Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Lee Van Cleef's Guns Are Blazing in Arrow Video's Special Edition of THE GRAND DUEL!


Along with Clint Eastwood, William Berger, and Franco Nero, Lee Van Cleef is one of my favorite stars of Spaghetti Western cinema! Having seen him as the hero in films like SABATA and FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (and as the memorable villain in THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY), I'm disappointed in myself for having never watched THE GRAND DUEL, which is now available on Special Edition Blu-ray thanks to the fine folks at Arrow Video!

Synopsis: THE GRAND DUEL is an archetypal spaghetti western which boasts many of the genre's classic hallmarks including action-packed gunfights, wild stunts and an impressive climactic showdown...

Genre stalwart Lee Van Cleef (THE BIG COMBO, DAY OF ANGER) stars as a gnarled ex-sheriff called Clayton who comes to the aid of young Philipp Wermeer (Alberto Dentice), a fugitive framed for the murder of a powerful figure called The Patriarch. Clayton helps Philipp fend off attacks from bounty hunters in a series of thrilling shootouts before the two make their way to Jefferson to confront three villains known as the Saxon brothers, and reveal who really killed The Patriarch.

A complex tale of revenge penned by prolific giallo writer Ernesto Gastaldi (TORSO, THE CASE OF THE SCORPION'S TAIL), THE GRAND DUEL benefits from a beguiling central performance from Lee Van Cleef and assured helmsmanship from Giancarlo Santi (assistant director to Sergio Leone on THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY and ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST). Add to this brew a memorable and tuneful score by composer Luis Bacalov (DJANGO, MILANO CALIBRO 9) and the stage is set for one of the grandest of all the Italian westerns!

Disc Specs:
Rated R | Color | 94 minutes | Region A
Video - 1080p Widescreen (2.35:1)
Audio - Uncompressed Mono 1.0 LPC

  • NEW! 2K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative!
  • Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles and credits!
  • NEW! Freshly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack!
  • NEW! Audio commentary by film critic, historian and theorist Stephen Prince!
  • NEW! An Unconventional Western - An interview with director Giancarlo Santi!
  • NEW! The Last of the Great Westerns - An interview with screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi!
  • NEW! Out of the Box - An interview with producer Ettore Rosboch!
  • NEW! The Day of the Big Showdown - An interview with assistant director Harald Buggenig!
  • NEW! Saxon City Showdown - A video appreciation by the academic Austin Fisher!
  • NEW! Two Different Duels - A comparison between the original cut and the longer German cut of the film! 
  • NEW! Game Over - An obscure sci-fi short film from 1984 directed by Bernard Villiot and starring The Grand Duel's Marc Mazza! 
  • NEW! Marc Mazza: Who was the Rider on the Rain? - A video essay about the elusive actor Marc Mazza by tough-guy film expert Mike Malloy.
  • Original Italian and international theatrical trailers
  • Extensive image gallery featuring stills, posters, lobby cards and home video sleeves, drawn from the Mike Siegel Archive and other collections!
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin!
  • First pressing only: Illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kevin Grant and original reviews!
Arrow really went all out on this Special Edition release! Between the new transfer, new audio commentary, and plethora of interviews and featurettes, this Blu-ray disc is definitely a must-own for Spaghetti Western enthusiasts! THE GRAND DUEL costs between $24 - $28, and is currently available from AMAZON, BULL MOOSE, DIABOLIK DVD, and ARROW VIDEO!

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