Film Reviews Cat

Django (1966)

7.0/10

“Django” is a Spaghetti Western movie about a gunslinger who is on a mission to cleanse the town of evil. He drags his own coffin with him wherever he goes, and does so with a very good reason.

The premise of this movie is an extremely common theme within the Spaghetti Western genre. However, what makes “Django” unique is the execution of this premise. Django’s coffin is extremely dramatic in nature and contains a big secret which pushes this movie towards the limits of the Spaghetti Western genre. I asked myself if this is fringe Spaghetti Western, or a war movie because of all the specific events that happened. Maybe it’s a mix of both, but it is extremely entertaining because it allows for some great scenes. By the way, if you are looking for a more classical approach to this genre then you have to look for a different movie because it is very bombastic. And I use the term “bombastic” as a positive attribute because it is very refreshing.

The elements which were unique and interesting are the manner in which the bad guys were portrayed. Now, there were many different bad guys, but the clan which wears the red hood, or scarf is visually very interesting. You have to see the camera shots in which they appeared to fully understand the impact of the greyish background and the red hooded clan. It makes them stand out, and they look more fierce. It also signifies the blood that they spilled. Moreover, there are also Mexican bandits which are the rivals of this ‘red clan’. It is the balance between different factions that makes this movie so interesting. They all have their own objective, and it is within this setting that Django has to maneuver himself, and the people of the town, towards a positive outcome. Additionally, this film is not predictable because of the key element which makes this movie so interesting. 

However, one could make the argument that “Django” is way over the top because any form of realism is thrown out of the window. I would even suggest that this might have been the beginning of the end for the entire Spaghetti Western genre. The reason behind this is that if you need to make a movie this bombastic, and over the top then everything else has already been written. Alternatively, the interest of the audience has shifted already towards war movies, and therefore you have to change the entire genre as well. It also might be related to the Vietnam war, and the need to cover war like action. But this is purely speculation, and not based on solid research. Anyway, it is definitely a sign that action packed movies, which contain a high amount of gunfire, were about to emerge. And to clarify, this is not something negative because it established the ability to keep the audience focused for the duration of the entire film. One could make the argument that people prior to the 1990’s had a better attention span. However, I really think that intense gun action keeps anyone glued to the screen because of the ‘fear of missing out’.

Therefore, I think this movie is a perfect transition movie for the entire Western genre. A hybrid between Western, and war movies which portrays specific events as pure entertainment instead of drama. It is interesting to analyze these things but it’s not the purpose of this review. The main reason why you should watch “Django” is because this is a great Western movie, and a Spaghetti Western in particular. You don’t have to worry about bad actors, or bad scenes. However, I do think that the second shot, in which we see Django drag his coffin, could have been more stable and wide. Ideally I don’t see a shot making continuous minor adjustments to keep the protagonist inside the frame of the camera lens. A much wider shot would have been better. But enough about these technical details because that was just one specific scene.     

Directed by 

Sergio Corbucci

Writing Credits  

Sergio Corbucci(story) &
Bruno Corbucci(story)
 
Sergio Corbucci(screenplay) &
Bruno Corbucci(screenplay)
 
Franco Rossetti(screenplay in collaboration with) and
Piero Vivarelli(screenplay in collaboration with)
 
Geoffrey Copleston(English version by) (as G. Copleston)
 
Fernando Di Leo(screenplay collaborator) (uncredited)
José Gutiérrez Maesso(screenplay collaborator) (uncredited)
Ryûzô Kikushima(screenplay “Yojimbo”) (uncredited)

Cast:
Franco NeroDjango
José BódaloGen. Hugo Rodriguez (as José Bodalo)
Loredana NusciakMaria
Ángel ÁlvarezNathaniel the Bartender (as Angel Alvarez)
Gino PerniceBrother Jonathan (as Jimmy Douglas)

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