Inspiration is a great thing. Inspiration can generate the right amount of spark to get someone going, it can be what is needed to initiate a series of creative outputs. The 1966 film, Django is inspiration. We can say this because it was such an influential film when it came out, that it would even go on to influence and inspire some unborn directors, like Robert Rodriguez, and his Mexico Trilogy. Other directors like Quentin Tarantino, would also be influenced later in life, by this Spaghetti Western masterpiece.
First lets take a look at it’s director, Sergio Corbucci. Sergio Corbucci, not to be confused with Sergio Leone, is considered to have set a new level of violence and sadism in the spaghetti western genre. Django is a violent film, and even watching it today, I got a shock, when I watched the ‘ear’ scene. Here is were this film demonstrates why it is one of the greats, because it wasn’t afraid to innovate and try new things. The body count for this film is 138. The highest for it’s time, by far, and even today it lists among the highest. Sergio Corbucci does no sugar coating here, no doubt he was also inspired by the neo-realism films of his fellow Italian film-makers in the 40’s.
Franco Nero’s first lead role was Django. For an actor to become best known for their very first lead role, is a formidable achievement, to say the least. His performance as Django inspired so many other films, that there are over thirty other films that use the name ‘Django’, although none are official sequels. Now a days, Django’s tagline is, “The Movie that spawned a genre.” Franco Nero is as convincing as Clint Eastwood in the Dollars Trilogy.
Luis Bacalov is an amazing composer. If Sergio Leone is to Sergio Corbucci, then Ennio Morrincone is to Luis Bacalov. Luis has won an Oscar, and has a second Oscar nomination under his belt, in addition he has composed for over 150 films, and counting! I think that here is where a major source of inspiration can be found for Quentin Tarantino. Django Unchained is not strictly a remake of Django, but rather is more like a tribute to it. Luis Bacalov’s opening theme for Django is also used in Django Unchained, and Franco Nero also has a cameo in the film. Luis Bacalov and Quentin Tarantino’s collaborations don’t end there, Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2 both use Luis Bacalov’s music.
Django is seen dragging a coffin, and as soon as you see this, all you want to know is, what is in it!? This device is very clever, and if you haven’t seen Django, rest assured, you will not be disappointed, the reveal is worth the wait!
There is a lot of significance to this film, and all avid Film Munchers should consider watching this film. It’s because of Django that we have the Mexico Trilogy, by Robert Rodriguez, and its because of Django that we have Django Unchained. Let Django inspire you!
TRIVIA COOKIES: The name Django is pronounced Jango, ‘the D is silent’, as Franco Nero clarifies in his cameo during Django Unchained.
The name was also taken from guitar jazz musician Django Reinhardt, who although having crippled hands was able to overcome his disability and play masterfully. The conclusion to Django reveals the relevance to this.