Film Review: A Pistol for Ringo (1965)

Also known as: Una pistola per Ringo (Italy)
Release Date: May 12th, 1965 (Italy)
Directed by: Duccio Tessari
Written by: Duccio Tessari, Alfonso Balcazar, Fernado di Leo, Enzo Dell’Aquila
Music by: Ennio Morricone
Cast: Guiliano Gemma (as Montgomery Wood), Fernando Sancho, Hally Hammond, Nieves Navarro, Antonio Casas, George Martin

Produzioni Cinematografiche Mediterranee (PCM), Balcázar Producciones Cinematográficas, Cineriz, Embassy Pictures, 98 Minutes

Review:

A Pistol for Ringo is a spaghetti western that created a cool character that was knocked off a dozen or more times with unofficial sequels in the same vein as Django, Sartana, Sabata, Trinity and others. It spawned one official sequel however, in the same year as this one. That sequel featured the same director and actor. I’ve had a hard time tracking that one down though.

The film is directed by Duccio Tessari and Ringo is played by Giuliano Gemma (billed as Montgomery Wood). Gemma is the true Ringo, just as Franco Nero is the true Django. Only films starring him as Ringo should be considered official canon.

A Pistol for Ringo is considered one of the top spaghetti westerns of all-time by purists. It’s a better-than-decent film but I don’t see it as being exceptional. It is pretty tame in comparison to the other big movies of that genre. It also has much more of an American western vibe to it than other Italian cowboy pictures.

The score is done by Ennio Morricone but it differs from his typical spaghetti musical style and mimics a more traditional American western score. It still has a bit of Italian character to it but it feels pretty generic overall and is lacking in big powerful heroic ballads.

Gemma makes Ringo interesting and he isn’t a typical Italian gunslinger. The tone of the character is more lighthearted than the norm but he does still walk the line between whether or not he is a good guy or just out to save his own skin.

It is a very clean and pristine looking picture: less dirty than the genre standard during the mid-1960s.

It’s a good film: worth a view. It just didn’t resonate with me as it has with others. But I do still want to track down the follow-up and give it a watch.

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