Django (Big Sky Video) (1966)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Jul-2005

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Western Menu Audio
Featurette-The One And Only
Theatrical Trailer
Filmographies-Cast & Crew
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1966
Running Time 87:53
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Sergio Corbucci
Studio
Distributor
Big Sky Video Starring Franco Nero
José Bódalo
Loredana Nusciak
Ángel Álvarez
Gino Pernice
Simón Arriaga
Giovanni Ivan Scratuglia
Erik Schippers
Rafael Albaicín
José Canalejas
Eduardo Fajardo
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $14.95 Music Luis Enríquez Bacalov


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.66:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.66:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    If you are a fan of Clint Eastwood & Sergio Leone's trilogy of Fistful of Dollars and its sequels, you should certainly consider taking a look at this film which is a spaghetti western from the same era, directed by Sergio Corbucci and starring the blue-eyed Franco Nero as the titular character. It spawned a huge collection of films, some of which were official sequels and many others which just tried to cash in on its fame, especially in Europe. This film was banned in the UK until 1993 due to the violence, but really compared to modern films it is not that bad, despite the high body count, which results in it only getting an M rating here in Australia. The main issue with the UK censors was a scene involving a captured spy having his ear cut off before being killed. I would guess that Quentin Tarantino saw this film before making Reservoir Dogs. It was made in 1966 and filmed on location in Spain and in the studio in Italy.

    Anyway, the film follows the story of Django (Franco Nero), a gun fighter and loner in the old west. He is an ex-union soldier from the Civil War who drags a coffin around with him wherever he goes. Many of the other characters try to guess the meaning of the coffin but he doesn't let on. As he is heading towards a small town he comes across a woman, Maria, being whipped by a gang of Mexicans. Before he does anything she is rescued by a group of rebel soldiers who want to burn her. Django kills them all and rescues the woman. His actions result in both the leader of the rebels, Major Jackson, and the leader of the Mexicans, General Ugo, wanting him dead. Jackson is a cruel, vindictive man who leads a group of white supremacists who wear red hoods. Django must use his skills and wits to survive.

    This film has a great feel to it, very barren and realistic, which gives a great atmosphere of threat and desperation. Nero's striking blue eyes along with his implacable stare lend his character wonderful presence. The feel is spoiled somewhat by the very lame dialogue in the English language dub, which is the only practical soundtrack for English speaking audiences as despite the presence of the original Italian soundtrack, there are no subtitles making it useless unless you speak Italian. It is my understanding that the original Italian dialogue is also significantly superior as some was changed for the US release. Significant work has gone into restoring the video of this release and it is based on an original camera negative recently discovered in Rome. This negative included some extra scenes and footage than previously released versions. I really enjoyed this film, more than I expected to.

    Recommended if you are a spaghetti western fan.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is surprisingly good considering its age and source.

    The feature is presented in a 1.66:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    Based upon a comparison which can be found on DVD Beaver, this version is significantly sharper than previous releases of this film. Shadow detail is quite good for its age. There is light grain throughout.

    The colour was good, well saturated with no major issues to report.

    Artefacts were quite common mostly as a result of damage to the stored negative. You can see specific examples of print damage at 10:10, 28:56, 43:20, 51:10, 74:47 for 2 minutes, a bad spot at 76:48, 78:08, 80:50 & 85:09. For some reason most of them seem to be on the right side of the print. There were also quite a lot of specks and dirt to be seen, vertical lines such as at 2:59, 3:19 and 9:42 and what looks like telecine wobble or perhaps a distortion in the negative at 7:10 and 87:48. There were also some obvious white spots at 8:25 & 23:05.

    There are no subtitles which is exceedingly annoying considering the presence of the original Italian audio track. Other issues of this new print in other Regions do include subtitles.

    This is a DVD5 disc so there is no layer change.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is poor.

    This DVD contains two audio options, an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s and the same in the original Italian. As mentioned above the lack of subtitles makes the original Italian track virtually useless unless you speak Italian. Overall the English dub seemed quite shrill.

    Dialogue was quite clear and easy to understand in the English dubbed version although the voice acting was very ordinary. Obviously, the dialogue did not sync directly with actors speaking Italian, however the timing seemed right.

    The score of this film by Luis Enriquez Bacalov is wonderfully fitting to this film and a very fine score.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu was still but included music and what seemed like Dolby Digital 5.1 gunshots.

Featurette : The One & Only (13:27)

    Presented 16x9 enhanced, this is a 2002 production. This short making of featurette includes interviews with Franco Nero and the assistant director Ruggero Deodato and covers topics including the story, casting, Sergio Leone, makeup, why the rebels wore red hoods, Sergio Corbucci, the sequels and the critical response when the film was first released. Interesting and informative.

Theatrical Trailer (2:54)

    Presented 16x9 enhanced. This trailer shows what a lot of work has gone into the restoration.

Cast & Crew Filmographies

    Text filmographies for Nero & Corbucci.

Censorship

    There is censorship information available for this title. Click here to read it (a new window will open). WARNING: Often these entries contain MAJOR plot spoilers.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The only edition really worth comparing here is the re-released Blue Underground Region 0 (US) release as this local version seems to be based on the same newly discovered negative. The Region 0 - Big Sky Video (Australia) version misses out on;

    The Region 0 - Blue Underground (US) version of this disc misses out on;

    The Region 0 - Blue Underground (US) release gets the nod if for no other reason but the subtitles.

Summary

    A classic and influential spaghetti western which gets a quality local release with just a few key ingredients missing.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, March 10, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

Other Reviews
impulsegamer.com - Tory Favro
Digital Retribution - J.R. Mc

Comments (Add) NONE