Pistol For Ringo, A / Una pistola per Ringo (1965)

5.0 out of 5

Guiliano Gemma made big waves with this top ten hit Italian western from Duccio Tessari. Simply one of the best westerns ever made period. Gemma creates a fantastic western character with the brash, egotistical and perpetually confident gunslinger. Representing something akin to a live action version of Bugs Bunny, Ringo is always one step ahead of the bad guys, even when he is in trouble and always making fools out of them.

Fernando Sancho is the lead heavy, George Martin is the town sheriff and the alluringly sexy Nieves Navarro is Sancho's feisty female companion. Morricone delivers one of his most lively and romantic scores of his long resume of cowboy compositions.

Essentially a siege movie, Ringo, who drinks milk as opposed to whiskey, is hired to infiltrate an ornate hacienda in an attempt to rescue a family from the bandits who have holed up inside after robbing a nearby town. Ringo is crafty and guileful putting his wits and intelligence to good use playing on the weaknesses of the Mexican banditos.

There's lots of humor and sarcasm on hand as well as violence during the unusual Christmas setting of this classic oater. Tessari would again visit the holidays during another Gemma outing, Alive, Or Preferably Dead, 1969. That film, a comedy buddy picture, predates the Trinity boys by a year. Gemma was blessed with some of the best western pictures and this is one of them. Highly recommended.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics