Clint Eastwood vs. Lee Van Cleef

The Spaghetti genres most iconic actors, both of whom have gone on to other things outside Spaghetti Westerns (Van Cleef: “Escape from New York”, Eastwood; “Dirty Harry”), but which one do you prefer. (Spoiler!) Clint may beat Lee at the end of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, but who do you think is the better actor? For me, no matter how good Eastwood is (and he is excellent in some films, and I’ve heard great things about the movies he has directed), Lee Van Cleef wins. I think it’s his snake-like eyes and persona that wins me over.

Lee wins.

Hmm. that’s a tough choice. My first thought goes to Lee Van Cleef, but I dunno… After thinking a moment, Eastwood is pretty hard to beat… I mean, can you imagine how different it would be with Van Cleef playing Eastwood’s role in the first Dollars film?

Eastwood. Van Cleef made more standard films in my view in the 70’s and 80’s, with Escape From New York being one of his last best roles.

Clint. His range of good non SW’s eclipses Lee’s roles. Also, Clint only has 3 SW’s to Lee’s…(however many he has, but it’s more). they both have that ‘look’. It should be titled ‘Battle Of The Squints’ thread.

That is a hard one… I mean Van Cleef in Eastwood’s role might have worked or it might not have. They both have that presence and can hold your interest but would have “A Fistful of Dollars” been the sensation it was?

But then, Van Cleef has both Captain Apache and God’s Gun

…and can you imagine Eastwood in either of those? I think only Van Cleef could pull them off and make them classics, as he did :smiley:

Also if Van Cleef would have went back to the U.S like Clint after the Dollar films how would have his career went…apart from not making as many Spaghetti westerns.

Both have two votes now. I think Van Cleef could have done most of Clint’s roles.

4 votes but 5 posters…

Autephex said that he didn’t vote.


Yes I haven’t voted

I don’t feel its something that can be compared really… to me they occupy completely different spaces

I want to say Van Cleef because he’s awesome and more of a genre figure… but I don’t feel that’s completely fair as Eastwood is probably the best “man with no name” there could of ever been. Was it because he started it off? I don’t know, but it seems like he was the perfect choice regardless

Can you imagine Van Cleef wearing that poncho and looking nearly as cool? I can’t… but then can you imagine Eastwood looking nearly as cool in Van Cleef’s roles? I can’t imagine that either…

its a draw for me

Yeah Lee would have looked kind of weird in Clint’s poncho… so would Clint in Lee’s black Mortimer suit.

It never said he didn’t vote, I just thought his final choice but Clint but…

Make a choice Aute. If you chose right I’ll let you get a prize from the prize closet! :smiley:


I think apart from not making so many Spaghetti Westerns he would be more well known outside Euro film buffs, which would have been a good thing as if you ask anybody who hasn’t really seen any Spaghetti Westerns outside the usal suspects (i. e. Leone), what the genre’s most identifiable peron was he would say Clint Eastwood. No disrespect towards him, but surley the more people know about Spaghetti Westerns (so if they generally knew more about Lee Van Cleef’s filmography or if Eastwood had acted in more of them) would it not be a good thing?

You never know, a lot of actors working in genre films out of Italy & Spain returned home to the US thinking they could get work, only to go nowhere…