What's Lee Van Cleef's best shoot out?

Guys what is your favorite Lee van cleef ending shootout? My opinion is The Grand Duel.


Would have to say GBU or FFDM. But then The Big Gundown, Day of Anger and The Grand Duel also have very good ending duels, so its a hard one to choose!

Good pick though, its definitely one of the standout parts of that particular movie.

Also, welcome.


For a Few Dollars More for me but a great deal of that is Morricone’s score. It just built up the drama so well.

I can’t believe @NeedleFork hasn’t commented on this post yet. :face_with_raised_eyebrow: :grin:


I think I’d go with that one too, if I were to get off the fence. Also, yeah, that’s true, where has she gotten to? :wink:


(Oh no I’m here…I’m like Beetlejuice or Candyman. I will automatically be summoned when someone mentions LVC’s name)

I’ve been sweating in existential crisis for the last 6 hours over having to choose ONE Lee Van Cleef Scene :upside_down_face:
How am I supposed to do that? How could I possibly take such an amazing body of work and condense it to one moment!? One awesome shootout scene! :broken_heart:
I can’t!
Just end me here and now! :skull_and_crossbones:

I pick all of them, at any time, all the time! :heart:


(…Its 3 in the morning and of course I couldn’t let the thought go so here we are I guess xD)

What duel scene should I go for?
The most visually striking, emotionally striking, the one that has the most impact on the story or the world it inhabits?
The answer would differ depending on what criteria I choose to hone in on.

But ultimately, when thinking of the words: “LVC shootout”,
I see Mortimer.

FFDM wasn’t my first LVC shootout, or my second for that matter.
But it feels important.

The Characters portrayed by LVC have a quite wide range, good guys, bad guys, and all the grayzone men in-between.
All with different motivations that to them defines who they are and their individual goals.
Angel Eyes cares for the 200k at Sad Hill cemetery,
Talby cares for his tacky god awful looking Saloon,
Jaroo cares for the gold at Fort Condor.

To them all these goals and objectives are important, and all of them willing to sacrifice something to achieve them.
All of them willing to put their lives on the line to “duel” for these goals.
All of them, self serving.
I’m not saying this is bad, either from a story perspective or in real life. To have goals that “serve” you and to pursue them are not inherently bad.

But here Mortimer’s duel stands out.
Mortimer from what we can gather is quite a well off man.
Not only a survivor after the civil war but a high ranking officer in the Confederate army.
His wide variety of weaponry and proficiency in using them proves he was a skilled marksman.
And although he is (during the running time of the film) way out west far from home in the Carolinas, his name is known as someone to be respected.
We can’t know for sure, but just going of what he is wearing, I would recon Mortimer is not financially bad off.
He is well dressed with several layers from his brocade vest with gold silk details, frock coat, matching hat and even an ulster coat to top it all off.

Mortimer (compared to Jaroo for example) has a lot to lose when dueling away his life.
But of course, we learn as the film goes on that Mortimer has no interest in money, fame or reputation.
Depicted clearly by the fact that he is willing to forgo every single penny from El Indio’s bounty as well as the stolen money from the bank in El Paso.

Because he is not standing in that circle at the end facing El Indio in a duel for money.
Nor for the fame of bringing down a notorious outlaw.
Not even for the golden pocket watch.
But for what that pocket watch represents, revenge for his sister.

I don’t find revenge an interesting plot mechanic, or heroic in real life.
But Mortimer’s quest for redemption, not for himself, but for someone else, makes the duel and the entire story of FFDM personal and above all, intimate.

I think that’s why I would answer: the Mortimer and El Indio duel at the end of FFDM.
Not because it’s the coolest looking, or most grand in scope.
It stands out to me because it is the opposite.
It’s intimate.


Very well stated. The way I have always perceived Mortimer is that I think that he was a man of great wealth and high social standing (as were nearly all officers at that time) but the war took the wealth away from him. Obviously, the only thing that matters to him at the time the movie takes place is getting justice or revenge (the difference is often negligible at best) for his sister but, since he no longer possesses wealth, he works as a bounty hunter to finance this quest. In addition, at least in the world of Leone, this is an occupation that allows him to maintain the style of living and dress that he was accustomed to throughout his earlier life.

But that is part of the the fun of movies though, right? We can all create our own back stories from the clues provided for us.

As far as being “intimate”, that is a tremendous one word summation.


Eloquently put … and correct! :wink: Intimate and therefore emotional … we the audience care about the outcome and we’re definitely not sure who will win, in this original ground breaking template to all SWs thereafter !

I adore this film and every scene in it … maybe we older fellas forget, because we’ve seen it so many times … but the achievement of maintaining this level of entertainment, excitement, humour and tension for 2 hours makes this film a masterpiece in my book.


Easy answer for me, it’s GBU followed by FaFDM.
Leone was at his best a real master of cinema, and the GBU triello belongs to the greatest scenes in cinema. And GBU was a big step forwards from FaFDM, even if the final duel of FaFDM is a great scene in itself, but GBU beats it easily.
After these 2 The Big Gundown with its double showdown follows, but there is quite gap to Leone. And then the one from The Grand Duel and maybe the ones from both Sabatas. The final shoot-outs of his other films are not memorable for me. They range from ok to bad.


I never had the slightest doubt about the outcome of the duel between Mortimer and Indio. Actually only rarely there is a real tension in genre films who will win at the end. But indeed kinda intimate the FaFWM ending is …

But in GBU it was a bit different because of the triello situation. Of course it was clear that Blondie wins and that Sentenza will bite the dust, but the Tuco factor made it less predictable, for Tuco it was absolutely unclear what will happen.

Hah, when I watched GBU the first time I wished that LvC wins, but of course I knew that that would never happen. I liked the cool look of him.

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Of course ‘YOU’ didn’t!

Unlike superhero movies, where there is no tension because the characters are always infallible, the outcome is predictable and obvious - but watching FAFDM as a 10 year old, I certainly wasn’t sure how it would it turn out, … and if it the outcome was so clear, then why go through the whole theatrics of the chimes from the watch and the increasingly intense church organ music as it builds to a finale. He could have just been killed off randomly with the rest of the gang.

Much as I love GBU … I think that the duel in ‘For a Few Dollars More’ has the edge, because it was the first of it’s kind. Also, I felt a little sorry for ‘El Indio’, because such a richly developed character can’t just be written off as would be the case in all previous western movies.


But in recent super hero movies some of the heroes have died, and it was not always predictable for me, and even as a 10 year old I had seen enough genre films to know that the good one always wins.

And of course the final duel is very important, not for the film’s plot, but for the film’s style. It changes plotwise nothing if the ending runs for one sec or for 10 min, when the outcome is clear it is clear. Modern super hero films become indeed often boring towards the end because the endings just run much too long, but Leone had wonderful and perfectly timed endings from FoD to OuTW (and actually also My Name Is Nobody), and they are not boring for me cause I’m actually more interested not in how the film ends (as I said that is mostly predictable), but in how the ending is directed. If Leone’s westerns had not these wonderful endings, they would lose a lot of its power.
I also don’t think that Indio is a richly developed character, but he’s far more interesting than the bland baddie in FoD. And gives Volonte the possibility for a much stronger performance, but well, Tuco beats him in every respect.

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Woow that’s wonderful observation.

Yep. Especially when the accompanying guy on Lee van cleefs side decided to shoot the hat off cleefs head purposely to momentarily confuse the other party so that cleef would get a moment to shoot. :muscle:.

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Great analysis

I like that analogy .