Lee van Cleef marathon on the Encore Westerns Channel Dec. 26

Several good ones:
Bad Man’s River
Take a Hard Ride
Death Rides a Horse
Captain Apache
Return of Sabata

Here’s a link:

Happy Holidays!

Very cool thanks for the update Vivasabata. I do not have encore and that’s an eclectic group of movies with only one of them being movies I would consider top tier spaghettis. The rest are nearly bottom of the barrel or average movies.

Thanks. Just curious–which one do you consider the good spaghetti western? I’m still new to those. The westerns channel runs some occassionally. God Forgives, I Don’t has been on the last few months.

Encore Westerns focuses more on the TV programs and B-westerns, like Gene Autry’s pictures and the series Maverick. The features it runs tend to be first rate American films like My Darling Clementine and The Ox-Bow Incident, and some of the more recent made for TV shows (of varying quality). I would recommend Tribute to a Bad Man with James Cagney and Irene Papas running tomorrow. It wil be released on DVD in January. The channel is good about running movies not available on DVD or even VHS. What do you make of Barquero, by the way?

Death rides a horse is the only one of those films that I consider decent. I hope they show the widescreen version. The rest are somewhat routine and a matter of taste.

Thanks for the heads up vivasabata.

DEATH RIDES A HORSE is easily the best of the bunch they are showing.
With THE RETURN OF SABATA and BARQUERO being the next best…but, they aren’t even close to being as good as DEATH RIDES A HORSE, in my opinion.
CAPTAIN APACHE and BAD MAN’S RIVER are pretty much atrocious.

Unfortunately, Encore Westerns won’t be showing any of these in Widescreen. They rarely ever do Widescreen presentations, anymore.

TRIBUTE TO A BAD MAN is, indeed, a very good American Western! Glad to know it will be coming out on DVD, soon.

It was nice to see the folks at Encore running GOD FORGIVES–I DON’T!; but, too bad they selected an extremely chopped up and not-so-nice looking fullscreen print to show.

Thanks everybody. I wondered about the print EWC used for God Forgives I Don’t too. The channel runs well-restored Autry pictures and TV shows, and I hope they get better prints for some of the others.
I couldn’t find Barquero on DVD or even VHS. Which is strange, a picture with Lee van Cleef and Warren Oates should be available (might be a copyright issue). Forrest Tucker did well in that movie, too. The local cable company’s description of the movie was pretty much right; good acting saved a less than average script. The plot was interesting, I thought, but more could have been done with revenge/obsession theme. There were too many sidelines and just plain unnecessary detail. But Oates, Tucker, and van Cleef did a good job with what was there. All three actors underplayed their roles, which made them both more interesting and added to the suspense.

Well, I can tell you that Jeff Hildebrandt (director for Encore Westerns) only shows Spaghetti Westerns for what he calls their “curiosity” factor (and because when they do show them, Encore Westerns ratings do tend to rise a little). He does not take Italian Westerns seriously (except for those with Clint Eastwood or Henry Fonda in them); so, he is never going to spend any extra money in order to track down nicer prints of these films which he considers inherently inferior to their American counterparts.
He just goes to whichever distribution company has the cheapest broadcast prints available.
He is a huge fan of the old American B-Westerns, TV Westerns, and the Singing Cowboy stuff; so, the Westerns Channel will always cater to those types of films over any others.
Jeff is frustratingly funny and fickle with his opinion of the Italian Westerns. He will admit to liking a few of them, but only when he is surrounded by people he knows are fans of the genre.
I have heard him talking with some “traditional” Western fans and saying how silly all those “foreign” Westerns were—then, moments later talking with a different group of Western movie fans (including myself and my buddy, Old West historian Bob Boze Bell) and saying how great some of those films were!
Personally, I think Jeff would make a swell politician (and there’s a paradox for you! ha ha!).
I, too, hope that one day they would get better prints for these films; but, frankly, that goes along with my hoping to one day win the million dollar lotery! :wink:

OK-sounds like I can watch the EWC for the American features and TV shows, and get the European movies on my own, from Netflix or Amazon, etc. I like Bob Boze Bell’s True West Moments on the Westerns Channel, too (and I need to resubscribe to the magazine). Some of the best book and DVD reviews come from that publication. Thanks for the insights.

The “traditional” western fans I know remind me of “traditional” country music listners. Both groups are pretty serious about their definitions. Some old Nashville listeners won’t play anything by Keith Urban, for example–he’s not country, he Australian! Some of these folks are so strict they won’t listen to Kenny Rodgers or Kelly Pickler–that’s pop, not country. The strict cowboy picture fans tell me that if a movie wasn’t made in the US and set here that it ain’t a western- a period piece, maybe; an imitation, certainly. I told a few that they’re shutting themselves off from some good pictures! :wink: On a movie fan newsgroup one time, I asked for a definiton of a western. The thread went on for days and never resovled that issue! :slight_smile:

Speaking of definitions, I guess Barquero is a hybrid. The closing credits list the filming location as Colorado.

Sounds like how some Jazz listeners will not have anything to do with smooth jazz.
“Thats not jazz, thats RnB!”.

Yeah the traditional vs. Spaghetti dichotomy is a long standing subject constantly discussed on this forum. Part of the charm of the italian westerns are that they are stigmatized to a degree and known only to cult audiences which makes them special to some.