Renamed to cash in on the success of Duccio Tessari’s Ringo movies, Ringo and His Golden Pistol is a rather lacklustre Spaghetti Western directed by the legendary Sergio Corbucci. It focuses on bounty hunter Johnny Oro/Ringo who sees killing as purely business, in fact he won’t draw his solid gold pistol unless he can profit from it and this will get him into trouble.
Having gunned down a gang of bandits he lets their brother Juanito Perez live, with no price on his head there is nothing to gain from sending him to an early grave. However, Perez is understandably not happy about the death of his kin and swears revenge. Meanwhile Johnny Oro/Ringo runs into trouble when he enters a small town. Eventually he teams up with a former friend who is now a sheriff and together they will face the wrath of Perez & his gang. At the same time the cannon, which stands as a monument in the town square, seems to hold some appeal to our hero.
Consisting of none of the regular themes of violence, physical handicap and interesting characters that would come to be regular fixtures in Corbucci's films Ringo and His Golden Pistol is one of the worst Westerns to come out of Italy in the sixties. Rather than an example of one of the refreshing Italian entries into the genre the movie feels more like a cheap American Western. Corbucci seems to be aping those films rather than reinventing the genre as he would do with classics like Django and The Great Silence. It doesn’t excite or hold the attention, with even the final shootout not being enough to save the film. The central character is not very interesting, a rather bland figure who seems totally without personality, not helped by Mark Damon’s poor acting. He doesn’t exactly set the screen alight! The other characters are equally disinteresting, all alarmingly formulaic.
Ringo and His Golden Pistol is basically a bad movie with nothing to recommend. It has none of the style & invention that would become the trademark of many a Spaghetti Western and breathe new live into the cowboy genre. It may be of some interest to fans of Sergio Corbucci but no one else. What is most surprising is that in the same year Corbucci would make Django, one of the best Spaghetti Westerns of all time. Get hold of that rather than this best forgotten film.