murder (1956) with David Brian, Vera Ralston, Virginia Grey, and Warren Stevens
Pardners (1956) with Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Lori Nelson, Lon Chaney Jr., Jeff Morrow, and Agnes Moorehead
It Conquered the World (1956) with Beverly Garland, Peter Graves, and Dick Miller
Tribute to a Bad Man (1956) with James Cagney and Vic Morrow
The Conqueror (1956) with John Wayne, Susan Hayward, William Conrad, and Agnes Moorehead
The Vanishing American (1955) with Scott Brady, Jim Davis, Forrest Tucker, and Glenn Strange
A Man Alone (1955) with Ray Milland, Raymond Burr, and Ward Bond
The Road to Denver (1955) with John Payne, Mona Freeman, and Lee J. Cobb
I Cover the Underworld (1955) with Sean McClory
The Big Combo (1955) with Cornel Wilde, Brian Donlevy, Richard Conte, Helen Walker, and Jean Wallace
Ten Wanted Men (1955) with Randolph Scott and Richard Boone
Treasure of Ruby Hills (1955) with Zachary Scott, Carole Mathews, and Dick Foran
The Yellow Tomahawk (1954) with Rory Calhoun, Peter Graves, Rita Moreno, and Peggie Castle
Dawn at Socorro (1954) with Rory Calhoun, Piper Laurie, Mara Corday, Alex Nicol, and David Brian
Princess of the Nile (1954) with Debra Paget, Jeffrey Hunter, Michael Rennie, and Merry Anders
The Desperado (1954) with Beverly Garland, Wayne Morris, Dabbs Greer, and Nestor Paiva
Rails Into Laramie (1954) with John Payne, Mari Blanchard, Dan Duryea, and Myron Healey
Arrow In the Dust (1954) with Sterling Hayden and Coleen Gray
Tumbleweed (1953) with Audie Murphy, Lori Nelson, Chill Wills, and Russell Johnson
The Nebraskan (1953) with Philip Carey
Jack Slade (1953) with Mark Stevens and Dorothy Malone
Vice Squad (1953) with Edward G. Robinson and Paulette Goddard
Arena (1953) with Jean Hagen, Gig Young, Robert Horton, and Polly Bergen
The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953) with Paula Raymond, Paul Christian, Cecil Kellaway, and Steve Brodie
Gypsy Colt (1953) with Frances Dee and Ward Bond
White Lightning (1953) with Steve Brodie and Myron Healey
The Bandits of Corsica (1953) with Paula Raymond, Raymond Burr, Richard Greene, Dona Drake, Nestor Paiva, and Clayton Moore
The Lawless Breed (1953) with Rock Hudson, Julie Adams, Hugh O'Brian, and Glenn Strange
Kansas City Confidential (1952) with John Payne, Coleen Gray, and Neville Brand
Untamed Frontier (1952) with Shelley Winters, Scott Brady, Joseph Cotten, and Suzan Ball
High Noon (1952) with Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, and Lon Chaney Jr.

TELEVISION SERIES
The Master, 1984 NBC TV series. Lee Van Cleef portrayed John Peter McAlister
Additionally, Van Cleef made numerous guest appearances on such popular TV shows as Gunsmoke, Laramie, Branded, and Perry Mason.

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Watch Lee Van Cleef's 1957 western Raiders of Old California

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This page premiered May 7, 2003.
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