Cinema Retro issue #13 is now shipping to all subscribers. Among the other great features in the latest issue is entertainment journalist Bruce R. Marshall's fascinating story behind Lee Van Cleef's 1960s cult western The Big Gundown. At this point in his career, Van Cleef was relishing the fact that Sergio Leone's two Dollar westerns had rescued him from financial catastrophe when he could not longer find suitable work in Hollywood. Unlike Clint Eastwood, however, Van Cleef was happy to continue on in the Spaghetti Western genre, making films of varyiing degrees of quality, but always maintaining his position as one of Europe's top movie stars. His 1968 western The Big Gundown teamed him with another popular star of the genre, Tomas Milian under the direction of Sergio Sollima. The film stood out as being a cut above the rest of the pack, but what most fans don't realize is that the movie they've seen is probably not the original, far superior version. In his article for Cinema Retro, Bruce R. Marshall takes a comprehensive and fascinating look at a grass roots effort to restore this movie to its original glory. Marshall interviews a fan who goes under the name of Franco Cleef whose interest in the film has lead him to approach Columbia/Sony about investing in an official restoration of crucial scenes that were cut. However, the film's cachet is not commercial enough to interest Hollywood. Thus, Cleef has taken it upon himself to painstakingly piece together the most complete English -language version of the film possible, using disparate sources to find the relevant footage. (An official restored version of the film has been released in Germany by Kochmedia-dvd.com, but it does not have an English soundtrack.) In Marshall's interview with Cleef, every nuance and aspect of the film is discussed, including specific missing scenes which greatly alter the motivations of the characters. The article also features exclusive comments from the film's director Sergio Sollima as well as a sidebar by Retro's German correspondent Mike Siegel on the history of the German restoration. The article also presents an abundance of extremely rare stills, movie posters and soundtracks from the film.
Cinema Retro issue #13 is available at select retail outlets or through a subscription to our current season, which will also include issues #14 and #15. First time subscribers also get a cool exclusive CD featuring rare original radio spot ads for movies of the 1960s and 1970s- -plus free postage in North America and the UK. Click here to subscribe through the Cinema Retro Ebay store or see the "Subscribe" section in the right hand column for other methods.