Reviewed Movie: A Pistol for Ringo (Italy, 1965)
Original title: Una pistola per Ringo
Directed by: Duccio Tessari
Starring Giuliamo Gemma (as Montgomery Wood), Fernando Sancho, Nieves Navarro, George Martin
When I first started this project, the idea was to showcase the “Unamerican Westerns” I found particularly intriguing in some sort of VLOG- or Video-Review-Format. When someone thinks of a country of origin for Western movies other than the United States, most people tend to think of Italy. For good reason, since Italy certainly was cranking out Western movies in a rapid pace during the “big era” of the Eurowestern (1960-1976): Within these 16 years, IMDB lists 412 different Western movies with Italy being the Country of origin.
“A Pistol for Ringo” (original title: Una Pistola Per Ringo) can be considered to be one of the better movies in the “Spaghetti Western” subgenre. While it hasn’t become as famous as, for example, Sergio Leone’s infamous ‘Dollar Trilogy’, it’s titular protagonist Ringo became so popular as to spawn countless sequels… in name only, that is, because director Duccio Tessari and lead actor Giuliano Gemma would only officially return the character once. But the movie proved so popular outside of Italy that whenever a Spaghetti Western starred a lone gunman outsmarting and outshooting a bunch of desperadoes all by himself – which was basically every other movie in that subgenre – localizers would often just slap the “Ringo” name onto any random movie to increase its chances of finding a wider audience. (Other names in that category would be Django, Sartana or Sabata, to name but a few…)
For many reasons – it being a very time consuming effort certainly being the most obvious – I abandoned the idea of creating video reviews very soon. Still, my first look at an “Unamerican Western” is still out there, and can be watched in this YouTube-video for all posterity (if the allmighty Internet allows):
Since I had a different format for “Unamerican Westerns” in mind when I created this video, the Rating System I’ve since adopted hadn’t been in place yet. Today, I would rate these movie accordingly on my “Good-Bad-Ugly”-board:
Quite enjoyable, even though the movie is quite shallow and relies a bit too much on pointless shootouts in lieu of any other characterization. But the charismatic lead and a good, steady pace make for an entertaining watch, as long as you don’t expect any groundbreaking cinematic revelations.