Django Unchained (2012)
Frequently Asked Questions
No. The script is an original story written by Quentin Tarantino. However, Tarantino does seem to have been somewhat influenced by Django (1966) (1966), as he pays homage to it in several respects, such as featuring Franco Nero, star of the original movie, in a cameo as "Bar Patron", and using several pieces of music from Django.
The primary antagonist is plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Candie's servants and family members also act as antagonists and enemies to Django, such as Candie's trusted but duplicitous house slave Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson), Mandingo trainer Billy Crash (Walton Goggins), Calvin's Bodyguard; Butch Pooch (James Remar) and Calvin's sister, Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly (Laura Cayouette). Other villains include Spencer "Big Daddy" Bennett (Don Johnson), the Brittle brothers—Big John (M.C. Gainey), Lil Raj (Cooper Huckabee), and Ellis (Doc Duhame) Brittle, and the Speck Brothers—Ace (James Remar) and Dicky (James Russo).
Phrenology is a pseudoscience that was popular in the 19th century. Its core belief was that an individual's nature could be determined by studying the size, shape and bumps present in his or her skull. Phrenology has long since been dismissed as invalid by the medical community. More info on it can be read here. By the time this story begins, the late 1850s, phrenology had already been dismissed as quackery and had declined considerably in popularity, but Calvin obviously believes it's still legitimate—it's a good way to show how ignorant the character is.
Schultz expressed concern about simply trying to approach Candie to buy Broomhilda from him. Something of a psychological gimmick, Schultz explains it thusly:
Let's say you want to buy a horse. You go to the farm, knock on the farmer's door and ask to buy the horse. But the farmer says "no".....instead you offer to buy the farm and make him an offer so ridiculous he is forced to say "yes".
The main objective is disguised as a trivial side deal. So, Schultz comes up with an idea that Schultz and Django would pretend to be slavers, Schultz being interested in getting into Mandingo fighting and Django being the Mandingo trainer. The way they would get Candie's attention would be to discuss buying one of his prized Mandingo fighters for $12,000, which at the time was an outrageous amount of money. This prompts Calvin Candie to show them his hospitality and take them to his home where Broomhilda is being kept. Knowing that Broomhilda had been owned by Germans and spoke German, Schultz requests the "pleasure" of her company. The next evening, when discussing the transaction of the Mandingo fighter for $12,000, Schultz would mention how much he enjoyed conversing in his native German tongue with Broomhilda and request to purchase her as well for a modest sum, the transaction of which could happen immediately. Django and Schultz would then leave with Broomhilda, leaving Candie with the impression that they were going to consult with Schultz's lawyer about securing the funds to purchase the Mandingo fighter and simply never return. Schultz needed to pay for Broomhilda so there was a bill of sale, much like when he "bought" Django. His reasoning was, if Django and Schultz simply absconded with Broomhilda, they would be labelled thieves and if caught, would be hanged and Broomhilda would be returned to Candie.
Many people who watch the film may feel that there are far simpler ways to go about the situation. Shortly after the film was released, Quentin Tarantino acknowledged the viewer's questions in an interview with Mike Ryan which can be read here. Tarantino stated that Schultz likes to create complicated schemes to go about claiming his bounties. For example, at the beginning of the film, Schultz brings Django into a saloon and chases the bartender out while explicitly telling him to make sure he gets the Sheriff. Not the Marshal, but the Sheriff. Once the Sheriff arrives at the saloon, Schultz promptly executes him in front of the entire town. Next the Marshal arrives and the entire town are pointing their guns at Django and Schultz. Schultz goes outside and explains that the Sheriff was actually living under a false name and was really a wanted criminal. This was a complex and possibly dangerous way of doing it. All he really had to do was go to the Marshal and explain who the Sheriff was beforehand. When it came to buying Broomhilda, Schultz explained that he didn't want to simply offer to buy her from Calvin Candie because Schultz wanted to make sure she was purchased legally (with a bill of sale) and also he didn't want to let Candie be in the position of power. Schultz wanted to pay $300 to save her from Candie. But if they went straight to Candie and said, "We wish to purchase Broomhilda for $300," all Candie had to say was "Well, she obviously means something special to you...so you'd be willing to pay $1,000, I'm guessing." Schultz simply could not let someone as detestable as Calvin Candie get the upper hand on him. This helps explain why Schultz refuses to shake Calvin's hand as well.
Calvin Candie was posturing that he expected to get 5 fights out of a Mandingo fighter before they could retire (or die). D'Artagnan begs with Candie, saying he can't fight anymore. Candie then says he wants back the $500 he paid for him. Naturally nobody there, including D'Artagnan had $500 to spend, nor did they care to. Candie had no intention of actually getting reimbursed, he fully planned on killing D'Artagnan. When Schultz jumped up and exclaimed that he would reimburse Candie for D'Artagnan, Candie immediately became suspicious. "Why would a man trying to get into Mandingo fighting want to spend $500 on a slave who can barely stand?" was Candie's line of thinking. Django realized that if Candie or any of his associates saw through the ruse, both he and Schultz could very likely be killed or at very least, be sent away without Broomhilda. This is shortly after Schultz chastised Django for getting too carried away with his character of being a black slaver. So, Django says that Schultz wasn't actually willing to pay for D'Artagnan, he was just trying to get Candie to stop toying with him. Candie then orders his men to sick the dogs on D'Artagnan, who then rip him to shreds. The entire time, Candie stares Django dead in the eyes to see if there would be a crack in Django's façade. Django manages to keep his composure, but Schultz was noticeably disgusted. Candie says to Django, "Your boss is a little green around the gills for wanting to get into a sport like nigger-fighting." To which Django explains, "Nah, he's just not used to seeing a man ripped apart by dogs is all." Calvin, still suspicious, says, "But you are used to it?", and Django says, "Let's just say I'm a little more used to Americans than he is", finally diffusing the situation. D'Artagnan was dead either way. Django saw this and so continued with the ruse that he was a black slaver that didn't care about the life of a slave, although he clearly shows some remorse towards D'Artagnan and his fate as soon as Candie returns to his buggy. At the end of the film, he gets revenge for D'Artagnan by bursting into the Trackers' cabin and shouting, "D'Artagnan motherfuckers!", before gunning them all down.
Django killed the LeQuint Dickey Mining Co. slavers for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, they were slavers—men who made a living off of working slaves to death in horrible conditions. Django would have been one of those slaves if he hadn't tricked them. Django manages to talk them into letting him go and giving him a gun by fooling them into thinking that the Smitty Bacall gang was hiding out at Candie Land and that there was a $12,000 bounty on the gang. So, all the LeQuint Dickey group had to do was ride in and kill them and they'd be able to collect the bounty. Django's request was that he be allowed to carry a gun and help kill the Smitty Bacall Gang and receive $500 of the bounty (giving the other three $11,500 to divide among themselves). However, Django and Schultz had already killed all of the members of the gang prior to their visit to Candie Land and the $12,000 was used to purchase Hildi. So, once they arrived at the plantation and found out they had been duped, the LeQuint Dickey employees likely would have just in turn killed Django or at the very least made him pay horribly for his deception. So, Django had the drop on them and killed all three and likely without any remorse, given their profession.
At least 20: Candie, Schultz, and Butch Pooch are shot in the first two rooms. Schultz shoots Candie with his small hidden sleeve pistol, and Schultz gets shot with a shotgun by Butch Pooch. Django then shoots Butch with one of his own pistols before chasing Leonide Moguy into the foyer to shoot him and all of the armed plantation men that attack. In the final shot of the foyer, you can see at least 11 corpses lying around on the floor. That's 14. Also, there are two house slaves who get shot by a group of plantation henchmen coming in the back door, which is 16. A few of the corpses also land outside the front door, and there are at least four corpses there, so that ultimately leads to a final body count of at least 20 people dead by the end of the scene. (Though the one called "Jesse" who is shot repeatedly by the front door is still alive by the end of the scene. He may have survived if he didn't die from his wounds.)
Calvin Candie's sister, Lara Lee was far from innocent. She lived on a plantation and clearly had no issues with how her brother brutalized his slaves and likely had a say in how they were punished as well. She constantly held up her nose above the black race, viewing them as nothing more than inferior, sub-human animals. She also had no hang-ups about prostituting her slaves to her guests, given how she dragged Broomhilda up to Dr. Schultz's room. While some might bring up as proof of Lara's righteousness when Stephen and Calvin show off Broomhilda's whipped back and Lara chastises them, it's actually due to her eating dinner and not wanting to be repulsed by looking at mutilated skin. At the end of the film, she was the one who originally wanted to have Django castrated, but changed her mind and decided to sell Django to the LeQuint Dickey Mining Company for a slow, brutal, agonizing death, after Stephen subtly suggests it. Not to mention, Lara Lee was making Broomhilda into a "comfort girl" for both the Mandingos and the slave wranglers. Despite the fact that Django really didn't need to shoot Lara Lee, as she was unarmed and posed no imminent threat to him, it's understandable as to why he'd want to take revenge on her. In fact, people could even agree that Lara was taken out the easiest, quickest and cleanest way by Django compared to most of the other villains of the film. For example, Django is shown gunning down Billy Crash multiple times and leaves him suffering and wailing a few moments before finally shooting him dead; Django also violently shoots the elderly Stephen in both of his kneecaps before casually walking out of the Big House, leaving the old man screaming in agonizing pain for several long minutes until the plantation blows up.
Yes. Two, in fact. He plays one of the Regulators, i.e. Bag Heads, the one that says, I think we all think the bags were a nice idea. But, not pointing any fingers...they could have been done better. So...no bags this time. But next time, we do the bags right and we go full regalia! He also plays one of the Australian slavers of the LeQuint Dickey Mining Company (the one who explodes when Django shoots the dynamite bundle he is carrying).
"Django Theme Song" (English Version) by Luis Bacalov & Rocky Roberts, from Django (1966) - The opening credits.
"The Braying Mule" by Ennio Morricone, from Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) - Django and Dr. Schultz ride into Daughtrey.
"Rito Finale" by Ennio Morricone, from Città violenta (1970) - Dr. Schultz explains to Django how he needs his help to track down the Brittle brothers.
"Main Titles Theme Song ("Lo chiamavano King")" by Luis Bacalov & Edda Dell'Orso, from Lo chiamavano King (1971) - Dr. Schultz's theme
"Norme Con Ironie" by Ennio Morricone, from Città violenta (1970) - Old Man Carrucan explains to Django his plans to sell him and Broomhilda separately.
"Town of Silence" (2nd Version) by Luis Bacalov, from Django (1966) - Django first tells Dr. Schultz about Broomhilda, Django reminisces about first seeing her.
"Gavotte", arranged by Grace Collins - Django and Bettina tour the grounds of Bennett Manor
"Town of Silence" by Luis Bacalov, from Django (1966) - Django spots one of the Brittle Brothers in the field.
"Freedom" by Anthony Hamilton & Elayna Boynton - Django's flashback: watching Broomhilda getting whipped, trying to escape with her, and begging Big John to spare beating her.
"La Corsa" (2nd Version) by Luis Bacalov, from Django (1966) - Django gets revenge on the Brittle Brothers.
"Requiem (Giuseppe Verdi) - Prologue" by Masamichi Amano & Polish State Philharmonic Orchestra, from Batoru rowaiaru (2000) - The Regulators gather and organize themselves.
"I Got a Name" by Jim Croce Django and Schultz traveling together through the snowy landscapes. Their friendship is bonded.
"I giorni dell'ira" by Riz Ortolani, from I giorni dell'ira (1967) - Django and Schults bounty hunting / Schultz teaches Django how to shoot
"The Big Risk" by Ennio Morricone, from Hornets' Nest (1970) - Django and Dr. Schultz ride into Greenville
"Minacciosamente Lontano" by Ennio Morricone, from I crudeli (1967) - Django and Dr. Schultz ride up to meet with Calvin and his convoy; Calvin explains his theory about "the exceptional n****r" over dinner.
"100 Black Coffins" by Rick Ross - Calvin's convoy, including Django and Schultz, journeying to Candyland.
"Trackers Chant" by Ted Neeley & Bruce Yauger - the convoy come upon the trackers and D'Artagnan.
"Nicaragua" by Jerry Goldsmith featuring Pat Metheny, from Under Fire (1983) - Django and Calvin's staring match during D'Artagnan's death; the convoy's arrival at Candyland; the introductions of Stephen and Lara Lee
"Sister Sara's Theme" by Ennio Morricone, from Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970) - Django watches Broomhilda being removed from the "hot box"
"Ancora Qui" by Ennio Morricone & Elisa - the dining table is prepared at Candyland; Lara Lee presents Broomhilda to Dr. Schultz
"Blue Dark Waltz" by Luis Bacalov, from Django (1966) - Dr. Schultz explains the situation to Broomhilda before Django reveals his presence
"Für Elise", arranged by Ashley Toman - Calvin Candie signing over Broomhilda.
"Unchained (The Payback / Untouchable)" by James Brown & Tupac Shakur - During the middle of the shootout in the Candyland Manor.
"Freedom" by Richie Havens - Django surrendering to the guards at Candyland.
"Ain't No Grave" (Black Opium Remix) by Johnny Cash - The LeQuint Dickey Mining Co. taking Django away.
"Who Did That to You?" by John Legend - After defeating The LeQuint Dickey Mining Co., Django appears as the smoke clears, gathering his things, a horse, and riding off back to the plantation, to the amazement of the other slaves.
"Too Old to Die Young" by Dege Legg - Django rides back to Candyland and defeats the slave trackers; Calvin Candie's funeral.
"Un Monumento" by Ennio Morricone, from I crudeli (1967) - Django finding Schultz's corpse and says goodbye to him in German before rescuing Broomhilda.
"Dopo la congiura" by Ennio Morricone, from I crudeli (1967) - Django shoots Stephen in the kneecaps.
"Trinity (Titoli)" by Annibale e i Cantori Moderni, from Lo chiamavano Trinità... (1970) - Django blows up Stephen and Candyland; Django and Broomhilda ride off into the night as Candyland burns; the first part of the credits.
"Ode to Django (The D is Silent)" by RZA - the second half of the end credits.
Attention is drawn to this fact through the film to illustrate how ignorant/uninterested certain characters are of trivial things from beyond their own little towns. This in turn may spark curiosity in some viewers. The name itself is Romani language nickname, and the leading "D" is something of a transliteration artifact that allows a "yi"/vowel-sounding "J" (the northern, eastern and central European "J") to be distinguished from a "gz"/consonant-sounding "J" (the British/Anglo "J"). In a sense, it doesn't need to be there, but it sticks like countless other words/morphemes/sounds that have spellings established by mainland European translators. In Russian Cyrillic, "Jango" is spelled "Джанго" (likewise "Jennifer" is spelled "Дженнифер"), wherein "Д" itself would be transliterated as "D" while "Ж" is often transliterated as "zh", all to form "dzh" which is always a consonant unlike "J". Stuff like this arises in linguistics because not every script or alphabet has an individual grapheme (letter) for every particle of speech a human being would utter, and often when a word is adopted from one language to another, spellings are left unchanged for a sort of avant-garde effect or to honor an international "standard".