Wer kennt Johnny R.?
Who Killed Johnny Ringo
La Balada de Johnny Ringo / 5000 $ für den Kopf von Johnny R.
West Germany/Spain 1966
Artur Brauner, Götz Dieter Wulf for CCC Filmkunst, Tilma Films
directed by José Luis Madrid
starring Lex Barker, Joachim Fuchsberger, Marianne Koch, Ralf Wolter, Barbara Bold, Sieghardt Rupp, César Ojinaga, Isidro Novellas, Montserrat Porta, Mary Carmen Castro, Francisco Nieto, Carlos Otero, José Fiol, Augusto Fernández, Gabriel Espinosa, Francisco Cebrián, Roger Justafré, Francisco Aguilera, Rafael 'Indio' González jr, Joaquín Navales, Dámaso Muní, Víctor Bayo, Ángel Maya, Vicente Soler, Juan Antonio Rubio
story by Carson Wiley, screenplay by Ladislas Fodor, Peter A.Chilles, Paul Jarrico, José Luis Madrid, music by Federico Martínez Tudó
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On the run from the Sheriff, outlaw Johnny Ringo kills Captain Conroy's
(Sieghardt Rupp) family in an accidental fire that also kills himself - or
so everybody believes, everybody but Captain Conroy, who is convinced
Johnny Ringo's still alive, so he hires Sam Dobie (Lex Barker) to track
him down, even if nobody knows what Ringo really looks like.
undercover as a gun salesman, as he figures a decent gun might lure Johnny
Ringo out into the open, and soon enough, he hooks up with master marksman
Clyde Smith (Joachim Fuchsberger), who does demonstrations for Dobie,
whonever carries a gun himself, and who might or might not be Johnny Ringo
- at least a saloon singer, Billy Monroe (Ralf Wolter), who is really
another employee of Captain Conroy, thinks he is and soon lures Conroy to
Thing is, actually Dobie himself is Johnny Ringo, and he arranges
for his girlfriend Bea (Marianne Koch), the only one knowing his real
identity, to identify Smith as Ringo - and soon enough, it seems Smith has
lost a battle he hasn't even started, as Conroy and his men prepare to
lynch him - while Bea and Dobie/Johnny Ringo fall out because he romances
another woman (Barbara Bold), the blacksmith's daughter, and Bea's already
sure he is going to shoot her ... when guilt catches up with Dobie/Ringo,
and he frees his friend Smith in the nick of time from Conroy and his men
even if it costs his own life ...
Ok Euro-Western that on one
hand features some nice twists and turns - like turning the main good guy
into a baddie towards the end of the film -, but unfortunately Lex Barker
seems ill at ease with the evil side of his character, and thus he lets
down the movie just when it would have needed a strong performance.
Likewise, Joachim Fuchsberger seems just a tad too nice to qualify as
someone everybody mistakes for a notorious outlaw. Still, the film's
direction is competent, it's reasonably paced and the sets are quite
fine - all of which (as mentioned above) adds up to an ok Euro-Western,
but certainly no more than that.