Sunday, July 17, 2011

Beyond the Law (1968)

Director: Giorgio Stegani

Starring: Lee Van Cleef, Antonio Sabato, Gordon Mitchell, Lionel Stander, Bud Spencer

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Outlaw Sheriff - Within the Law, Without the Law, Beyond the Law.

Plot: A thief takes the job as a town sheriff in order to rob a silver shipment before his ex-partner can grab it.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Yeah.


The combination of Lee Van Cleef and composer Riz Ortolani was dynamite the previous year in DAY OF ANGER (1967) but not so much in BEYOND THE LAW. Ortolani's score is a different animal altogether. It sounds like a weak copy of the more traditional Hollywood Western scores from the 50s and early 60s. I didn't care for it that much. Lee Van Cleef is also different. He's not the hard as nails badass like before. Here's he's more laid back and easy going. He's still a tough guy but he's also got a softer side that wants to enjoy a long and healthy life. I like his performance a lot. It's lighter than usual and works in this film better than it did in his SABATA (1969) sequel, RETURN OF SABATA (1971).

And when you've got Cleef up against another badass, hard-faced mother fucker like Gordon Mitchell, you can't go wrong. At least in theory.

That is one tough lookin' mug!

The rest of the cast does a fine job, especially Cleef's partners (Lionel Stander is one and I have no idea who the other guy is but they make a great trio). The only thing that keeps me from liking it more is the length. It gets close to two hours and that's about twenty minutes too long. Maybe I'll change my mind the next time I see it. Until then, there's still a lot more Lee Van Cleef movies I've yet to see and tons more Spaghetti goodness left to devour.

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