In my exploration of the spaghetti western genre on Saturdays over the last couple of years, I’ve found unusual stuff: stright out horror, a musical, but until RINGO AND GRINGO AGAINST ALL, I’d never ran across a comedy. A slapstick one at that.
It’s seen and a half years since the end of the war. The soldiers of Fort Jackson, somewhere in the Southwestern desert, had been wiped out and Gettysburg and the fort abandoned. But two men had been left to guard the fort: Sgt Gringo(Lando Buzzanca) and Pvt. Ringo(Raimondo Vianello). For them, the war had never ended, the Sgt. continuing to drill the private as if he were a whole troop. By now, all their bullets were used up, food was low, they’d received no pay in all those years, and the private was pretty much disgusted.
They arrive at a town and Ringo points at a couple of citizens and asks, “What are they?” The Sgt. casually informs him that they are girls. Ringo says “I forgot why they are different.”
They end up at a party full of Union officers and Southern gentlemen planning business and disrupt it. Things quickly devolve into a Three Stooges skit with pies in faces, slapstick punches, and everyone after them.
Except for a pair of sisters, dark haired beauties, Virginia(María Martín, billed as Maria Martinez) and Carolina(Mónica Randall). They become attached to the two men, as the only real men left in the South. Ringo fancies Carolina and sings a riff on Carolina On My Mind to her later. They conspire to restart the war(Ringo and Gringo still believe it’s happening).
The Union is looking for them and they need cash to supply an army. The siters turn them in for the thousand dollar reward, then free them with a couple of handy sticks of dynamite in a table drawer.
Later they break into a house to steal gold. Getting into the safe was kind of stupid. Gringo squeezes a candle until it’s soft enough to work, sticks in the keyhole where it conforms to the key shape, and unlocks the door(mind you, it’s only a few seconds and even hardened the wax wouldn’t work. We get a riff on the small box inside a larger box when they find another safe door inside. Repeat with the wax. A smaller door,. The doors keep getting smaller until they find a box that holds the key to the first door.
No gold though.
That’s founsd under a floor board after a silly sequence with a toilet plunger after Ringo swallows a lit cigar. Loading their pockets, they are weighed down, pants sagging and held up only by their suspenders, and march step trying to get out, only to end up back in the same room. They end up going out the window and find themselves buried up to their necks because of the weight of the gold. The two sisters step over them when guards approach, their long skirts hiding the men’s heads. Ringo quite enjoys that.
Their next riff is on Eastwood’s Man With No Name. There’s a five thousand dollar reward for the Left Handed Gun. Ringo wears a poncho and smokes a thin cigar, Gringo is dressed as the Van Cleef character.
All in all, a silly movie. It had it’s moments. Just not enough of them. Buzzanco’s next film was even more of a ripoff. FOR A FEW DOLLARS LESS was the title. Haven’t found an English language version yet.