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Django

Italy / Spain 1966
produced by
Manolo Bolognini, Sergio Corbucci for B.R.C. Produzione, Tecisa
directed by Sergio Corbucci
starring Franco Nero, Loredana Nusciak, José Bodalo, Angel Alvarez, Eduardo Fajardo, Jimmy Douglas, Simone Arrag, Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia, Erik Schippers, Raphael Albaicin, José Canalescas
story by Sergio Corbucci, Bruno Corbucci, Franco Rossetti, screenplay by Sergio Corbucci, Bruno Corbucci, Franco Rossetti, José Gutiérrez Maesso, Piero Vivarelli, music by Luis Enríquez Bacalov, assistant director: Ruggero Deodato, cinematography by Enzo Barboni (= E.B. Clutcher)

Django

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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 counterparts.

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.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD