This western is set in Valencia, Spain at the end of the 19th century, and stars Terence Hill as a close-mouthed gunslinger. The bad guy is the local landlord and aristocrat (Fernando Rey),... See full summary »
Maria Grazia Buccella,
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A mysterious gunfighter named Django is employed by a local crooked political boss as a hangman to execute innocent locals framed by the boss, who wants their land. What the boss doesn't know is that Django isn't hanging the men at all, just making it look like he is, and using the men he saves from the gallows to build up his own "gang" in order to take revenge on the boss, who, with Django's former best friend, caused the death of his wife years before. Written by
Ferdinando Baldi's "Preparati La Bara!" aka. "Viva Django" of 1968 with Terence Hill in the lead is a great Spaghetti Western, and, in my opinion, Baldi's second best film after "Blindman" of 1971. After Sergio Corbucci's 1966 masterpiece "Django", quite a bunch of Spaghetti Westerns were given a 'Django'-title, although most of these cash-ins had little to nothing to do with the original. Out of all these unofficial sequels, however, "Viva Django" is maybe the only one that can really be described as a sequel, and Terence Hill's Django-character in "Viva Django" has by far the strongest resemblance to the original character played by Franco Nero. I would personally refer to "Viva Django" as the third best film with a Django-title after Corbucci's brilliant original, and Giulio Questi's surreal "Django Kill... If You Live Shoot" (aka. "Se Sei Vivo Spara"), which is not really a Django movie, and which was only marketed as a Django-film in the German and English language versions, in order to make more cash. Therefore, out of all films that were actually meant to be Django films, "Viva Django" is my second favorite after the original.
Django (Terence Hill) is employed as a hangman by corrupt politician somewhere in the old West. Django does not really hang the delinquents, however, but just makes it look like he does, and thereby saves the lives of a bunch of innocently convicted men. He then founds a gang of seemingly hanged men in order to avenge the death of his wife, who was killed in the robbery of a money transport guided by Django years ago.
"Preparati La Bara!" is a great and very entertaining Spaghetti Western, and, although in some parts quite humorous, not the usual comedy many would expect from Terence Hill. I am personally also a fan of the Bud Spencer/Terence Hill comedies, their serious Spaghetti Westerns, however, are in my opinion their best films, and 'Viva Django' is definitely one of the best films Terence Hill has ever starred in. Hill's performance as Django is excellent from the beginning to the end, and out of all the unofficial Django-sequels his character is definitely the closest to the great Franco Nero's character in Corbucci's original. José Torres fits into the role of hangdog Garcia very well, and lovely Barbara Simon is worth mentioning as beautiful Mercedes. The supporting cast furthermore contains Spartaco Conversi in a small role. The rest of the performances are also quite good, but most of them are not mind-blowing. The score by Gianfranco Reverberi is very good and the movie is photographed very well on great locations.
As I mentioned above, out of all sequels, the 'Django' character in "Viva Django" is the closest to the original character. Terence Hill's character is not exactly the same as Franco Nero's of course, and in some parts even very different, but in comparison to most of the other sequels, the resemblance is much stronger.
All things considered, "Viva Django" is a very good Spaghetti Western, and probably the only one of the unofficial 'sequels' that can actually be regarded as a sequel to the original.
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