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Django (1966)


Traditional westerns were typically sedate affairs, with the odd bar fight a spot of gun slinging and the corrupt sheriff the only things that made the west wild. But all that changed in the 1960s with the spaghetti western, which took the tired old format into grittier, more violent territory - and none more gritty than Sergio Corbucci's Django.

And it's violent - so violent that it was banned in numerous countries because of the never-ending body count. But it's certainly entertaining. Franco Nero is Django, a fast gun dragging a coffin - for reasons that become evident during the movie. He walks into perhaps the most stench-ridden town ever to hit the movie screen, held together by mud and decay - and very soon, several piles of dead bodies.

And the reason? Well, he's after revenge on a certain Colonel Jackson, leader of one of the rival gangs and all-round nasty piece of work. And the rival Mexican gang aren't much fun either. Django takes on Jackson's gang, then sides with the Mexican leader General Hugo Rodriguez - before falling foul of both sides, setting up a typically bloodthirsty finale.

It's not got the budget or the score of the Leone movies and Nero isn't as charismatic in the lead role as Clint Eastwood - but what it lacks in style, it makes up for in action. The violence is extremely graphic and indeed brutal (Django's beating is particularly nasty, not to mention one poor soul having an ear cut off and shoved into his mouth). And it's relentless, leaving little room for anything more than a basic plotline.

But that's all it needs. Django is essentially a 90-minute bloodbath, held together with some top-notch direction. Sequels and spin-offs abound, but there's really only one Django - and it's essential for any fan of the genre.

Find out more about the movie at


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