|Index||7 reviews in total|
I disagree with the other reviewer and to my taste this is a superior spaghetti with an off-character performance from Tinti that places him IMHO in a superior niche to anything that Richard Harrison ever did. While this is not a great spaghetti it is a competent film and many of the scenes deserve repeat viewing for interest. This movie contains all of the elements of a fine spaghetti however it is weak in significant areas relating to storyline, continuity and detail. For example, this was not a starring role for Madison. Madison should have been listed as a "featured" cast member, however this detail does not impact the film overall. Yes his entrance is awkward -- almost an after thought -- but he did contribute to the action and I especially liked his line about "an eye-for-an-eye" being different where guns and bullets are concerned! So finally this is (after all) a 1967 period spaghetti, and IMO one of the better ones. Overall I rate this movie as a solid 7 to my taste where 10 would be something like Vengeance or Keoma.
With two great titles (SON OF DJANGO and VENGEANCE IS A COLT
top-billed Guy Madison, and director Osvaldo Civirani at the
(a man who has made quirky films in a number of genres--he sometimes
the mark, but he takes chances), I had high hopes for this
The DEATH RIDES A HORSE-style opening sequence was quite exciting too, but the film that followed was a letdown. The pacing is flat, the lead character is neither interesting enough nor mysterious enough to command much attention, and Guy Madison, although top-billed, should really have been given "and with the special participation of" billing in the credits as he is essentially a guest star. Gabriele Tinti is the protagonist, and he basically stumbles from one scene to another, getting the tar knocked out of him, but not showing much of a distinctive character (Richard Harrison would provide wit as he went through such torment, Tomas Milian would spew contempt toward his tormentors, Craig Hill would command fear even after getting beaten temporarily). There are a few nicely composed shots, a few places where the music is haunting and we see Tinti riding alone, and of course Guy Madison is excellent as the gunslinging priest/minister who comes to Tinti's aid, but isn't exactly welcomed. This role is a bit different from Madison's later role in Reverend Colt, a much better film.
The "climax" of the film is quite unsatisfying too--I don't know if Tinti is to blame. Probably hurried writing and slack directing are responsible. Fortunately, AFTER the lame climax with Tinti, Madison's is the last face we see, so at least the film left a positive image in my mind.
Although a "revenge for a murdered father" film, SON OF DJANGO features little tension and this viewer at least didn't really care whether Tinti got his revenge. There are probably a dozen Bob Steele westerns from the 1930s with a similar plot, and nine-tenths of them as I remember pulled me into Steele's quest for revenge. Not here.
I can recommend the film only to Guy Madison collectors--he's fine here, although once again dubbed by someone else--and Eurowestern completists. And for the latter, I should say that this is not a BAD film, just an average one. It may well work for you, but didn't for me.
I know there were scores of films revolving around the character of
Django (though, to be fair, many of these were considered as such
merely in export versions), introduced in Sergio Corbucci's masterful
Spaghetti Western with Franco Nero (and to which an official sequel was
only made some 20 years later!). As far as I know, I'd previously come
upon just one such effort DJANGO SHOOTS FIRST (1966), which was okay
and two more DJANGO, KILL...IF YOU LIVE, SHOOT! (1967) and DEATH
SENTENCE (1968), both excellent if unusual which are known as
"Django" titles merely outside their native country.
This, then, is the third 'official' Django film I've watched: unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the least rewarding Spaghetti Westerns out there! As can be surmised, the narrative opens with the cowardly Jesse James-like assassination of the popular character, which leaves his kid son (who witnessed it) to avenge him as a grown-up now played by Gabriele Tinti (later spouse of Laura "Black Emanuelle" Gemser, an extensive collection of whose dubious work I should be laying my hands on in the near future!). Typically, the Western town involved is divided between two warring factions; conveniently, both had been former associates of Django as is the current preacher (top-billed Guy Madison it was customary to engage the services of erstwhile American stars for this particular brand of "Euro" oater)!
The film features a reasonable amount of action throughout, but the execution is exceedingly inept (for instance, a number of shoot-outs occur during the first 10 minutes as if the director mistrusted the attention span of possible viewers but, given that we don't know who is getting shot by whom or why, it's all very confusing!). What, then, of his apparent need to have each and every bad guy make such a big moment of his death scene, irrespective of whether he had figured to some extent in the proceedings or not?! Also involved are a French card-sharp (with whom Tinti had shared a prison cell) and his gunfighter companion who subsequently join the ranks of one of the rival outfits, while the brooding Django Jr. prefers to keep to himself. Female presences of any consequence are limited to a saloon hostess and the wife of a landowner whom one of the clan leaders kills in a duel (she herself unwittingly falls victim to the same man soon after when confronted by her in his room).
For what it's worth, the film's climax strives to be meaningful but only manages to be muddled thus deeply unsatisfactory! Characteristically, then, Piero Umiliani's score also emerges as a sub-par effort overall (despite a catchy main theme).
"Son of Django" amounts to nothing more than the title character's
vendetta against what approximates a "Mafia don" in the old west......
It's a routine plot with Jeff Tracy, Django's son avenging his death. I
never liked our American westerns much because they mostly seemed so
unconvincing...the heroes (like Randolph Scott and John Wayne) and even
the villains are way too clean and sterilized for the times, and the
killings are antiseptically bloodless for some odd reason. I now watch
them just for the plots and the settings, which are superior to the
As sub-par as this one is, it's faults are mainly due to the writers and director. Gabriele Tinti cannot be blamed for his lack of any credible dialog. His good-looking, masculine face and weathered,beard-shadowed jaw perfectly resembles those western heroes customarily pictured on American pulp paperbacks. He's long, lean and could be mean, but he's got a lot of soul and some morality, too. My favorite sequence is when he intervenes to stop a brutal and seemingly endless gang beating of an innocent man right in the middle of the town, in front of the victim's wife. It's hard to believe that Tinti, who looks like the perfect, slightly grubby epitome of the western hero was stuck for most of his career as a supporting character in "Emmanuelle" films. What a waste!
I give this film a 7 out of 10 just because of Tinti's magnificent presence which illustrates the ideal of the American western hero. With a better script worthy of him, this could have been a standout and a new direction for his body of work.
Maybe I just got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning, but
this movie sucks. Lead Gabriele Tinti is wooden, bland, lacking in
charisma and looks stupid in his white fur jacket. Usually Spaghetti
Westerns have long, taut pauses in dialog where actors sort of glare at
each other. Tinti's eyes seem glazed over in comparison, as though he
was bored and just couldn't think of a one-liner worth opening his
mouth for. He walks into rooms, turns around, faces the camera, nods,
and walks out. Most of the time he looks like he is sulking; At least
Jack Palance would have the excuse of being hung over.
I do not like Gabriele Tinti. He has never done anything to me personally of course, and while married to Euro sex symbol Laura Gemser became one of the fixtures of Euro Sleaze. He plays a sadistic creep in BLACK COBRA WOMAN and maybe it just left an impression. In any rate he is not suited for a Spaghetti Western anti-hero. But this movie was cheaply made as possible and perhaps he was all they could afford. Costumes are mish-mashes of department store threads combined with movie prop room cowboy vests. Even the ladies seem to be clad in hand-me-downs from more expensive productions that don't seem to fit them right, and the song one of them warbles for the camera is completely out of place in this production. Then again everything feels out of place; Supporting actors stand around looking like they are waiting for stage directions and the camera lingers on empty space in the canvas of the widescreen picture waiting for something to fill it. More often than not, nothing does.
The story is supposedly about Tinti in search of the killer of his father, who was named Django. The only reason to have this plot element was to tie the film to Sergio Corbucci's superior DJANGO from 1966, and the only reason to do that is because nobody would have otherwise cared about this film, and correctly so. If the combined efforts of Guy Madison, Daniele Vargas, writer Tito Capri and composer Piero Umiliani (who would later recycle his musical score for at least 2 other films, both better than this, and who could blame him) cannot add more than a momentary spark to a Spaghetti Western, you know you are in trouble.
There's another name in the credits, one Demofilo Fidani. More commonly known by his Americanized moniker Miles Deem, Fidani is a name that Spaghetti Western aficionados have come to associate with cheapness for the sake of cheapness. Between 1970 and 1972 or so he directed a dozen of these things, each one cheaper than the previous, and most of them about as interesting as your average Bazooka Joe chewing gum comic. Here he was in charge of the set designs and chose a minimalist approach that sadly leaves a few too many blank spaces for the imagination to fill in. Which mind you isn't necessarily a bad method given the film's look is approached with a certain sense of style.
This movie's was not. It is an assembly of clichés and formula solutions strung together with a modestly engaging musical score, costumed in unattractive drab trappings & populated by actors who not only look like they don't give a damn but don't inspire the audience to give a damn. Even the pretty wife of the mistreated down on his luck dork rancher was only in the film to be abused on-camera as if to provide some sort of exploitation angle. You just don't care what happens to her so long as there is some sort of erotic thrill attached. And her sudden departure is the film's sole moment of surprise, yet does nothing to break the stilted, hesitant dialog, the uninspired camera-work, the clueless mugging of the supporting cast, and the inexcusably out of synch dubbing.
I love low budget Spaghetti, but this movie quite frankly is way subpar. The only redeeming quality I can see is a sort of odd visual tension due to when the film was made. 1966 thru 1968 were probably the most interesting years of the Spaghetti boom, the pre- ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST period where the lesser Italian directors were trying to find their voice in the form that Leone & Corbucci invented. This effort straddles the divide between the straightforward Euro Western approach and the Spaghetti "style over substance" method. The basic story, direction and cinematography here is Euro Western, only the content's ultra-violent depravity speaks for what would eventually become the Spaghetti approach.
What's missing is the style. The film has no sense of identity, it doesn't know whether it wants to be a cheap knockoff or a languid horse opera. A year after this was made, ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST proved that the Italians could make a Western on the same level of craft & scale as that of John Ford or Peckinpah. By contrast, this film is a slacker, trying nothing new, taking no chances, not even having the decency to provide us a lead star worth rooting for. You sort of watch the action in muted anticipation, hoping that Guy Madison or one of the sleazy villains will do something interesting. Only they don't.
Gabriele Tinti, the son of Django, intervenes in a land war between a
pair of rival cattlemen, in order to get revenge on the man who
murdered his father and burned his house down years before, though
things might not be as they seem.
Although this is about the son of Django, the plot bears a little more of a resemblance to A Fistful Of Dollars. Things start out a bit draggy, though things pick up a bit in the second half. The best line in the film occurs when the villain exclaims, "No one stays alive who accuses me of killing!"
Top-billed Guy Madison has the most interesting role, albeit only a supporting one, as a priest and friend of Django who has to pick up his gun again to help Tinti, a role he reprised in other films.
Somewhere behind the scenes is Demofilo Fidani, who later wrote, produced, and directed his own series of pretty bad Django sequels under names like Miles Deem and Dick Spitfire!
Why the Wild East DVD company decided that this particular spaghetti western was worth a DVD release in North America, I can't say for certain. Maybe it was because American Guy Madison was one of the actors in it, but any fans of Madison will likely be very disappointed by how he's used here. He doesn't first show up until more than a third of the movie has passed, and he doesn't get to speak until half the movie has gone by. To add insult to injury, his character really doesn't get to do that much. It's possible the movie could have still worked despite all this, but for the most part the movie comes across as an amateur effort. It looks and feels really cheap, and the feel of the movie is cold and passionless. The bad script makes everything unfold at a really slow pace. That is, when the story makes sense, since there are some really unclear and confusing portions throughout. (Just try to understand the first part of the movie!) This is one Euro western that really gives the genre a bad name.
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