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The director Duccio Tessari, who began his career as a sword and sandal
movie maker, made his second western "Il Ritorno di Ringo" with a crew
almost identical to that of his first western "Una Pistola per Ringo".
But I personally prefer this "Ritorno" definitely to "Una Pistola":
While the style of "Una Pistola" was still very similar to sword and
sandal movies, and therefore didn't appeal to me especially, in
"Ritorno" one sees a new style clearly differs from sandal movies: a
high wind blows sands and hay through a town, the pictures , and the
sore as well, are more melancholy and gloomy.
Tessari nevertheless doesn't hide his 'sword and sandal origin': the plot was taken from the last part of Homor's Odyssey, and in fact he well succeeded in transferring the Greek legend into a western. No wonder, as who could better treat Greco-Roman Classics than educated Italians? Giuliano Gemma in this movie is excellent. I cannot imagine how an other spaghetti western star would play the role of Ringo, while Ringo of "Una Pistola" could be, I think, played by anyone other (for example George Hilton or Terence Hill?).
And please let me give a tip for male viewers: If you wished to enjoy spaghetti westerns together with your wife, your girlfriend or your daughter, please begin with Gemma's westerns. She would like him. Actually Gemma was so popular with Japanese girls in the 60s/70s as Leonardo DiCaprio now. I know very well, because I myself was one of those girls at that time.
This is one of the greatest of all spaghetti westerns and which I saw under the US title THE PISTOLERO.Giuliano Gemma(George Hilton)plays cavalry officer Montgomery Brown who returns to his home after the war to find most of his family dead and his wife and daughter virtual prisoners of a band of Mexican cuthroats who have taken his house and land.Disguising himself as a peon Brown(known as Ringo) begins to formulate the plan that will lead to his ultimate revenge and how satisfying it is when it comes in a welter of bullets,explosions and a good old mano a mano fistfight to close proceedings in style.All this terrific stuff is accompanied by one of Ennio Morricone's greatest scores and a charismatic performance by Gemma which is certainly the equal of Eastwood's in A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS.THE RETURN OF RINGO is quintessential viewing for admirers of the Euro western.
This movie is the follow-up to "A Pistol For Ringo"(Una Pistola per
Ringo), but it is not a sequel. All of the main actors return for this
story, but they play completely different characters, and while
Giuliano Gemma portrays another character called Ringo, this
protagonist has nothing in common with the first "Ringo." It may seem
unusual to those who haven't watched a lot of these movies, but that
kind of thing is quite common in the spaghetti western genre.
This Ringo is not an outlaw like the one in the previous movie, yet he is much more serious and deadly, because he has been wronged on a very personal level, and is seeking justice and revenge. This gives the movie a much more somber tone than the previous film. It's a gripping story without a single boring moment.
All of the main actors are at the top of their game in this one. Antonio Casas is especially good as the dysfunctional sheriff who pulls himself together with the help of Ringo. Giuliano Gemma is even better in this movie than in the previous film, and I can't say enough about Nieves Navarro. Not only does she do a wonderful job portraying "Rosita," she looks even more incredible in this film than in the last one, which is a feat I would not have thought possible. She is quite possibly the most amazingly beautiful woman to ever appear in a western.
Morricone's music score is also an improvement over the one he wrote for the first Ringo movie. There is more music in this film, and the tunes are more memorable. I especially like the theme song.
Although "A Pistol For Ringo" wasn't bad, it was apparently just a warm-up for the filming of this movie, because "The Return of Ringo" is a much better film on all levels. It's not completely without flaws, but the imperfections here just add to the movie's charm and appeal. I consider this one to be a must-see for spaghetti western fans.
This western may be similar to other westerns in its revenge-plot. At the same time though, there is a romance to it, seldom found in westerns. Just like 'The thief of Bagdad' (Michael Powell) had a unique atmosphere of mysticism, so does this western, although it is less pronounced and may even seem involuntary. Nevertheless, deliberate or not, it conveys a feeling of times long gone by and may even resemble something quite different of its kind, such as the 30-page adventure story by Carl Barks (Donald Duck Four Color: 'In old California'). Because of all this a 10 out of 10.
Duccio Tessari's RETURN OF RINGO is one of the great unseen spaghetti
westerns churned out by the Italians after the unexpected success of
Sergio Leone's first two "Dollars" films. A sprawling, high-powered
epic tale about a Union soldier returning after the war to find his
wife & home usurped by a local pistolero and his band of gunmen.
Giuliano Gemma is excellent as always in the role of the suave,
cool-headed hero who works up a ruse to pose as a peasant worker to
infiltrate the household and fight from the inside to reclaim that
which was his.
Ennio Morricone scored a magnificent musical pastiche of themes that is quite different from his usual Leone contributions. Non-fans of the genre will be pleased by the attention to detail in the lavish production, with a high profile supporting cast led by Fernando Sancho, sexy Nieves Navarro and Lorella De Luca as Gemma's former beloved. He looks odd during his scenes with his hair bleached blond and is unconvincing as a Mexican but Gemma really was one of the great Italian genre leads. His approach is somewhat different than Clint Eastwood, usually playing himself as a gentleman who simply happened to learn how to be an efficient killing machine under the stress of war.
There's some genuinely amusing and tightly choreographed gunplay in the ending showdown, and the screenplay by Tessari, Fernando di Leo and Alfonso Balcázar is surprisingly humanistic for this kind of fare. Highly recommended, look for it in North America on a VHS with the title BLOOD AT SUNDOWN.
Spaghetti/Chorizo Western with the most successful intervention by
secondary idol Fernando Sancho. This is the original installment from
Gemma-Tessari trilogy formed by ¨A pistol for Ringo¨, ¨The return of
Ringo¨ and ¨Kiss, Kiss , Bang , Bang¨ , though the later is set in
modern times and deal with a heist . All of them are amusing and
entertaining and starred by similar cast as Gemma , Fernando Sancho ,
Lorella De Luca , Nieves Navarro and Antonio Casas ; furthermore same
artistic equipment . They are familiar films , in fact , the actress
Lorella De Luca married director Duccio Tessari and Nieves Navarro
married the producer Luciano Ercoli . This is the second part from
Duccio Tessari trilogy , starred by an awesome Giuliano Gemma . It's a
tremendously exciting story of an ex-soldier named Ringo who had only
one more killing to go . Ringo (credited as Montgomery Wood) is a civil
war soldier who goes back to his familiar land to find his family
decimated, his senator father was killed , his manor taken over by a
bunch of Mexican bandits named Esteban ( Fernando Sancho) and Paco
Fuentes (Jorge Martin) and his fiancée ( Lorella De Luca) about to
marry the nasty Mexican behind all this . Ringo (Giuliano Gemma) is
spending time in discover the schemes the bandits . Once again Ringo
seeks vengeance , he goes undercover disguised as a Mexican beggar and
learns he has a daughter . Meanwhile , the gang of a nasty Mexican
named Esteban (Fernando Sancho) and his bandits occupy a mansion and
take the ranch and its inhabitants . The local Sheriff (Antonio Casas)
gets no option but to send in Ringo. Ringo goes the ranch against
Fuentes's hoodlums who kill and mistreat countrymen . Ringo comes to
the ranch just in time to make sure its inhabitants and rescue his
lover , taking place a cat and mouse game , but later the events get
This Western is superior than subsequent outing because it displays thrills , emotion, shoot'em up , intrigue and is pretty amusing . There is plenty of action in the movie , guaranteeing some shots or stunts every few minutes . This is a good S.W. plenty of action , shootouts , fist-play and without touches of humor as in previous entry . Ringo is stunningly played by Gemma . Giuliano is very fine, he ravages the screen , he jumps , bounds and leaps, hit and run ; plus jokes , laughs , he's a complete show . Fernado Sancho as a cruelly baddie role as Mexican bandit is terrific , subsequently the would play similar role in other Spaghettis . In the movie appears usual support actors as Spanish : George Martin , Antonio Casas , Pajarito as Italian players as Zamperla and Frank Oliveras . Special mention to Nieves Navarro or Susan Scott as attractive and rogue woman but she unfortunately would finish shooting erotic cinema . It's a co-production Spanish-Italian and shot on location in Fraga , Huesca , Spain that is well photographed by Francisco Marin , though is necessary a fine remastering because the film-copy is washed-out .¨Fraga¨ resulted to be the location where were shot lots of Western produced and directed by Catalan people as Alfonso Balcazar , J.J. Balcazar , Jose Antonio De La Loma , Juan Bosch, Ignacio F. Iquino and Julio Buchs , among others , because Almeria was too far and the landscapes bear remarkable resemblance . There are many fine technicians and nice assistant direction and excellent production design by the usual Juan Albert Soler , he creates a magnificent scenario on the interior ranch and barren outdoors , dirty landscapes under a glimmer sun and fine sets filmed in Fraga and ,PC Alfonso Balcazar Studios, Barcelona and San Jose, Andalucia, Spain . As always , the musician Ennio Morricone, composes a nice Spaghetti soundtrack and well conducted and splendid leitmotif ; it's full of enjoyable sounds and emotive score , including enjoyable songs at the beginning and the end.
This Italian writer / filmmaker Duccio Tessari so consistently mixed the good with the mediocre that it became quite impossible to know what to expect from him next . He wrote several Western as ¨A fistful of dollars ¨, ¨A train to Durango ¨Seven guns for McGregor¨ , ¨The return of McGregor¨ . He directed five Western as ¨Tex e Il Signore degli abissi¨ and with abundant touches of humor as ¨Vivi o Preferibilment Morti¨, ¨Don't turn the other cheek¨ and ¨Zorro¨ with Alain Delon and of course ¨Ringo ¨and sequel , mostly starred with his fetish actor Giuliano Gemma . Tessari directed all kind of genres as drama , adventure , wartime as ¨1981 Un Centesimo Di second ,1978 Das Fünfte Gebot ,1976 La Madama ,1976 Safari Express , 1973 Tony Arzenta ,1973 Los Héroes Millonarios ,1972 Forza 'G', 1968 I Bastardi¨. Rating : 6 , acceptable and passable movie that will appeal to Spaghetti Western buffs .
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"The Return of Ringo" definitely gets some of the ingredients right for
a spaghetti western. It's very atmospheric, from the landscape to what
appears to be a constant wind blowing dust through the city streets. It
has a great musical score by the talented Ennio Morricone. The cast
proves to be very capable (it's always fun to see Fernando Sancho as a
bad guy in a spaghetti western.)
Though I enjoyed this western, I had to admit that I found one flaw, a significant flaw. After the hero is brought up to speed as to what happened in his absence and what is happening now, for the next hour or so he does essentially NOTHING towards setting things right. He pines, gets drunk, and feels sorry for himself over and over again, which gets tedious after a while and has you wishing he would simply get around to doing something.
After that slow-moving hour, the last half hour or so proves to be pretty entertaining, with some really good action and suspense. It was worth going through that first hour to get to the last half hour. Though I must point out that I was in a patient mood. Some viewers, especially those who are not spaghetti western fans, may get frustrated by that tedious first hour. Yes, I recommend the movie, but I emphasize that you should wait until you are in a patient mood before sitting down to watch it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The day before yesterday I saw A Pistol For Ringo. I disliked it for
many reasons and I wondered why that movie is such a miss. Luckily, the
crew must have thought the same thing when they began with this movie
and came to the same conclusions as I did.
The Return of Ringo is not really a sequel. It are the same actors and the scar is the same on Ringo's face, but that is about it.
The difference is huge. The crew is identical, but both the cinematographer and the editor now delivered a great job! The are great shots, at many angles. There are lots of symbols in this movie, great use of reflections and yes, great use of colors. This movie shares most of the bleak Almeria landscape that we know, but flowers are completely acceptable in this movie as a way to give the look color. The closeups are great and camera movements go beyond the Totals that pan a little we know from the first Ringo movie. The editing is razor sharp, obviously cut to the music.
The acting might be almost the same to the first movie, which is good enough, only now we can actually see them act, instead of watching it from a distance. The cast is almost the same, with some characters playing roles that are very similar.
The sets are great, and now finally there seems to be time or budget for decent light for the indoor scenes. The costumes are a lot better; what the people wear seems to be more fitting for their parts and the heroes of this movie aren't to clean. Gemma no longer walks around in costumes that looks like they come from a comedy, and not only because the story requires it.
In every Morricone scored movie, you just cannot say "the music seems fitting", since the maestro always adds something special to a movie. In this film, he hits the mark. Although the score tends to sound more like a Tiomkin/Steiner Hollywood western than something from the Dollar trilogy, it is a pure Morricone. Quite unusual on some scenes (they even used a piece that is believed to be originally composed for John Huston's 'Bible, in the Beginning' in a great scene where the protagonist meets his daughter), but effective nonetheless.
Not all scenes are perfect, but that is compensated. Like a (minor spoiler) great scene with a wedding between coffins, or the scene with the daughter mentioned above...these give this western something that makes it stand out among others.
And cheers for the director, since he is the man that was most involved of all.
I had my doubts before watching this movie, purely based on the first Ringo film, but don't let one Ringo title bring down the other!
Director Duccio Tessari's follow up to his Spaghetti Western "A Pistol
for Ringo" uses much of the same cast and crew, starting with the
handsome and charismatic star Giuliano Gemma. Gemma plays Captain
Montgomery Brown, a soldier during the Civil War who returns home to
find his family has been eliminated, and now a bandit gang is reigning
supreme. One of them, Paco Fuentes (George Martin) intends to marry
Browns' wife Helen (Lorella De Luca), who, like much of the locals,
believes Brown to be dead; Brown slips into town under the assumed
identity of a Mexican named Ringo to seek revenge.
This viewer admits that he prefers the more action packed predecessor "A Pistol for Ringo", but can see why some people would appreciate this movie more. It's not so much about action (although there are some fine set pieces) as it is about character. It's fairly slow, yet interesting, going for nuance any time that it can. Even the bad guys are not as flamboyant as one may expect. Fernando Sancho is actually fairly low key as Esteban Fuentes, one of the gang. Tessari gives "The Return of Ringo" some pretty effective atmosphere, especially in sequences in the streets. There's wind, debris flying around, and precipitation at appropriate moments. Ennio Morricone once again delivers the goods when it comes to the beautiful score. That theme song will sure stick in ones' head.
Gemma does well as our hero, with enjoyable supporting performances by lovely ladies De Luca and Nieves Navarro, Antonio Casas as the sheriff, Manuel Muniz as "Morning Glory", and Victor Bayo.
Suitably entertaining for fans of the genre.
Seven out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Legendary gunfighter Ringo(GIULIANO GEMMA)returns home from years of
military service in the American Civil war. Hardened by his wartime
experiences, Ringo is angered to find his hometown in the thrall of a
large bandit family. The bandits, headed by Esteban Fuentes(FERNANDO
SANCHO)and his brutish son Paco(GEORGE MARTIN),oppress the mostly
American townsfolk and kill anyone who crosses them. The alcoholic
sheriff(ANTONIO CASAS)refuses to act as he too is controlled by fear.
Ringo is further shocked to find that all his friends, including his
wife Hally(LORELLA DE LUCA),presumed he had been killed. He becomes
more embittered when he learns that his father, a respected senator,
was murdered in standing up to the bandits.However,things get even more
personal when Ringo discovers that Esteban and his men have taken over
his home and that Paco is going to marry Hally and father his child.
The gunslinger is subsequently prompted to turn his fight for honour
and crusade against injustice into a personal mission of revenge. In
doing so, he takes up his guns once again...
Duccio Tessari had thrilled me with the first Ringo film. A PISTOL FOR RINGO was outstanding. Although you can't improve on excellence, the pains of Tessari's labour triumphed and THE RETURN OF RINGO is my favourite of the two. This second Ringo film seems to have no relation to the first, even the character of Ringo is a completely different person. He is not the charming, free spirited Angel Face of the first film but rather a tough,seasoned,jaded ex soldier who has "seen it all before". Here he is a former Union army Captain. His cheek even twitches throughout the film which I thought was a brilliant touch. Maybe it was a side effect of the war?.This type of character fits the tone of the film like a tight leather glove. Some cast members return from the first film, like Fernando Sancho and George Martin,although they play different characters. It appears that the two Ringo films are both "stand alone" with a "different Ringo" in this second film. This film is rather dark and serious and focuses on themes like retribution and redemption which I liked very much. The humour and one liners from the first film are not present here and comic relief is scarce, which is good as such things would have been out of place in this film. Both the storyline and script are robust and tight, the plot is based on the ancient Greek story The Odyssey which makes the film all the more interesting. There's nothing I can't resist more than films about heroes and this film is a prime example of why I find the theme so appealing. It depicts Ringo, a man with iron courage, fighting for both himself and everything he believes in, standing up for what is right when everyone else is too scared to do so.He is being driven by both love and hatred, which I find compelling and inspiring.Ennio Morricone is a musical genius and his chilling soundtrack really evokes the heroic underdog theme. It complemented the film brilliantly,particularly in the emotional scenes.Maurizio Graf's vocals gave me butterflies, especially in the final scene, it roars in the background as Ringo and Hally embrace in the aftermath of the final shootout. I was also very impressed by the other orchestral pieces.
Once again,Giuliano Gemma is amazing as Ringo. He immortalises the action hero by running, jumping and rolling in the path of gunfire as he shoots his opponents. In the final shootout he comes crashing through the roof of a house after shooting two bandits on top. The set pieces in this final shootout were absolutely fantastic, but I'll explain that later. Fernando Sancho was great as Esteban.He's different from the roaring oaf he played in the first film. Here he's a lot more restrained and much more brutal, but still extremely likable, whereas Antonio Casas looks like he just walked off the set of an American B western.The camera-work was rather stylish, with the lens panning 360 degrees round rather than just cuts. The film's action sequences were really muscular and packed with rollicking stunts and set pieces. Most of the action doesn't occur until the end of the film but the final two shootouts were the greatest. The one in the street reflected the spirit of the American western whilst the other at Ringo's house was an absolute riot!. The latter was most spectacular as the bandits utilise a type of Gatling gun to fight off Ringo and his motley band of townsfolk. Ringo dons his Union army uniform and fights back using his six shooters, Winchester and exploding flower pots!. In the heat of the fighting guys fall from roofs, out of windows and from trees as they are shot, some complete with cringeworthy,but hilarious death screams. The climatic fistfight between Ringo and Paco was furiously exhilarating and made for a ferociously satisfying and finger biting climax.
Tessari surpassed himself with this awesome follow up to the magnificent A PISTOL FOR RINGO.Although the pace is much slower than the previous film, this second part is an engrossing tale of bravery and one man's emotional journey which builds to a gripping finale. The film's foundations are formed by a staunch script, granite hard moral and intelligent plot. It is full of superb characters and performances as well as a gorgeous soundtrack.Cast iron suspense and taut, adrenaline pumping action and stunts, not to mention a delightfully brutal final confrontation between the hero and the villain form a strong concrete surface.10/10.
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