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

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“A Pistol For Ringo” and “The Return of Ringo” are two decent Spaghetti Westerns.

In “A Pistol For Ringo,” the talkative gunslinger Ringo/Angel Face is jailed for murder. However, once a group of Mexican bandits burst into the town he is jailed at, rob a bank and shoot up people, things change. The bandits flee the scene and hide out at a ranch where they hold people hostage (and murder them) until they can receive safe passage. The Sheriff and others are trying to arrest them and save the hostages, but they require the assistance of Ringo. Ringo is quickly released from jail for self-defense and plots to buddy up to the gang of bandits only to outwit them and turn the tables on them.

In the sequel “The Return of Ringo,” we find that Ringo is a Civil War veteran who comes home to discover that his wife AND belongings have been taken by a Mexican gang led by the villainous Paco. He decides to go undercover as a Mexican to get revenge on the criminals and learns a shocking secret- he now has a daughter who has also been taken by Paco and company.

With “A Pistol For Ringo,” you get a generic and thinly plotted spaghetti western that is mostly comprised of lots of sitting around before the inevitable conclusion. As predictable as it is, however, there is a ton of shootouts and a delightful lead character in Ringo (wonderfully played by Giuliano Gemma). Ringo isn’t like your average gunslinger. He’s smooth, sly, wily, confident, lively, but has principles (and drinks milk). Whenever he’s on screen the movie comes alive. Whenever he’s not, it loses steam.

The character of Ringo aside, ‘Pistol’ (and ‘Return’ for that matter) boast superb production values, sets, location shooting, and memorable scores by the legend Ennio Morricone.

“The Return of Ringo-” may be a sequel to ‘Pistol’ but it feels nothing like that movie at all. Heck, the character of Ringo doesn’t even seem like the same character. This is a much darker movie both in tone and character as Ringo has lost everything, injures his hand at one point, mopes, and is pushed around at times. He’s almost broken at times. It’s an interesting character evolution to be sure, but it doesn’t seem consistent with what has come before. Storywise, it’s similar in many ways with the undercover, rescue, and conclusion aspects, but it’s much more personal to the character of Ringo. There’s a lot less action in this one as well as it has a slower pace…perhaps a bit too slow as Ringo takes his sweet time to do something about the situation.

Video/Audio:

2.35:1 1080p. How does it look? Both films are a bit on the grainy side, but the 2K restorations are still solid for both.

Audio Tracks: Italian and English DTS-HD MA Mono. How do they sound? The English tracks are so-(although I like the voice work for Ringo). I’d suggest checking out the superior Italian tracks for better tracks with better quality.

Extras: * A thick booklet containing credits, photos, 2 written pieces by Howard Hughes about the cast and Esplugas City, and an interview with Duccio Tessari. * Image gallery * 2 trailers each for “A Pistol For Ringo” and “The Return of Ringo” * “Revisiting Ringo”- A 38 minute interview with film critic Tony Rayns about the Ringo films, Tessari’s life and career, and more. * “They Called Him Ringo”- Vintage interviews with stars Giuliano Gemma and Lorella De Luca. * “A Greek Western Tragedy”- A nearly half hour old school featurette with Lorella De Luca and camera operator Sergio D’Offizi which offers up plenty of behind-the-scenes stories. * Decent commentaries on both films by screenwriter C. Courtney Joyner and western aficionado Henry C. Parke.

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June 12, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , ,

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