The movie that spawned a genre.
Django is a 1966 Italian spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Corbucci and starring Franco Nero in the eponymous role. The film earned a reputation as being one of the most violent films ever made up to that point and was subsequently refused a certificate in Britain until 1993, when it was eventually issued an 18 certificate. Subsequent to this the film was downgraded to a 15 certificate in 2004. Although the name is referenced in over thirty "sequels" from the time of the film's release until the mid 1980s in an effort to capitalize on the success of the original, none of these films were official, featuring neither Corbucci nor Nero. Nero did reprise his role as Django in 1987's Django 2: Il Grande Ritorno (Django Strikes Again), in the only official sequel to be written by Corbucci.
I don’t know if I can say anything coherent about Django, I’m too caught up staring into Franco Nero’s eyes (seriously, that man is soooo fine). The camera loves his eyes too, using them judiciously, withholding them until the most effective moments.
Django starts with an incredible image - the lone figure trudging across empty land, dragging a heavy coffin behind him, bringing death with him. That figure is an enigma, but the film gives just the right amount of information about him, at the right times.
The energy in the film is raw and explosive. There is a slow simmer that kept me intrigued. The villain is so bad, but not comically bad; rather, pure evil bad. A ballet…
A mildly sluggishly paced first half does almost nothing to dilute one of the all-time great movie heroes (complete with one of the all-time great movie hero theme songs).
What struck me this time around is how bifurcated Django the movie and Django the character are - in the first half, he's almost Batman-like, with his hat pulled over his eyes and dispassionately blowing people away with his pistol and then with (spoiler alert!) his machine gun. Then, he meets up with the Mexicans, his hat comes off, and all of a sudden he's a human being. It's a weird counterpoint to Eastwood's Man With No Name, and a dynamic I'd somehow not noticed before.
The sequence with Django taking back his gold is one of my favorite set-pieces ever, and a great example of the "cinema of process." And the whole movie takes place in a believably (but still entertainingly) scuzzy and evil world. Beautiful!
I can't stress enough how effective the soundtrack is in this, before Tarantino completely snatched up the entire thing. And if the main hero theme isn't your new party-crasher-as-party-savior entrance music, make it so immediately. I assure you, it will not leave the heads of the party casualties.
DJANGO! OH-OH-OH, DJANGO!
YOU MUST GO ON! OH-OH-OH, DJANGOOOO!
Coolness on a plate. While the first third of this influential masterwork drags as much as the coffin Django carries with him, the rest of the film is absolute, unadulterated western nirvana. You've got France Nero staring at people in a way that only he and Clint Eastwood can do, you've got a seriously bad-ass machine gun, you've got dynamite, you've got ear-slicing, you've got prostitute mud-wrestling; it's all here.
I was surprised at how influential this actually turned out to be, and I'm fully satisfied. You can see where Tarantino got some of his inspiration for Django Unchained, especially in terms of soundtrack and the appearance of General Jackson's men (bag-heads!)
All in all, just awesome.
Over the weekend I had a long, rambling conversation with a friend of mine about the various merits of what we pejoratively called "trash cinema" (a term that covered everything from John Waters movies to Herschell Gordon Lewis gore-fests to whatever-sploitation films). He had taken offense to the less than glowing review that I had given Gregg Araki's The Doom Generation, and used this as a recrimination of my trash cinema bona fides. The argument eventually degraded (as such arguments tend to do) into a shouting match of "you don't get it/yes I do" and no progress was made whatsoever. But the conversation did make me think about my ever-shifting cinematic tastes, and whether I have somehow outgrown an appreciation…
Film #44 of No Rewatch November
Worst dub ever. Absolutely terrible. The badass factor of the film was victorious in the end though!
I'm convinced that there is a very dark movie somewhere in here. There were glimpses in the hand/horses scene which was fantastic. The dubbing ruined the seriousness of the movie but if I ever get my hands on an italian version I'm sure I'll love this movie.
I like it every time I see it. Five times in and I still find new stuff in there to love. Strangely I find Franco Nero's performance to be off because it is obvious they want a young Eastwood vibe. Despite that, this is one of the classic spaghetti westerns
Fucking awesome western about a gunslinger named Django who drags around a coffin with a fucking machine gun inside (spoiler alert), and who pisses off both the KKK and some Mexicans. It gets pretty brutal, and there is a whole lot of killing, and it's only 90 minutes, which automatically makes it better than every Leone movie.
I have seen this film many times and find it entertaining on repeat viewings. It's not as crazy or complicated as other Spaghetti Westerns but it is very good and we still see some good character and story development.
Other Spaghetti Western conventions are there, similar photography, moving camera, revenge and double-cross motifs. There is a pretty cool fistfight with the camera moving around the bystanders that is pretty wild.
Franco Nero seems too young to be a feared killer (and he was). He isn't as tall or cool as Clint Eastwood (The man they seemed to be imitating), but he does a fine job in the role.
You can skip almost any other film with the word Django in it, they are unauthorized sequels. Definitly see this before the Tarantino film. Then you can see what a movie looks like that was banned in several countries in 1966 for being so violent.
Wow, I knew Tarantino had been influenced by this film but I didn't expect him to go so far as to use the same music.
The dubbing is awful, the script is stupid, the acting is wooden... But who cares, because it has a ridiculous body count and one of the best scenes involving a machine gun that I have ever seen. It's just pure fun, from the hopelessly inept soldiers to the hilarious Mexican stereotypes to the cartoonishly evil bad guys. I watched it at a film society at uni and the room kept bursting into laughter at various points.
However don't think that it's simply a case of "so bad it's good": despite some of the more silly…
much MUCH better than the tarantino spinoff
What Corbucci did to and with his main character is just incredible. This is iconic filmmaking. Cinematography, the composition and shots, the music, the hero/anti-hero character. Plus, it's so deep. And macabre. There's so much to Corbucci's Django, I wouldn't even know where to begin.
Just this: The final shot is one of the most epic ones I have ever seen. Seriously.
Wow. Lots of assholes in this movie.
Franco Nero is great looking, but his Clint Eastwood impression feels like kind of a put-on in this tale of a Yankee caught up in a small-town squabble between a group of Mexicans and a gang of Confederates (Klansmen?). Our protagonist drags a coffin around with him everywhere, which doesn't read as ominous so much as a Screenwriting 101 trick to give the character a quirk that gestures toward thematic depth. Unfortunately, it's not very exciting to watch him lug it around all the time. DJANGO is most notable for its violence, specifically for a particular act that Tarantino later revived in RESERVOIR DOGS. It's violent, yes, but otherwise not very stylish, although I did like the kinetic bar brawl…
A man walks into a town wishing to settle a score; and ends up fighting against the two clans who are destroying the town. This film is really good, and the thing with Django dragging a coffin around is very interesting. This is a western with a complex story; and it's also quite violent, though the violence makes the film feel more realistic.
Unfortunately though, I did have to watch this film in an English dub; because even though the Australian DVD has the option to watch the film in Italian, it doesn't have any subtitles, meaning that if I watched it in Italian I wouldn't understand anything any of the characters were saying because I'm definitely not fluent in Italian.