Finito in prigione per avere ucciso, per legittima difesa, tre uomini mentre giocava a campana, Ringo viene liberato per infiltrarsi tra i banditi capeggiati da Sancho che, dopo una rapina in banca, si sono asserragliati nella fattoria del maggiore Clyde. Ringo, detto Faccia d'Angelo, chiede il trenta per cento del bottino per la sua impresa, poi, arrivato alla fattoria, svela tutto a Sancho ottenendo il quaranta per cento del bottino per portare in salvo lui e i suoi compari... Written by
Baldinotto da Pistoia
This is one of the better Spaghetti Westerns I've watched but whose reputation despite the popularity of the title character seems to me to be relatively underrated (and the film itself criminally unavailable in an affordable DVD edition; the same thing goes for its follow-up, THE RETURN OF RINGO ).
While pretty straightforward in comparison to later efforts in the genre (often politically-motivated and thus heavy-going), just because it's unpretentious the film emerges as more readily enjoyable than most of its type benefiting from the presence of Giuliano Gemma (certainly one of the more likable Italian stars in spite of a somewhat limited range), a typically fine score by Ennio Morricone, but also the unusual time-frame of the plot (it's set largely inside a hacienda under siege over the Christmas period!). Besides, there are agreeable (though not over-emphasized) touches of humor throughout to counter the exciting action sequences, some surprisingly good dialogue (director Tessari also wrote the script) and, equally unexpected for such an early Spaghetti Western, interesting characterizations. In fact, the milksop hero is an opportunist who's extremely resourceful at outwitting burly villain Fernando Sancho; the latter's woman played by Nieves Navarro, better known as Susan Scott, and the wife of the film's co-producer Luciano Ercoli is an elegant and seductive Mexican who wins the affections of the aristocratic owner of the remote mansion where the gang is holed in; while the old man's daughter, fiancée of the sheriff but who gradually falls for Gemma, is coveted by one of Sancho's lecherous cronies.
Most of the cast and crew were re-assembled soon after for THE RETURN OF RINGO which is superior to the original (mainly because the Homeric inspiration of that film's narrative adds some much-needed depth to the protagonist) but, starting off with Gemma coming home from the Civil War, is actually a prequel to it: his military duty is mentioned in passing in A PISTOL FOR RINGO, though not the fact that he had been married (the latter is possibly an added element to the second film so that Gemma could finally get together with leading lady Lorella Di Luca, billed as Hally Hammond).
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