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Western films, from silent to today

Django Unchained (2012)

Django (2012) DVD coverDr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), a bounty hunter posing as a dentist, is on the trail of the three Brittle brothers. Problem is, he can’t identify them. So he frees a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who certainly can recognize them. He and his wife where once whipped by the brothers after being captured as runaways.

They track down the Brittle brothers, sure enough; Django kills two himself. Then they fend off marauding KKK members who don’t take kindly to their actions. And so a partnership is formed. Besides, Schultz feels a kinship with Django; his wife is named Broomhilda, taken from a German legend of a woman badly in need of rescue. And Django’s Broomhilda is badly in need of rescue; they were sold separately and she’s working on a plantation somewhere in Mississippi.

So after a winter spent collecting bounties on a wide assortment of bad guys, Schultz and Django set off to find Broomhilda. Turns out she was sold to a rich plantation owner named Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), owner of Candy Land. How to get her back? The two concoct a scheme in which they pose as two men looking to find a top-notch Mandingo fighter. Then they flashed $12,000 to get Candie’s attention.

But rescuing Broomhilda won’t prove nearly as easy as collecting all those bounties.

Rating 6 of 6Review:

Thank you, Quentin Tarantino, for giving us a Spaghetti Western in 2012. The music is borrowed; fans of the genre will surely recognize many of their favorites. The plot is fresh. And though they were known for their violence, never was so much fake blood spilled in the Spaghetti West.

Among the memorable moments — King Schultz showing up in his dentist wagon, a tooth bobbing on top. Turns out that tooth is where he stashes his money and his booze. The aforementioned KKK raid, complete with a long discussion over KKK hats with holes for the eyes that don’t work quite right. Django practicing his six-gun skills by shooting at a snowman.

Once our heroes reach Candy Land, a couple more plot twists are in store. But once Candie realizes what the two men are up to, the clever plot twists end and the mandatory Tarantino blood-letting begins.

The director has a cameo, as one of three men escorting slave rejects to a mining camp. So does the original Django, Franco Nero; he plays the owner of a losing Mandingo fighter. We also get appearances from the likes of Russ Tamblyn, Lee Horsley and Bruce Dern.

But it’s the three leads who carry the day. Waltz is wonderful as usual. DiCaprio is convincingly evil and racist. Django is a man on a mission, and if collecting bounties by killing white outlaws is the way to get there — well, he won’t complain one little bit about that.

Directed by:
Quentin Tarantino

Cast:
Jamie Foxx … Django
Christoph Waltz … Dr. King Schultz
Leonardo DiCaprio … Calvin Candie
Kerry Washington … Broomhilda
Samuel L. Jackson .. Stephen
Walton Goggins … Billy Crash
Dennis Christopher .. Leonide Moguy
James Remar … Butch Pooch
David Steen … Mr. Stonesipher
Dana Gourrier … Cora
Nichol Galicia … Sheba
Laura Cayouette … Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly
Ato Essandoh … D’Artagnan
Sammi Rotibi … Rodney
Don Johnson … Big Daddy
Franco Nero … Amerigo Vessepi
James Russo … Dicky Speak

Runtime: 165 min.

Memorable lines:

John Brittle to Django, as Broomhilda is being whipped: “I like the way you beg, boy.”

Django to John Brittle after shooting him: “I like the way you die, boy.”

Schultz: I trust, as a representative of the criminal justice system of the United States of American, I shan’t be shot down in the street by either you or your deputies before I’ve had my day in court.”
Marshal Gill Tatum: “You mean like you did our sheriff. Shot him down like a dog in the street.”
Schultz: “That’s exactly what I mean. Do I have your word as a lawman not to shoot me down like a dog in the street?”
The marshal: “Well, much as we’d all enjoy seeing something like that, ain’t nobody gonna cheat the hangman in my town.”

Williard, member of vigilante gang in KKK hoods: “I watched my wife work all day getting 30 bags together for you ungrateful sons of bitches and all I can hear is criticize, criticize, criticize.”
Big Daddy, plantation owner: “Look, now. Let’s not forget why we’re here. We got to kill a n—-er over that hill there. And we gotta make a lesson out of them.”
Vigilante #2: “I’m confused. Are the bags on or off?”
Yet another: “I think, we all think, the bags was a nice idea. But not pointing any fingers, they could have been done better. So how about, no bags this time. But next time, we do the bags right and then we go full regalia.”
Big Daddy: “Wait a minute, I didn’t say no bags.”
Vigilante #2: “But nobody can see?”
Big Daddy: “So?”
Vigilante #2: “So it’d be nice to see.”
Big Daddy: “God dammit, this is a raid. I can’t see. You can’t see. All that matters is can the f–king horses see.”

Amerigo Vesseppi: “What’s your name?”
Django: “Django.”
Vesseppi: “Can you spell it?”
Django: “D-J-A-N-G-O. The D is silent.”
Vesseppi: “I know.”

Django, upon first seeing Hildy at Candy Land: “Hey, little trouble maker.
Hildy faints.
Dr. King Schultz, to Django: “You silver-tongued devil, you.”

Stephen: “They’re gonna work you, all day every day, til your back give out. Then they’re gonna hit you in the head with a hammer and throw your ass down the n—er hole. And that will be the story of you, Django.”

Django: “All you black folks, I suggest you get away from all these white folks. Not you Stephen. You’re right where you belong.”

Stephen: “I count six shots, n—er.”
Django, drawing a second gun: “I count two guns, n—er.”

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