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At least in Europe, this other spaghetti western variation of Kurosawa's
Yojimbo was probably even more influential than the film that created the
genre, A Fistful of Dollars, with countless imitations, rip-offs, sequels,
remakes. The title hero is again very different from traditional Western
heroes, but this time he is a much more mystical (almost religious) figure
than even the man with no name, and the places he goes to are even dirtier
and more desperate and downtrodden than any place we would find in a Leone
The impressive opening sequence shows Django dragging a coffin behind him through a muddy and featureless landscape, accompanied by Bacalov's title song (not Morricone, for a change), heading for his first battle. The coffin, his dark coat, and the mystique around him make him appear like an angel of death, invoking associations with the Red Death character in Roger Corman's Masque of the Red Death. Django is not quite as untouchable and supernatural, but the body count in his trace is comparable.
If you've already seen Leone's FISTFULL OF DOLLARS a million times like I
have, then you might be a little dissapointed when watching this one, since
it's basically the same thing. Only difference here is that there's a
bit of gore which can upset a few people. And the dubbing is pretty awful,
It sounds like the same guy who voices over 3 other characters in the film.
I could go on about some other distractions, but I'm not here to pan this flick.As a matter of fact, I LIKE IT! You have to realize that this film was a stepping-stone for the action genre that has continued to this day. So give credit where credit is due!
Perhaps my favorite part of the film is the opener, Django himself, walking (What? No horse?) through a dark,cold,muddy world, dragging his good ol' mysterious coffin and being accompanied by the music of the title song (A catchy tune which sounds like a combination of Elvis and the Moody Blues).
What follows next is common in "Spaghetti-land", so If you love these films or have never seen any, be obliged to take a peek at this flick.
Sergio Corbucci's "Django", as well as his "The Great Silence" are two
massively underrated spaghetti-westerns that co-founded the genre,
along with Sergio Leone's Dollars-trilogy. Okay, this no "Once Upon a
Time in the West" when it comes to atmosphere or plotting, but it is a
magnificently mounted action ride with an utterly cool lead hero and an
enormous body count. "Django" remained banned in several countries for
a long time because of its explicit, comic-book like violence, and
you'll see that this wasn't without reason, as the bad guys get
slaughtered by the dozen in a good old-fashioned gunslinger way. The
movie opens terrifically, with a sleazy title song and vicious images
of a lonely cowboy wandering through the Southern wastelands with a
coffin in tow. The man is Django and his coffin contains whatever he
requires to fulfill his difficult goal: single-handedly finishing the
war between the racist Major Jackson and Mexican bandidos by
annihilating them all. Corbucci implements a straightforward,
no-nonsense filming style with some great visuals and very creative
camera angles. There are some ingenious aspects (Django's act of
vengeance with molested hands) as well as some delicious clichés
moments (wrestling prostitutes, extended bar fight sequences...). This
film may not be a very intellectual form of entertainment, but it sure
is fun and produced with a certain degree of class.
Followed by a numberless amount of sequels, rip-offs and wannabes that are hardly worth purchasing. Stick to the original and have a blast!
This is an awsome Spaghetti Western. This is the original that launched over 70 imitation and non-direct sequels. This film was also the inspiration for Robert Rodriguez's El Mariachi and Desperado. The end shootout in the graveyard is amazing. Also, the feeling of the wind swept mud ridden streets is ever present. I respect anti-heroes of film more than the prefect hero. Django is just as cold if not colder and more relentless than the opponents he takes on and out. The coffin is a great original touch. Also check out THE sequel Django Strikes Again (with Franco Nero) and one of the best Django homage sequels Kill, Django Kill starring Thomas Milian (released by Blue Underground Entertainment). This movie gets two colt winchesters up!!!!
Sergio Corbucci is not really a great director, but if I hear his name
I perk up in a genre-geek sort of way. Having seen a couple other
movies by him, Navajo Joe and Il Grande Silenzio, I knew what to expect
with Django, which is some of the same only (hopefully) more violent
and serious and convoluted. Actually, the story in Django isn't too
convoluted, just if you don't pay close attention, which is easy once
or twice. It doesn't have the weird, cool energy of Grande Silenzio or
the camp of Navajo Joe. But it stands on its own as a solid entry- the
most well-known of all spaghetti westerns in Europe (yes, more than
Leone, who was also a God there), and, well... if you watch the dubbed
version from Anchor Bay video and come out unscathed, more power to
Franco Nero is in his iconic role as the title character (sing it with me, "Djangoooo!"), a man dragging a coffin into town and with some payback to deliver against a man named Jackson, and is actually caught up in two warring factions: a group of red-suited KKK members, and a crazy group of Mexicans, with women thrown from here to there and in-between. Django, of course, doesn't want to get involved with that, but he does, and it becomes a whole big thing not too unfamiliar to those who've seen their share of Leone pictures. In fact, this was the first in a whole franchise of Django- some official and most not, leading up to this year with Miike's amazing remake- and I could likely see this as being the best without having seen one other. It's just a guess, I could be wrong. Certainly it would be hard to top the body count, which nears 150 (or maybe it's more), if not all of the performances.
Then again, it's the look of most of the characters that becomes more and more striking as the movie goes on, including one snarling gunman with bad teeth and big gums (I forget his name), and the stone-faced Jackson himself who Django has the chance to kill early on but leaves alive (somewhat bewilderingly, then again there would be no film and less conflict for otherwise amazing comic-book gunslinger Django). What Corbucci can deliver alongside his cast of mostly bit players and hamming-uppers, is a kind of tough but loose style; he won't go to extremes like Leone with a close-up or a far-away angle, he'll just zoom and veer right into the action and get all of the bloody, crazy killings right up close and fast as possible. He's a good exploitation director and a decent stylist, with a little artistry and a warped form of professionalism. It must be fun and/or rough work being on his set.
So, for any and all genre fans, spaghetti western or just crazy-action film, you'll see why Django gets its rep, for better or for worse, usually the better. It's sometimes sloppy and occasionally not altogether well-made, but it soaks up its audience with its character as he kills quick with his huge cannon of a machine gun and has a final scene at a cemetery that is in the books somewhere as a mark of a true bad-ass. Just make sure, for the love of Pete, to try and steer clear of the English dubbing, as it's a mind-numbing experience (or just hilarious too).
Hello y'all. Just would like to add my own little critique of this movie.
Django was probably the first Euro western i'd seen outside of the familiar Leone territory, and, at first i was a little dissapointed. So i watched it again, and again. Then it dawned on me just how cool it was, having been used to the choreographed pyrotechnics of much greater films(ie the leone dollars movies etc) this was a dirty, cold,bitter little movie where nobody really comes out on top, especially the movies protagonist. Yeah, i know he returned to kill and strike again, but this one stands alongside il grande silencio and Keoma as a really good example of a genre theme that would eventually be done to death. So what if it borrows from Leone? Don't forget where he borrowed from in the first place. Anyway, i would just like to say to anyone that has not seen this movie, give it a chance. One final note: in spite of our desensetisation to violence, this is still a stomach churning endeavour, with a body count like a hot day in france, and a sadistic bent that would make peter sutcliffe run for the bathroom, Django reaches parts that only a fistfull of broken fingers can!
Django (Franco Nero The Fifth Cord, Hitch-Hike) is a gristled
man-of-action who strolls the desert dragging his coffin of hell behind
him. Django sets up shop one day at the local whorehouse of a veritable
ghost town set up between the two warring factions of Major Jackson
(Eduardo Fajardo Nightmare City, Oasis of the Zombies) with his red
hooded militia and General Hugo (José Bódalo Companeros) with his
Mexican ex-patriots. Django's no nonsense style quickly puts him smack
in the middle of the fun as secrets are revealed and sides are played
against each other.
Sergio Corbucci (Super Fuzz) directs this classic Italian spaghetti western. The script (while being pretty typical of the genre) manages to make Django a classic antihero thanks for the most part to Franco Nero's portrayal. The script's lack of originality doesn't stop it from having some clever set-pieces, nasty violence and even a bit of dark humor (some of my favorite sequences: the clearing of the whorehouse "Don't Touch my coffin", the "ear" scene and the Mexican skeet shoot). The music is wonderful (topped of by a fun theme song sung by someone trying to channel Elvis). The cast of Italian regulars nail their parts with mucho gusto. Any fan of violent westerns Italiano-style should belly up to the bar and give Django's coffin of wonders a watch. But don't mess with it
This cult movie centers on Django(Franco Nero), a stranger man without
identity, at the beginning he saves a woman (Loredana Nusciak). Later
on , he is going to a village dragging a coffin behind him. The little
town is located in the US-Mexican border. There he will take on two
rivals, a Yankees group(leading Eduardo Fajardo) and Mexican bunch
(commanding Jose Bodalo).The colonel Jackson band is formed by a type
of Ku-Klux-Klan hoodlums and he wears a red foulard. Django befriends
the owner of the saloon (Angel Alvarez , a character-alike to Silvanito
from ¨Fistful of dollars¨). Django seeks vengeance and go after the
dastardly nasties because of his wife lies into a tomb captioning
Mercedes Zaro (1839-1869).
It's an exciting western with breathtaking showdown between the starring and the enemies. The highlights of the film are the confronting at the village full of mud and dirtiness between the baddies hooded with a red scarf and Django wielding a machine gun ( though with anachronism because is a 'Maxim model' that was made in 1880 and isn't utilized the usual 'Gatlin') and he does a real rampage. Besides the attack at fort where Django and henchmen originate a cruel slaughter and of course final showdown at the graveyard . Django is named as homage to Django Reinhardt , the famous American musician who introduced his particular guitar. There are special remembrance to Leone's Western , thus: ¨Fistful of dollars¨ about the facing off between two bands and ¨The good, ugly and evil¨ to regard the cemetery duel. The film blends violence, blood, shootouts and it's fast moving except the saloon's episode that's a little bit slow moving. There are many technicians and assistants who will have a wide career as cameraman Enzo Barboni or E.B.Clucher (author of Trinity series with Terence Hill, Bud Spencer) who does an excellent photography with barren outdoors, dirty landscapes under a glimmer sun and foggy clouds, shot on outskirts of Madrid in La Pedriza, Torremocha Del Jarama and Colmenar Viejo. The musician Luis Enrique Bacalov(author of ¨The Postman and Pablo Neruda¨ which won an Oscar and composed lots of Spaghetti)creates a good soundtrack with Ennio Morricone influence. In addition , assistant direction by Ruggiero Deodato(Cannibal Holocaust). The picture was no authorized to minor 18 years and prohibited in various countries for its violence, for example in England, but in France, Germany was a real hit and in Japan there is one ¨Fondazione Django¨ too. Sergio Corbucci direction is good, after that ,he will make several Spaghetti classics: ¨The great silence,Compañeros and the Mercenary¨ and other inferior : ¨Hellbenders,Far west story ,Johnny Oro and Navajo Joe¨.
It's followed by an official sequel titled ¨Django strikes again (1987)¨ by Nello Rossati alias Ted Archer with Franco Nero who has left his previous life of violence in favor of a existence as monk, though returns when his daughter is kidnapped. Furthermore, numerous unofficial sequels, rip-offs, and copies, such as ¨Django the last killer(67)¨ by Giuseppe Vari with George Eastman ; Django dares Sartana¨(69) by Pascuale Squitieri; Django Il Bastardo¨(1969) by Sergi Garrone with Anthony Steffen, ¨Django shoots first (1974)¨ by Alberto De Martino with Glen Saxon and Evelyn Stewart.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sergio Corbucci's italo western "Django" has very often been copied and
quoted and is still one of the best European films of the sixties. "Django",
played by the great Italian western and thriller actor Franco Nero,
established the total anti-hero opposed to traditional western values. He
wears dark clothes, is dirty and unshaved, rude and selfish, corrupt and
uses unfair tricks in gunfights. But he also stands on the site of the weak
and lost ones, fighting the power alone with his fast colt and machine gun
that he drags behind him in an old coffin.
The whole movie is violent and ark and dirty - and fascinating from the very fist scene to the surprising final showdown. Django is a modern myth, a cool comic figure and the creative art output of the change of social values in the 1960's. And it's no wonder that the 1968 students like Django as well as middle class school kids or film critics... next to Clint Eastwood's roles in the Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns and Charles Bronson in "Once Upon A Time In The West", "Django" is a great modern European western opera with guns and horses and blood and a roaring gattling gun and with no space left for love, hope and traditional values. Highly recommended!
Franco Nero is Django, a man dragging a coffin behind him, seeking
vengeance for the wrongs dealt to him and his loved one in the Western
staple. When we first meet him he saves a hybrid girl from being
horse-whipped. But which side is he playing for, and where do his
loyalties really lie? Very enjoyable and the theme song is great, but
avoid the dubbed version I implore you, as it's one of the worst one
I've ever heard. Perhaps not as well known or as good as "the Man with
No Name" trilogy, but well worth seeing none the less.
My Grade: B
Blue Underground DVD Extras: Part of BU's Spaghetti Western Collection. "Django- The One and Only" (13 minute documentary); Poster & Stills gallery; Talent Bios for Sergio Corbucci and Franco Nero; Theatrical Trailer (I have this film released by Anchor Bay as well, and while the BU version is superior, I'm keeping that one too because it has a nifty Django shoot out game and came paired with "Django Strikes Again")
Easter Eggs: Highlight the coffin for Trailers of "Django Kill!", "Run, Man, Run", and "A Man called Blade"
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