Django Unchained (2012)

R | 165 mins | Western | 2012

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HISTORY

In a 19 Dec 2012 Village Voice interview, writer-director Quentin Tarantino stated that he wrote the first scene of Django Unchained in 2009, while promoting the release of his film Inglourious Basterds (2009, see entry) in Japan. At the time, Tarantino was working on a book about Sergio Corbucci, an Italian film director known for “Spaghetti Westerns,” a subgenre of Westerns generally associated with Italian directors working in the 1960s and 1970s. At a Japanese record store, Tarantino found numerous soundtracks for Spaghetti Western films that had been reissued, and between writing the book and listening to the soundtracks, his screenplay for Django Unchained was heavily influenced by the Spaghetti Western genre.
       According to production notes from AMPAS library files, actor Christoph Waltz read the script frequently throughout its development, visiting Tarantino’s home to read various drafts aloud to the writer-director. In keeping with Tarantino’s desire to create a slave story in the style of a Spaghetti Western, the film’s lead character “Django” was named after the main character in the seminal 1966 Spaghetti Western film, Django. Franco Nero, who played the title role in Django, made a cameo appearance in Django Unchained.
       The script was finished in late Apr 2011. A 9 May 2011 DV item stated that Will Smith was Tarantino’s first choice to play “Django” and the writer-director had written the role “with Smith in mind,” although the actor would have to waive his usual rate of $20 million to take part in the project. Smith eventually passed on the role, as stated in a 23 Jun 2011 DV ... More Less

In a 19 Dec 2012 Village Voice interview, writer-director Quentin Tarantino stated that he wrote the first scene of Django Unchained in 2009, while promoting the release of his film Inglourious Basterds (2009, see entry) in Japan. At the time, Tarantino was working on a book about Sergio Corbucci, an Italian film director known for “Spaghetti Westerns,” a subgenre of Westerns generally associated with Italian directors working in the 1960s and 1970s. At a Japanese record store, Tarantino found numerous soundtracks for Spaghetti Western films that had been reissued, and between writing the book and listening to the soundtracks, his screenplay for Django Unchained was heavily influenced by the Spaghetti Western genre.
       According to production notes from AMPAS library files, actor Christoph Waltz read the script frequently throughout its development, visiting Tarantino’s home to read various drafts aloud to the writer-director. In keeping with Tarantino’s desire to create a slave story in the style of a Spaghetti Western, the film’s lead character “Django” was named after the main character in the seminal 1966 Spaghetti Western film, Django. Franco Nero, who played the title role in Django, made a cameo appearance in Django Unchained.
       The script was finished in late Apr 2011. A 9 May 2011 DV item stated that Will Smith was Tarantino’s first choice to play “Django” and the writer-director had written the role “with Smith in mind,” although the actor would have to waive his usual rate of $20 million to take part in the project. Smith eventually passed on the role, as stated in a 23 Jun 2011 DV brief, and Jamie Foxx was cast in his place. Other actors who were mentioned as possible cast members but who did not appear in the film included: RZA, the composer for Tarantino’s Kill Bill – Vol. 1 (2003, see entry), who was set to play a slave as stated in a 3 Nov 2011 DV item; Joseph Gordon-Levitt, rumored to be joining the cast in a 24 Oct 2011 DV item; and Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell, who were both mentioned in connection to the same role by a 4 Oct 2011 DV brief. Additionally, a 14 Nov 2011 DV news item stated that Tarantino had written a character named “Scotty” for actor Sacha Baron Cohen; however, neither Cohen nor the character made it into the final version.
       Principal photography began 28 Nov 2011. As stated in production notes, Melody Ranch in Santa Clarita, CA, which was once owned by Gene Autry and a popular filming site for Westerns such as the television series Gunsmoke and High Noon (1952, see entry), served as a location. Filming also took place at Simi Valley, CA’s Big Sky Ranch, and outside Long Pine, CA. When shooting in Mammoth, CA, was cancelled due to lack of snow, the production moved to Jackson, WY, to capture winter scenes. The location that doubled as the plantation owned by Don Johnson’s character, “Spencer ‘Big Daddy’ Bennett,” was Evergreen Plantation outside New Orleans, LA. Evergreen also served as the filming site for the slave quarters shown in the film, while the interior of “Calvin Candie’s” plantation home was built on a soundstage at Second Line Studio in New Orleans. After a final portion of filming in Los Angeles, CA, production ended 24 Jul 2012.
       According to the 19 Dec 2012 Village Voice article, the production budget exceeded $80 million. During principal photography, Tarantino agreed to forgo some of his profit participation in exchange for three extra weeks of shooting. Due to the extended production period, post-production was shortened to a four-month schedule. Adding to the difficulty, Tarantino was forced to work for the first time without his longtime editor, Sally Menke, who died in Sep 2010. Having collaborated with Menke on each of his previous films, Tarantino likened her contribution to “that of a co-writer.”
       Critical reception was mixed. In his 25 Dec 2012 Chicago Tribune review, Michael Phillips complained about the film’s two-hour-forty-five-minute length and erratic pacing. Betsy Sharkey in the 24 Dec 2012 LAT acknowledged that some scenes went on too long; however, she claimed the film was Tarantino’s “most articulate, intriguing, provoking, appalling…and downright entertaining film yet.” In his 25 Dec 2012 NYT review, A. O. Scott called the film “a troubling and important movie about slavery and racism.”
       A 7 Jan 2013 LAT article announced that Django Unchained had taken in $106.4 million in box-office receipts to date.
       The film was named as one of AFI’s Movies of the Year and received the following Academy Awards: Writing (Original Screenplay), and Actor in a Supporting Role (Christoph Waltz). The film was also nominated for Academy Awards in the following categories: Best Picture; Cinematography; and Sound Editing. Django Unchained was also honored with two Golden Globe Awards: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Christoph Waltz); and Best Screenplay - Motion Picture. Additional Golden Globe nominations included: Best Motion Picture – Drama; Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Leonardo DiCaprio); and Best Director – Motion Picture.
       Production designer J. Michael Riva passed away 7 Jun 2012 during filming in New Orleans, LA, as stated in production notes.
       The end credits include the following written acknowledgements: "The filmmakers would like to thank all of the talented crew that supported this film in California and Wyoming"; "Special thanks to Jane Boddie; Dr. Joseph Horrigan; Union Pacific Railroad; St. John the Pabtist Parish, Natalie Robottom, President"; and "This product was partially filmed in Wyoming, Special thanks to the Wyoming Film Office and Wyoming's film industry financial incentive, www.FilmWyoming.com." More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Chicago Tribune
25 Dec 2012
p. 1.
Daily Variety
9 May 2011
p. 1, 10.
Daily Variety
23 Jun 2011.
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Daily Variety
29 Sep 2011.
---
Daily Variety
4 Oct 2011.
---
Daily Variety
24 Oct 2011.
---
Daily Variety
3 Nov 2011.
---
Daily Variety
14 Nov 2011.
---
Los Angeles Times
24 Dec 2012
Section D, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
7 Jan 2013
Section D, p. 1.
New York Times
25 Dec 2012
Section C, p. 1.
Village Voice
19 Dec 2012.
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CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
And with the friendly participation of
Guest starring the Speck brothers:
as
The townsfolk of Daughtrey:
as
The Brittle brothers:
The trackers:
[and]
LeQuint Dickey Mining Co. employees:
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
The Weinstein Company and Columbia Pictures Present
A Film by Quentin Tarantino
DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst A cam
2d asst A cam
2d asst cam
Steadicam op
Loader
Clapper "cam angel"
Best boy elec
Senior set lighting
Set lighting
Set lighting
Set lighting
Set lighting
Genny op
Dimmer board op
Rigging gaffer
Rigging best boy
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Rigging elec
Key grip
Best boy grip
Best boy grip, New Orleans
Dolly grip
Crane tech
Rigging key grip
Best boy rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Rigging grip
Still photog
Best boy elec, California & Wyoming unit
Best boy grip, California & Wyoming unit
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Supv art dir
Art dir
Art dir
Asst art dir
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Ed prod asst
SET DECORATORS
Prop master
Asst prop master
Props buyer
Props asst
Set des
Set des
Set dec
Set dec buyer
Leadman
Drapery master
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dec coord
Greens foreman
Greens foreman
Greens foreman
Key armorer
Senior armorer
Const coord
Gen foreman
Toolman
Paint foreman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Cost supv
Principal/Stunt cost
Key principal cost
Key principal cost
Key principal cost
Personal cost for Mr. Foxx
Personal cost for Mr. Waltz
Personal cost for Mr. DiCaprio
Personal cost for Mr. Jackson
Principal set cost
Principal set cost
Principal set cost
MUSIC
Django theme
Mus supv
Mus ed
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Supv sd ed
Rerec mixer
Rerec mixer
Sd eff des
Dial & ADR supv
Eff ed
Eff ed
Eff ed
Dial ed
Foley artist
Foley artist
Asst re-rec mixer
Dubbing stage eng
Post sd provided by
Boom op
Utility sd tech
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff ed
Spec eff supv
Spec eff foreman
Spec eff foreman
Title des
Visual eff des
Visual eff supv, Rhythm & Hues Studios
MAKEUP
Head of dept, Make-up
Head of dept, Hair
Asst head of dept, Makeup
Asst head of dept, Make-up
Asst head of dept, Hair
Hair artist for Mr. Foxx
Hair artist for Mr. DiCaprio
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hair artist
Hair artist
Spec make-up eff provided by
Spec make-up eff supv, KNB EFX
Key spec make-up eff, KNB EFX
Spec make-up eff, KNB EFX
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod supv
Prod supv
Scr supv
Post prod supv
Film asst
Film asst
ADR voice casting
Prod coord
Asst prod coord
Prod secy
Prod secy
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Key set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Asst to Mr. Tarantino
Asst to Ms. Sher, Ms. Savone & Mr. Skotchdopole
Asst to Ms. Sher, Ms. Savone & Mr. Skotchdopole
Asst to Mr. Hudlin
Asst to Mr. Foxx
Asst to Mr. Waltz
Asst & security to Mr. DiCaprio
Asst to Mr. Jackson
Prod controller
1st asst accountant
Loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Asst loc mgr
Loc coord
New Orleans casting
Extras casting
Key extras casting asst
Extras casting asst
Extras casting asst
Dialect coach for Mr. DiCaprio
Quick draw expert
Boss wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Wrangler
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Animal trainer
Unit pub
Transportation coord
Transportation capt
Prod supv, California & Wyoming unit
Prod coord, California & Wyoming unit
Asst prod coord, California & Wyoming unit
Loc mgr, California & Wyoming unit
Loc mgr, Wyoming, California & Wyoming unit
Extras casting, Wyoming, California & Wyoming unit
Transportation coord, California & Wyoming unit
A Band Apart legal provided by
Prod legal provided by
Rights and clearances
Rights and clearances, Entertainment Clearances
Rights and clearances, Entertainment Clearances
Exec in charge of physical prod, For the Weinstein
Exec in charge of bus and legal affairs, For the W
Exec in charge of bus and legal affairs, For the W
Exec in charge of bus and legal affairs, For the W
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Django, Stunt double
Dr. King Schultz, Stunt double
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stunt performer
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
Stand-in
COLOR PERSONNEL
Digital intermediate services
Digital intermediate col, EFILM
Digital intermediate col, EFILM
Digital intermediate col asst, EFILM
SOURCES
SONGS
"Django Theme Song (English Version)," written by Luis Bacalov, performed by Luis Bacalov, Rocky Roberts, courtesy of EMI General Music Publishing SRL
"Ancora Qui," written by Ennio Morricone and Elisa Toffoli, sung by Elisa, courtesy of Sugar SRL
"Rito Finale," composed by Ennio Morricone, conducted by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai, Universal Music Publishing Records, S.R.L.
+
SONGS
"Django Theme Song (English Version)," written by Luis Bacalov, performed by Luis Bacalov, Rocky Roberts, courtesy of EMI General Music Publishing SRL
"Ancora Qui," written by Ennio Morricone and Elisa Toffoli, sung by Elisa, courtesy of Sugar SRL
"Rito Finale," composed by Ennio Morricone, conducted by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai, Universal Music Publishing Records, S.R.L.
"The Braying Mule," words, music and performed by Ennio Morricone (from Two Mules for Sister Sara ), courtesy of Universal Studios
"Main Titles Theme Song (Lo Chiamavano King)," written by Luis Bacalov, performed by Luis Bacalov, Edda Dell'Orso, courtesy of EMI General Music Publishing SRL
"Norme Con Ironie," composed by Ennio Morricone, conducted by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai, courtesy of Universal Music Publishing Records S.R.L.
"Gavotte," arranged and interpreted by Grace Collins
"Town of Silence," written and performed by Luis Bacalov, courtesy of EMI General Music Publishing SRL
"Town of Silence (2nd Version)," written and performed by Luis Bacalov, courtesy of EMI General Music Publishing SRL
"Freedom," written by Elayna Boynton, Kelvin Wooten, Anthony Hamilton, performed by Anthony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton, Elayna Boynton appears courtesy of Woodaworx, Inc., Anthony Hamilton appears courtesy of RCA Records, by arrangement with Sony Music Entertainment
"La Corsa (2nd Version)," written and performed by Luis Bacalov, courtesy of EMI General Music Publishing SRL
"I Got a Name," written by Charles Fox and Norman Gimble, performed by Jim Croce, courtesy of Lastrada Entertainment/Rhino Independent, by arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
"Requiem (Verdi) – Prologue," music composed by Masamichi Amano, music performed by Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra (from Battle Royale ), courtesy of Toei Music Publishing Co. Ltd.
"I Giorni Dell'Ira," written by Riz Ortolani, conducted by Riz Ortolani, courtesy of Universal Music Publishing Records S.R.L.
"The Big Risk," written and performed by Ennio Morricone, courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Music, Inc.
"100 Black Coffins," written by Jamie Foxx and Rick Ross, performed by Rick Ross, courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
"Minacciosamente Lotano," written and performed by Ennio Morricone, courtesy of EMI General Music Publishing SRL
"Trackers Chant," inspired by Quentin Tarantino, encouraged by David Stern, James Parks, Michael Bowen, Bobby Carradine, Zoe Bell, Jake Garber, written by Ted Neeley, performed by Ted Neeley, Bruce Landon Yauger
"Nicaragua," written and performed by Jerry Goldsmith, featuring guest soloist Pat Metheny, courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Music Inc.
"Sister Sara's Theme," words, music and performed by Ennio Morricone (from Two Mules for Sister Sara ), courtesy of Universal Studios
"Blue Dark Waltz," written and performed by Luis Bacalov, courtesy of EMI General Music Publishing SRL
"Fur Elise," composed by Beethoven, arranged by Ashley Toman
"Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable)," performed by James Brown and 2Pac, mixed and edited by Claudio Cueni, "The Payback" as Performed by James Brown written by James Brown, Fred Wesley and John Starks, courtesy of Universal Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises
"Untouchable (Swizz Bratz Remix)," performed by 2Pac, written by Kasseem Dean, Yafeu Fula, Anthony Henderson, Tupac Shakur, Bruce Washington, courtesy of Amaru Entertainment/Interscope Records, under license from Universal Music Enterprises (incorporates dialogue Performed by Ace Speck/James Remar, Dr. King Schultz/Christoph Waltz and Django/Jamie Foxx)
"Freedom," written and performed by Richie Havens, courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
"Who Did That to You?," written by John Legend, Paul Epworth and James T. Shaw, performed by John Legend, courtesy of Columbia Records, by arrangment with Sony Music Licensing, (Contains a sample of "The Right to Love You" by The Mighty Hannibal, courtesy of Vine City Records)
"Ain't No Grave (Black Opium Remix)," traditional arrangement by John R. Cash and Claude Ely, performed by Johnny Cash, courtesy of American Recordings, LLC, under license from Universal Music Enterprises
"Too Old to Die Young," written by Dege Legg, performed by Brother Dege, courtesy of Golarwash Labs and Records LLC
"Un Monumento," written and performed by Ennio Morricone, courtesy of EMI General Music Publishing SRL
"Trinity: Titoli," written and composed by Franco Micalizzi, L. Stott, performed by Annibale E I Cantori Moderni, orchestra directed by M. Plenizio, ⓒ
1971 Carosello Records, Milano/West Edizioni Musicali, Roma (Italy)
"Dopo La Congiura," written and performed by Ennio Morricone, courtesy of EMI General Music Publishing SRL
"Ode to Django (The D Is Silent)," produced by RZA, co-produced by Trú James, instruments by RZA and Trú James, Stone Mecca Dialogue provided by RZA and Rev. William Burks, lyrics by RZA, inspired by Quentin Tarantino, courtesy of Wu Tang Productions (incorporates dialogue/narration from Django, directed by Sergio Corbucci, The Ugly Ones, directed by Eugenio Martín and Django Unchained with Christoph Waltz, Kim Robillard).
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
2012
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 25 December 2012
Production Date:
28 November 2011--24 July 2012
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
165
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Languages:
French, German, English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1858 Southern United States, Dr. King Schultz drives his dentist carriage through the woods in search of an African-American slave named Django. He stops two brothers, Dicky and Ace Speck, who are transporting five slaves, and determines which slave is Django. King interrogates Django, asking if he would recognize the Brittle brothers, and the slave confirms that he knows Big John, Lil Raj, and Ellis Brittle, as they were overseers at the Carrucan plantation where he used to work. King offers to buy Django from the Specks, but they refuse. When Ace draws his gun, King shoots him dead, then shoots Dicky’s horse so that it falls and pins Dicky to the ground. King throws money at Dicky, draws up a bill of sale for Django, and frees him from the iron shackles around his ankles. King then instructs Django to take the coat from Ace’s corpse and mount Ace’s horse. Before King and Django ride away, King suggests to the remaining four slaves that they kill Dicky and follow the North Star so they can start their lives anew in a Northern town. Soon after, in Daughtrey, Texas, townspeople gawk as King and Django ride through town, disturbed by the sight of an African-American man on a horse. King and Django go to a bar, where King threatens the bartender and tells him to fetch the sheriff. Drinking a beer, King explains to Django that he no longer practices dentistry and is now a bounty hunter. He plans to kill the Brittle brothers for a sizeable bounty and asks Django to enter into an agreement with him wherein Django identifies the men and King pays a portion ... +


In 1858 Southern United States, Dr. King Schultz drives his dentist carriage through the woods in search of an African-American slave named Django. He stops two brothers, Dicky and Ace Speck, who are transporting five slaves, and determines which slave is Django. King interrogates Django, asking if he would recognize the Brittle brothers, and the slave confirms that he knows Big John, Lil Raj, and Ellis Brittle, as they were overseers at the Carrucan plantation where he used to work. King offers to buy Django from the Specks, but they refuse. When Ace draws his gun, King shoots him dead, then shoots Dicky’s horse so that it falls and pins Dicky to the ground. King throws money at Dicky, draws up a bill of sale for Django, and frees him from the iron shackles around his ankles. King then instructs Django to take the coat from Ace’s corpse and mount Ace’s horse. Before King and Django ride away, King suggests to the remaining four slaves that they kill Dicky and follow the North Star so they can start their lives anew in a Northern town. Soon after, in Daughtrey, Texas, townspeople gawk as King and Django ride through town, disturbed by the sight of an African-American man on a horse. King and Django go to a bar, where King threatens the bartender and tells him to fetch the sheriff. Drinking a beer, King explains to Django that he no longer practices dentistry and is now a bounty hunter. He plans to kill the Brittle brothers for a sizeable bounty and asks Django to enter into an agreement with him wherein Django identifies the men and King pays a portion of the earnings to him. Afterward, King will allow Django to go free. As Sheriff Bill Sharp arrives, King shoots him dead and provides documentation to the town’s Marshall, Gill Tatum, to prove that Sharp was actually a fugitive named Willard Peck and King is owed two-hundred dollars for his capture. That night, King asks Django what he will do once he is free, and Django says he will find his wife, Broomhilda, and buy her freedom. King, who is from Germany, is astonished to learn that Broomhilda, though an African-American slave, was originally owned by a German family and speaks German. He is further shocked that Django and Broomhilda are husband and wife, as slaves are not legally allowed to marry. At a clothing shop, King tells Django that they will be traveling to several Tennessee plantations in search of the Brittle brothers, with Django pretending to be King’s valet. Allowed to pick out a new outfit for himself, Django selects a flamboyant blue coat with matching breeches and wears the ensemble with a large, white ribbon around his neck as the men enter “Big Daddy” Bennett’s plantation. There, King distracts Bennett, saying he plans to buy one of the African-American females on the plantation, while Django tours the grounds in search of the Brittle brothers. After spotting Ellis Brittle in the cotton fields, Django sees Big John and Lil Raj preparing to whip a female slave and recalls the time that the Brittles whipped Broomhilda when he and his wife tried to escape the Carrucan plantation. Angered by the memory, Django shoots Big John and Lil Raj despite King’s plans to kill the men himself. Once King arrives, Django points to Ellis in the fields and the bounty hunter shoots their final target with a long range rifle. Although King explains to Bennett that the Brittles were wanted criminals, Bennett orders King and Django to leave. That night, Bennett tracks down King and Django’s campsite and attacks it with a mob of men wearing white sacks over their heads; however, King foresaw the attack and rigged his carriage with dynamite. From a perch above the campsite, King and Django shoot at Bennett’s mob and the carriage, causing an explosion. Django uses the long range rifle to shoot Bennett as he flees, and King determines that he is a natural marksman. Later, King tells Django the classic German legend about a princess named Broomhilda, who was placed atop a mountain after disobeying her father. Although she was surrounded by a dragon and a circle of fire, a man named Siegfried saved her because he was not afraid. King offers to help Django find his Broomhilda, suggesting that they work together as a bounty hunting team over the winter. In the spring, King promises they will travel to Greenville, Mississippi, the slave-trading town where Broomhilda was sold at auction, to discover where she was sent. Django agrees and, throughout the winter, he practices target shooting and kills several wanted men alongside King. By springtime, King and Django arrive in Greenville and locate the sale ledger stating that Broomhilda was purchased by Calvin Candie, a young heir who runs the Candyland plantation. Because Broomhilda would not be worth enough money for Candie to bother selling her to King, he devises a scheme to gain access to Candyland, telling Django they must pretend to be a duo interested in “Mandingo fighting,” a brutal sport in which African-American slaves are forced to fight to the death. As Candie is a Mandingo enthusiast, King proposes that he approach Candie to buy one of his Mandingos, with Django posing as the “Mandingo expert” who will help King choose the best fighter. After King contacts Candie’s lawyer, they meet Candie at the Cleopatra Club, where he is overseeing a Mandingo fight. The brawl ends when the winning Mandingo, “Big Fred,” gouges out his opponent’s eyes and kills him with a hammer. Candie rewards Big Fred with a beer then joins King and Django at the bar. Baffled by the fact that Django, an African-American man, is treated as an equal by King, Candie interrogates him, but Django evades his questions. Although King makes excuses for his companion, Candie is intrigued by Django’s rebelliousness. The following day, King and Django travel to Candyland, along with Candie’s entourage, to check out Candie’s fighters. Riding onto the large estate, they come upon a Mandingo trying to escape. Candie reprimands the man, telling him that he has two more fights before he can quit, and although King tries to dissuade him from tormenting the slave, Candie orders an overseer to sic two dogs on him. The dogs kill the Mandingo before everyone’s eyes as Candie confronts Django, suggesting that King is not indifferent enough to participate in Mandingo fighting. However, Django assures Candie that King is simply unaccustomed to seeing humans killed by dogs and pretends to be unmoved by the sadistic display. As they arrive at Candie’s mansion, King requests to see Candie’s German-speaking slave before dinner, and Candie obliges, asking his head slave, Stephen, to fetch Broomhilda. Unbeknownst to Candie, Broomhilda tried to run away the previous night, so she is in a “hot box” in the yard. Wincing at the sight of his abused wife, Django watches the overseers take the naked Broomhilda from the hot box and deposit her in a wheelbarrow. That evening, Broomhilda is delivered to King’s room, where he speaks to her in German and explains that he and a mutual friend have come to rescue her. After she promises not to scream, King signals for Django to enter the room and Broomhilda faints upon seeing him. At dinner, Broomhilda serves Candie and his guests as King discusses “Eskimo Joe,” the Mandingo he wants to buy, agreeing to pay $12,000 for him. King promises to return in four days with his lawyer and mentions that he would also like to purchase Broomhilda. Meanwhile, Stephen detects Broomhilda’s familiarity with Django and pulls Candie aside to tell him that King and Django are lying. Stephen insists they only came to buy Broomhilda, not a Mandingo, and that she and Django must be in love. Candie returns to the dining room with a human skull, explaining that it belonged to Ben, Stephen’s father, a longtime slave at Candyland. Discussing phrenology, Candie asserts that African Americans are naturally submissive due to the anatomy of their brains. Suddenly, Candie’s guard, Butch Pooch, appears with a gun aimed at King and Django, and Candie tells King he has sussed out their plan. At gunpoint, Candie forces King to hand over $12,000 for Broomhilda. Soon after, Candie signs a bill of sale and presents King with Broomhilda’s freedom papers. The three attempt to leave, but Candie insists that King shakes his hand first. Infuriated, King produces a gun from inside his sleeve and shoots Candie dead. Pooch responds by shooting and killing King, and Django takes up arms, firing at the overseers as they flood the mansion. Out of ammunition, Django surrenders when Billy Crash, the head overseer, holds Broomhilda hostage. The next day, Django is sold to the LeQuint Dickey Mining Company. On the way there, Django gets the attention of the LeQuint Dickey employees who are transporting him, lying that there is a gang of wanted fugitives back at Candyland with a bounty of $11,500 on their heads. Django presents them with an old wanted poster and says that if they go back to Candyland, he will point out the fugitives and help kill them for the fee of $500. When the men confirm with three other slaves in tow that Django is a bounty hunter who arrived at Candyland the day before, they unshackle him and provide him with a horse and gun. Django quickly turns on the men, shooting them dead, and returns to Candyland to retrieve Broomhilda. While Candie’s funeral is being conducted, Django kills a group of Candyland overseers and reunites with Broomhilda. That evening, he ambushes Candie’s funeral party as they return home, killing Crash, and Candie’s sister, Lara Lee, and shooting Stephen in the kneecaps. As he leaves the house, Django lights a long fuse and walks away as the mansion explodes, joining Broomhilda on horseback as they ride into the distance. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.