A man dressed in all black arrives at a muddy, vaguely gothic, and all too quiet of a town while dragging a coffin with a rope. When asked his name, he says Django. When asked what’s in the coffin, he says Django.
Despite being made in 1966 Django is a fun and relevant piece of film making. It’s not as much of a spaghetti western as other products of this time of film making are.There is quite a bit of Raider of the Lost Ark to it in the way that a series of mini adventures serve as the back drop for story arc of the main character, Django. Director Sergio Corbucci was about twenty years into his directorial career by the time he made Django, and while he has some solid films that have aged well both prior and post Django, none of them spoke to as wide of an audience. This is a movie than one could easily enjoy and understand with the sound turned off, which is something that most directors strive for but don’t always achieve. Sergio Leone’s A Fist Full of Dollars and A Few Dollars More precede this movie, and there are times where Corbucci takes Leon’s cinematic style and pulls off something bigger. For my money, on this film, Corbucci was a better director here than Leon was on any of his films, even though there is quite a bit that Corbucci is outright robbing from Leon. If you can do it better than the guy that invented it, then a little bit of artistic thievery is forgivable.
Even the minor characters in this film are shot with integrity, and you’re often left wanting just a little bit more in the sense that if the film actually became entirely about some of these characters, rather than the quest of Django, that wouldn’t be so bad.
Franco Nero plays Django as a calm menace. You wouldn’t want to hang with his character, as it might get you killed, but taking a few notes from afar and applying it in the right situations could be quite lucrative.