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The Spaghetti Western Collection
The Spaghetti Western Collection
Actor: Lee Van Cleef
Genres: Westerns
NR     2004     5hr 0min

3 disc set. "Death Rides a Horse" * "Kid Vengeance" * "God's Gun"


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Movie Details

Actor: Lee Van Cleef
Genres: Westerns
Sub-Genres: Westerns
Studio: Madacy Records
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/06/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 5hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

Too Bad!
M. Brennan | Cookstown,, Tyrone. Northern Ireland | 10/03/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)

"This Box Set is well packaged ,includes three seperate discs, it's too bad though that Madacy describes this as a Collectors Edition.It is not Widescreen, nor does it have any other extras worth mentioning,picture quality is extremely poor. The cover looks good even though the picture cover is a still from another Lee Van Cleef film altogether,(The Good,The Bad and The Ugly)
Advise,only buy this if you can't get the titles elsewhere.
Boxset is 4:3 pan& scan. Quality, appears to be copied from video
Films included: Death Rides A Horse , God's Gun and
Kid Vengeance."
Standard Public Domain Van Cleef, Better Looking Than Most.
S. Nyland | Six Feet Of Earth & All That It Contains | 04/15/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Clint Eastwood may be regarded as the Spaghetti Western's biggest star, but no one actor was more responsible for the lasting interest that the genre created within viewers than the great Lee Van Cleef, best known in the US for his Cheetos commercials and, hopefully, his performance as "Angel Eyes" in Sergio Leone's THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY.

If you are looking for "restorative archival" quality presentations of Van Cleef at his best one is advised to seek out the recent fully restoved DVD release of that film, because this set features some of his Vulture Bait movies classified as Public Domain Material in the USA, meaning that nobody holds the sole legal right to distribute the films, and as such the same ragged fullframe home video formatted versions keep being bounced from one "Collector's Edition" set to the next. Some have better picture quality & some more effective packaging design, but what you get on them is usually more or less the same.

With that said, Macady has made an impressive *looking* collection here that would make a nice gift for a Spaghetti minded recipient. It's somewhat overpriced to help them pay for their nice foldout 3 disc "digipack" box encased in a decorated sleeve, so you won't just be throwing them a bargain bin cheapie that looks as such. What is important however is what's on the DVDs, and this one presents viewers with Van Cleef's standard PDM DVD favorites DEATH RIDES A HORSE, KID VENGEANCE and GOD'S GUN. The major difference here is that each film gets it's own single sided lable decorated DVD rather than being schlepped onto multiple title discs.

Presumably that is to allow more memory space for higher quality video, and for what it's worth DEATH RIDES A HORSE is actually pretty darn good looking: I've sampled about a dozen of these different DVD releases of it so far, and while none of them can even touch the glorious Techniscope print available on a box set out of Japan [$150 or so delivered], this fullframe English version looks at least as good as the one Brentwood/BCI Eclipse has on their disc sets, and also runs the full 114 minutes. If you need a DVD of DEATH RIDES A HORSE, this is as good as it gets for domestic/US releases.

GOD'S GUN comes off a bit lesser: It looks like Madacy tried to tweak the color saturation up a bit, and the result is rather unfortunate. But like DEATH RIDES it's an uncut 96 minute fullframe version, and is a wild, misunderstood bit of Cowboy Surrealism that any fan of Van Cleef's work needs to examine. If you don't have another issuing, this one will do.

Same with KID VENGEANCE but I have not had time to view this version yet: Interestingly, most folks refer to KID VENGEANCE and GOD'S GUN as "Spaghetti Westerns", implying European made productions made by Italians & Spaniards. Not this time: Both these films were Golan/Globus productions, an Isreali firm, and were actually filmed in Isreal by predominantly Italian crews, but with international casts.

The only TRUE Spaghetti Western on this set is DEATH RIDES A HORSE, and if you don't have that already on a DVD you'll be pleased with what you find here. Those other versions costing about $1.50 or so are very poor looking and it is a special example of the genre which deserves proper presentation. Until whomever holds United Artist's rights to the film decides to restore it this is as good as any version, with more impressive packaging than most -- For that reason alone would make a nice gift for someone you know with an interest in Euro Westerns, which may be the set's most useful purpose."