Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 15th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: Italy, 1966
Director: Sergio Corbucci
Writers: Sergio Corbucci, Bruno Corbucci, José Gutiérrez Maesso, Franco Rossetti, Piero Vivarelli
Cast: Franco Nero, José Bódalo, Loredana Nusciak, Ángel Álvarez, Gino Pernice, Simón Arriaga, Giovanni Ivan, Remo De Angelis, Rafael Albaicín, José Canalejas, Eduardo Fajardo, Silvana Bacci, Lucio De Santis, Cris Huerta, Guillermo Méndez, Luciano Rossi, José Terrón, Rafael Vaquero
BluRay released: May 25th, 2010
Approximate running time: 92 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English, DTS-HD Mono Italian
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
BluRay Release: Blue Underground
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Django was co-written and directed by Sergio Corbucci, who’s other notable contributions to the Spaghetti Western genre include Minnesota Clay, Navajo Joe, Hellbenders, The Mercenary, The Great Silence and Companeros. The cinematographer on Django was Enzo Barboni who would go onto directed a several standout Spaghetti Western / Comedy hybrids like They Call Me Trinity and Trinity Is Still My Name. The score Django was composed by Luis Enríquez Bacalov, who’s other notable scores include A Bullet for the General, The Designated Victim, Summertime Killer, Milano calibro 9 and The Grand Duel.
Structure and story wise Django bears many similarities to Sergio Leone’s a Fistful of Dollars. Both film’s feature gunslingers who find themselves caught in the middle a two feuding entities. In the case of Django there are the Mexicans on one side and a sadistic gang of hood wearing thugs who work for a man named Major Jackson. The main difference between the two film’s is that Django doesn’t pit the two feuding entities against each other. He single handedly takes out all of Major Jackson’s men when he reveals what he has hidden in the coffin he drags around. The only alliance that he makes is with the Mexican’s who he gets them to help him steal some gold. Which he then steals from them. To pay Django back for stealing the gold, the Mexicans break his hands by having their horses stomp on them. This also sets up the film’s final duel in which Django faces off against Major Jackson (who Django let live earlier in the film), who has rounded up a new posse of assassins.
When compared to its contemporaries Django stands out as one of the most violent film’s to emerge out of the Spaghetti Western genre. Some of the film’s notable violent set pieces include a woman who is whipped by Mexicans, a preacher who has his ear cut off and the aforementioned scene where Django has his hands crushed by horses.
Franco Nero is cast in the film’s lead role of Django. He gives a brooding performance that carries the film. Django is the first of three Spaghetti Westerns that Franco Nero starred in that were directed by Sergio Corbucci. The other two film’s are The Mercenary and Companeros. Another performance of note is Luciano Rossi (Death Walks at Midnight) in one of his first film’s doing what he does best playing a menacing character.
Django comes on a 50 GB dual layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Django has been release twice before on DVD by Blue Underground. The transfer for this release comes from the same source that was used for the two DVD releases from Blue Underground. Also just like the previous release from Blue Underground this release opens with a disclaimer that the film was transferred from the original negative which has some instances of age related print damage. When compared to previous home video releases of Django, this transfer boasts stronger colors, black levels and details look sharper than they ever have on home video. There are no problems with compression, edge enhancement or DNR. All things consider this is most likely as good as this film is going to look on home video.
This release comes with two audio options, DTS-HD Mono English and DTS-HD Mono Italian. Both audio mixes sound clear and balanced throughout. Range wise neither ever come close to sounding robust. Removable English SDH, French and Spanish subtitles have been included.
The bulk of the extras included on Blue Underground’s included from their previous DVD releases of Django have been carried over, with only a booklet with liner notes, the poster & still galleries and text bio’s for Sergio Corbucci and Franco Nero, not being carried over from the previous release. Extras for this release include a intro to the film with Franco Nero, the film’s International trailer(2 minutes 55 seconds) and Italian trailer (3 minutes 47 seconds), a short film starring Franco Nero titled “The Last Pistolero” (9 minutes 39 seconds), a Spaghetti Western documentary from 1968 titled “Western, Italian Style” (38 minutes 1 second) and a featurette titled “Django: The One and Only” (13 minutes 27 seconds), which includes interviews with Franco Nero and Ruggero Deodato. The featurette with Franco Nero and Ruggero Deodato contains many great stories like how Franco Nero got the role of Django, why all the extras were red hoods and both men discuss working with Sergio Corbucci. The Spaghetti Western documentary Western, Italian Style features behind the scenes footage from The Great Silence, One Dollar Too Many, Go Kill Everybody and Come Back Alone and Run Man Run. The two trailers are the only extras that are presented in a 1080P. The rest of the extras are presented in a standard definition. Overall Django is another strong BluRay release from Blue Underground.