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Half Gringo, half Mexican Maria (Loredana Nusciak) is about to be abused by a
gang of red-hooded hoodlums when a mysterious stranger dragging a coffin
through the countryside appears from nowhere & kills her tormentors. The
man proves to be Django (Franco Nero), an ex-Northern soldier who has gone to
the South on a mission, but is met everywhere with distrust.
In the next village, he takes up residence with Maria in Nathaniele's (Angel
Alvarez) whorehouse & soon picks a fight with ultra racist Major
Jackson (Eduardo Fajardo) & his gang, who have come to collet protection
money from Nathaniele & who prove to have the town in their steel grip.
Also, the red hooded hoodlums Django has shot when saving Maria have been in
the Major's employ. After killing all of the Marjo's bodyguards, Django invites
the Major to come to town the next day with all of his men for a showdown.
Expecting a quick victory over Django the next day, the Major does really
bring all his men, but all but a few of them are mowed down by the machine-gun
Django produces from his coffin. & even though he manages to survive, the
Major's days in the city are over ...
But why has Django done it ? The Major has once killed the woman he loved,
& nothing but complete revenge is now Django's driving force.
Hiowever, with the Major gone, a group of Mexicans led by General Hugo
(José Bodalo) now take over the town, & also Maria.
And would you know it, Django & Hugo prove to be old friends, with
Django not only having no objections of giving up Maria to the General but also
helping him to steal gold that belonged to the Major from a Mexican army camp,
in order to buy machine guns.
It is only when Django & the General have a dispute over the gold that
things start to go wrong ... While the others are celebrating their successful
robbery of the gold, Django decides to steal it from the General, in turn
leaving his machinegun behind, since he needs his coffin to transport the gold.
Django manages to escape, & even takes Maria with him, but then he
loses the gold when it's accidently pushed into the swamps, & when Django
is trying to retrieve it, the General catches up with him, shoots Maria & -
out of mercy for his old friend - destroys Django's hands so he can't use his
guns no more.
Of course, the General & his men are all shot down by the Mexican army
led by noone else but Major Jackson, who then proceeds to a final showdown with
Django, whom he thinks helpless without his hands to use. But Django has
carefully picked a cemetary as the scenery for the shoot-out & uses the
cruzifixes as substitute trigger-fingers to gun down the Major & his men
Besides the Sergio-Leone-Westerns, Django is probably the most
influential Spaghetti Western, with its dark, macabre atmosphere & its
bleak, even cynical story, that helped define the formula of Spaghetti Westerns
by & large & would set them miles apart from their American
The movie by the way was so successful, that many other Westerns would
suddenly have the word Django (which director Corbucci borrowed from legendary
Jazz guitaist Django Reinhardt) in the title, be it in its original versions or
its various translations, the film though wouldn't have an official sequel
until 1987, Django Strikes Back, again starring Franco Nero, whose
internagtional movie-career pretty much took off with Django.
There are by the way strong rumours that Ruggero Deodato, the assistant
director, actually directed large parts of the movie. However, apart from
several statements by Deodao himself (& he would claim that, wouldn't he)
there is little evidence to substantiate those rumours.