It could be argued that most Spaghetti Westerns could also be classified as Gothic Westerns (Roman Catholic imagery, Hammer Films-like shooting and editing styles, the dark, foreboding music), but most would agree that Django is especially so. From the opening scene containing Django dragging a coffin across the plains to the climatic shootout in a cemetery (where Django must fire his revolver despite stigmata-type wounds), Django howls along as one of the darkest, most violent westerns ever. It has been said if Sergio Leone was Italy’s John Ford then Sergio Corbucci was it’s Sam Peckinpah.
Django is directed and co-written by Corbucci, starring Franco Nero as the title character alongside Loredana Nusciak, José Bódalo, Ángel Álvarez and Eduardo Fajardo. The film follows a Union soldier-turned-drifter and his companion, a mixed-race prostitute, who has become embroiled in a bitter, destructive feud between a gang of Confederate racists and a band of Mexican revolutionaries. In an intended similarity to Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, Corbucci’s film is, like Leone’s, considered to be a loose, unofficial adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s Yojimbo.
The film earned a reputation as one of the most violent films ever made at the time, and was subsequently refused a certificate in the United Kingdom until 1993, when it was issued an 18 certificate (the film was downgraded to a 15 certificate in 2004). A commercial success upon release, Django has garnered a large cult following outside of Italy and is widely regarded as one of the best films of the Spaghetti Western genre, with the direction, Nero’s role, and Luis Bacalov’s soundtrack most frequently being praised. You can get this classic HERE.
Although the name is referenced in over thirty “sequels” from the time of the film’s release until the early 1970s in an effort to capitalize on the success of the original, most of these films were unofficial, featuring neither Corbucci nor Nero. Nero reprised his role as Django in 1987’s Django Strikes Again, the only official sequel produced with Corbucci’s involvement. Nero also made a cameo appearance in Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 film Django Unchained, an homage to Corbucci’s original. John Sayles is working on a third official installment in the film series, with Nero reprising his role.