W Django! (1972)

A Man Called Django!

W Django poster

Today it's 1972’s W Django! (also called ‘A Man Called Django’). Now, you might remember that due to the success of Corbucci’s Django and the tendency of Italian cinema to milk a formula to death, there were over 20 or 30 films afterwards that had ‘Django’ in the title, with nothing to do with the original. This is one of those films.

This film, directed by Edoardo Mulgaria, stars Anthony Steffen (Antonio De Teffe) as Django, in the typical spag western revenge plot, as he hunts down a gang responsible for raping and killing his wife.This was my first film with Steffen, who looks like he could be the laboratory offspring of Peter and Henry Fonda and David Carradine.

This one falls strictly into run-of-the mill territory here. Nothing unique or even quirky to set it appart from the pack, and very little artistry to be seen, although the sets and scenery look great. It seems to steal a few Leone-isms, such as Django’s music box with his wife’s picture, which seems eerily reminicent of Colonel Mortimer’s pocket watch from ‘For A Few Dollars More’. And Django’s Mexican bandit sidekick, Carranza (Stelio Candelli) is like a knock-off of Eli Wallach’s Tuco in ‘The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly’, going so far as to have the same plot device of Django turning him in for reward money and then shooting the rope just before he is about to be hanged, exactly what happened with Blondie and Tuco in TGTBTU.

The soundtrack is typical spag western fare, acoustic guitars and trumpets I'm not sure which release that this DVD I was watching was, but it wasn't high quality. There was no restoration done to it; the film looks dirty and scratchy at times, and the sound has a lot of hiss and background noise.

The best I can say about it is it reminds me almost of a low-budget American no-name western that you might see late at night. It wasn’t horrible by any means, and I was able to watch the whole thing. I wouldn’t put it on my ‘must-see list’ either.

In France, this film was released as Viva Django. not to be confused with the Ferdinando Baldi film of the same name starring Terence Hill. Here's the German trailer:

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