“A Pistol for Ringo” & “The Return of Ringo”
Two Films by Duccio Tessari
The original Ringo films introduced another iconic hero to the spaghetti western; a sharp shooter who was clean cut and very different to Clint Eastwood’s “Man With No Name.”
In “A Pistol For Ringo”, the hero Ringo (Giuliano Gemma) infiltrates a ranch of Mexican bandits to save a beautiful hostage (Nieves Navarro). In “The Return Of Ringo”, he is already a veteran of war and disguises himself as a Mexican in order to take revenge on outlaws who have stolen his property and taken his wife.
Both films were very successful when originally release and this was due to the skilled direction of Duccio Tessari. The Ringo films were influential on the Italian western and spawning numerous unofficial sequels because of their gripping set-pieces and unforgettable musical scoring by Ennio Morricone. Arrow Video now proudly presents both films in new restorations.
In “A Pistol For Ringo”, we have a band of Mexican bandits holding up a bank but during their escape they get holed up in a ranch where they take the inhabitants hostage to avoid capture. The desperate sheriff turns to gun slinging outlaw Ringo to help by infiltrating the gang and saving the day. Ringo is charismatic too with some great one liners. He has great boyish charm and a mean streak as well.
He was able to introduce playing hopscotch to kids before brutally killing two bastards in cold blood. We never know if we can trust this guy. First of all he demands 30% of the stolen cash from the town in order to rescue the ranch owners. Then he sells the gang out for 40% to help the defeat the town, and then vice versa again. He is as an anti-hero with wit and charm.
Director Duccio Tessari has a great sense of humor and uses it well. From the opening hopscotch killings, a bullet ricochet off a bell that kills a goon, some silly knife throwing scenes and of course the peculiar aspect that our antihero doesn’t drink whiskey, only milk all make for laughs. The quotable dialogue also has some laughs.
“The Return of Ringo” is a fun sequel and together the two films have made Giuliano Gemma a star in Italy. Gemma can even make a mediocre film watchable and he is great even in a loose retelling of the classic Greek epic Odyssey, with Ringo assuming the Ulysses role. He stars as Captain Montgomery “Ringo” Brown, who has returned from the Civil War, only to find that his town of Membres has been overrun by the Mexican Fuentes gang, led by Esteban (Fernando Sancho) and Paco (George Martin) Fuentes. To his horror, he also finds that his wife, Hallie, has been taken by Paco with the intent to marry her. I do not want to say much more but I wanted you to know what to expect
Here Gemma is dead-on intense and serious, a departure from the first film’s Ringo, who was a wisecracking, boyish (but still deadly) character. From the moment he finds out the fate of his town and wife, he’s pretty intense and focused and seems pretty dangerous from the get-go.
SPECIAL EDITION CONTENTS include:
Brand new 2K restorations of both films from the original negative
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
Original Italian and English soundtracks
Uncompressed Mono 1.0 PCM audio
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
Audio commentaries for both films by Spaghetti Western experts C. Courtney Joyner and Henry Parke
They Called Him Ringo, an archival featurette with star Giuliano Gemma
A Western Greek Tragedy, an archival featurette with Lorella de Luca and camera operator Sergio D Offizi
Gallery of original promotional images
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx