Director: Sergio Corbucci
Writer: Sergio Corbucci, Piero Vivarelli, Bruno Corbucci, José Gutiérrez Maesso, Franco Rossetti
Producer: Sergio Corbucci, Manolo Bolognini
Cast: Franco Nero, José Bódalo, Loredana Nusciak
Running Time: 97 min.
By JJ Hatfield
“Django” (no not the jazz great) may be considered amongst the “spaghetti westerns” seeing that it was made in Italy and helmed by Sergio Corbucci , with Bruno Corbucci and made Franco Nero a name associated with stardom. “Django” (1966) should really be categorized as a sub genre, with movies such as a “Fistful Of Dollars” (1964) and “A Few Dollars More” (1965) setting the standard. “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly” (1966) is in a class all of it’s own.
“Django” makes typical western’s look like kids playing cowboys. This is no Sergio Leone film, make no mistake. “Django” is balls to the wall action from beginning to end. Unlike most westerns there is no real hero to be found here. This is an over the top, extremely graphic violent powerhouse of a movie that still is censored in some countries, and was even banned in the UK up until 1993. Some versions were edited (Spain and several other countries) and was never rated in the US.
“Django” travels alone dragging a coffin filled with who knows what. He doesn’t have any particular destination other than the next encounter when he unleashes hell on those who provoke him. And Django provokes rather easily much to the audiences delight! Franco Nero really owes this film a tribute for launching him into stardom. He is the perfect “Django”! And that is really all you need to know. There is very little exposition and you won’t find many answers about how or why he lives such a life. But there is no idle time to ponder such things.
“Django” is full tilt brutal with action that doesn’t stop until the end of the movie! Django is one of those films that likely would never be made in the current day politically correct atmosphere. The villains and the not so bad villains are difficult to separate by actions. If the villains were “Italians” this movie would have never made a pitch. The explosive violence however is not gratuitous, it is the movie! No one would pronounce this a fine film but it is one great ass kicking of an entertaining movie!
Of course there is a little more to the story, including two different gangs in a near ghost town, a map, some gold, bigotry, betrayal…but it is the unashamed no hesitation brutality and savagery that is the movie. And what makes it great! There are no forgettable scenes in this one. Images stay with the viewer a lifetime. The photography/cinema director leaves us with sharp memories and some great performances, in and amongst the major battles.
“Django” is a movie you should own. If possible get the Blue Underground versions which is uncensored and unedited. The last major screening was in Italy in the 2007 Venice Film Festival which started a slow but increasing demand for the movie. The third and final reason you should see “Django” is because it is a real blast!
JJ Hatfield’s Rating: 8/10