1 March 2015 | Hey_Sweden
Spaghetti for Christmas!
This Italian Western - which just so happens to be set at Christmastime - made a star out of the charismatic former stuntman Giuliano Gemma. Using his Anglicized pseudonym Montgomery Wood, he stars as title character Ringo, an amiable outlaw. Ringo is in jail for murder (which he says was done in self defense) when the town bank is robbed of a substantial amount by bandits. They hole up in a remote community, and take hostages. The law enforcement types come up with the idea to have Ringo infiltrate the criminal gang, which he does in his own inimitable style.
"A Pistol for Ringo" is a solid and engaging example of the Spaghetti Western. It may not be as well known, or well regarded, as the most famous films in the genre, but it offers ample entertainment. A large part of the appeal is Gemma himself. Handsome, charming, and sly, he does a fine job at portraying a man who doesn't seem to have any real loyalty to anything other than money. He actually offers his services to the bandits if they will promise him a larger percentage of the take than the law. We're never quite sure what to make of him, but we do know that he's fun to watch.
The exceptional composer Ennio Morricone, who's done hundreds (!) of scores during his life and career, gives this film a typically atmospheric soundtrack. The widescreen photography is first rate, and Gemma has a fine supporting cast to work with. The prolific, corpulent, robust character actor Fernando Sancho has a field day as bandit leader Sancho. Lorella De Luca as Miss Ruby and Nieves Navarro as Dolores are simply beautiful. Antonio Casas is excellent as the hospitable Major Clyde, as is George Martin as Sheriff Ben, who is in love with Ruby (you can't blame the guy).
Exciting action scenes and a healthy dose of humour also make this quite pleasing to watch.
Seven out of 10.