A Pistol For Ringo / The Return Of Ringo (Blu-ray Review)

A Pistol For Ringo / The Return Of Ringo (Blu-ray Review)
Rated: UR/Region: A/2:35/1080p/Number of disc: 1
Available from Arrow Video

A Pistol for Ringo (1965)
Director: Duccio Tessari
Starring: Giuliano Gemma, Fernando Sancho, Lorella De Luca

The original Ringo films introduced another iconic hero to the spaghetti western; a clean-cut sharpshooter who was markedly different to Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name. In A Pistol For Ringo, the eponymous hero, played by Giuliano Gemma (Day of Anger, Tenebrae), infiltrates a ranch of Mexican bandits to save a beautiful hostage (Nieves Navarro, Death Walks in High Heels).

While some might not agree, I think A Pistol for Ringo is the best of the two Ringo movies. Oddly enough, these were never meant to be real sequels, but with the same actor and the same name you can’t help but consider them to be that anyway. In A Pistol for Ring, our anti-hero Ringo is enlisted to help con a Mexican gang and save the people they’ve taken hostage. One of which is the girlfriend to the town sheriff. Rigo is an extremely skilled and smart character and that leaves the door open for plenty of clever scheming along the way. We also have a lot of shooting and some fighting. You never can tell how movies like this are going to turn out and that’s what helps you stick with it until the end. While I don’t think I’d have it up there with Django or The Big Gun Down, I do find it to a very good overall movie and enjoyed it very much overall. It also looks good most the time but does seem to waver in look here and there. The day for night stuff doesn’t really help in that regard.

QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 88%

 

The Return of Ringo (1965)
Director: Duccio Tessari
Starring: Giuliano Gemma, Fernando Sancho, Lorella De Luca

In The Return Of Ringo, the gunslinger, now a veteran of war, disguises himself as a Mexican in order to take revenge on outlaws who have stolen his property and taken his wife. Hugely successful upon their original release, thanks in part to the skilled direction of Duccio Tessari (The Bloodstained Butterfly, Death Occurred Last Night).

The Return of Ringo is basically a retelling of Homer’s Odyssey, just in Spaghetti Western form. The movie is apparently not a legit sequel even with the same lead character. This confuses you a bit for a number of reasons if you just go in expecting a sequel because Ringo doesn’t act like the Ringo we know for the first movie despite being the same actor. We also see basically everyone from the first film back and playing different characters. The story is solid enough and has a few twists and turns, but this story of a man trying to reclaim his life before he went into the war just didn’t click as good with me as the original. Ringo was a lot more fun before and this one seems to be a much more serious tone. While some might like the plot, it isn’t the most original and the movie as a whole isn’t as much fun. On the flip side of that, in the HD department, this movie looks better than the first.

QUALITY OF TRANSFER: 93%

 

Extras

– 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
– Original trailers
– Gallery of original promotional images
– Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx