The Stranger’s Gundown / Django il bastardo (Sergio Garrone, 1969)


(Bill Wood) #1

I looked through all three pages and was a bit surprised not to see a topic about this film, seeing as it was apparently Clint’s main inspiration for the film “High Plains Drifter” (if I missed the topic, please forgive me and feel free to delete this!).

Anyway, it’s a pretty good revenge spaghetti, with Anthony Steffen in the Django role. It has a bit of a Euro horror feel to it, with Django stepping in and out of shadows and appearing seemingly out of thin air in certain places. Even his enemies seem confused as to whether he is actually human or not. And the way he marks his enemies’ eminent death with a cross bearing their name is just to cool.

Even though I really enjoyed this film, it is a bit overhyped on the slipcase. For instance, the only way I could see this film getting an “X” rating on its initial Italian release is if someone was offended by the religious implications (the dead cowboys “crucified” on crosses on their horses being a prime example). The violence in the movie is actually pretty tame on the whole, especially when compared to the other Django films I’ve seen. Also, the VCI release has no Italian audio track or subtitles, just in case you’re interested.


(Bill san Antonio) #2

One of the best of so-called gothic westerns, you could call it a horror western too I guess.

Steffen’s best spaghetti western in my opinion. I love the the last lines of dialogue in the end:
“We will be rich forever, Django!”
-“We Won’t live forever”

I’m a bit confused on the different versions though. There is a european (or Italian?) and the US versions but how do they differ?


(Bill Wood) #3

Hmm, not sure about that. My only exposure to the movie is the VCI DVD I currently own. But now that you mention it, this DVD version is pretty tame, it’s rated “PG” on the slipcase. Not only that, but this DVD shows a run time of 99 mins, while IMDB has the Italian release at 107 mins. So this can’t be the same unedited film that earned an “X” rating in Italy and was banned in Norway, correct?

Now I’m wondering if there’s an uncut version lurking out there somewhere. :o


(Yodlaf Peterson) #4

Unfortunately i sold my U.K Django the bastard version (which is apparently uncut) when the VCI dvd came out, i should have looked into it more first. >:(


(Bill san Antonio) #5

[quote=“Yodlaf Peterson, post:4, topic:560”]Unfortunately i sold my U.K Django the bastard version (which is apparently uncut) when the VCI dvd came out, i should have looked into it more first. >:([/quote]I sold my (probably uncut) vhs of Bullet for Sandoval when I bought the VCI dvd. I also sold my Stranger in Town vhs when Alpha digital’s dvd was released. VCI’s Sandoval is cut and Alpha’s Stranger has terribly bad picture quality. :-\


(Phil H) #6

Watched this one this morning (I woke up stupidly early again) and really enjoyed it.
Mainly I think due to Garrone’s direction. Visually it is excellent, and this time Vasco and Mancuso’s score fits perfectly. Very gothic and all in all is perfect for Steffen’s style.
My favourite Steffen film so farI think.


(scherpschutter) #7

[quote=“Phil H, post:6, topic:560”]Watched this one this morning (I woke up stupidly early again) and really enjoyed it.
Mainly I think due to Garrone’s direction. Visually it is excellent, and this time Vasco and Mancuso’s score fits perfectly. Very gothic and all in all is perfect for Steffen’s style.
My favourite Steffen film so farI think.[/quote]

When I saw it in cinema (early seventies I suppose, I was still very young) I found it too slow and unimpressive, but when I saw it again a few years ago, it seemed a completely different movie!

It seemed to be made with reduced budget, but they used that aspect to their advantage
I especially liked the haunting atmosphere and Steffen’s ghost like appearance
And I liked the credits sequence too, very unusual
Sure: my favourite Steffen too

Looking forward to your Son of Django review


(lordradish) #8
I looked through all three pages and was a bit surprised not to see a topic about this film, seeing as it was apparently Clint's main inspiration for the film "High Plains Drifter"

I’ve heard this a lot, but I really have a hard time believing it, as I can’t see Eastwood getting all jazzed up over such a low-budget film (granted, I like the film, but it’s hardly a masterpiece). Does anyone have an exact quote from Eastwood on this or is it just another Thomas Weisser fabrication?


(ENNIOO) #9

I often wonder where these stories come from… the land of bull perhaps ?


(scherpschutter) #10

It would be interesting to know if Clint has ever said anything about it
It’s clear that High Plains Drifter isn’t by any means a remake, but it seems possible, maybe even likely, that it was inspired by Django il Bastardo

I don’t know if Weisser or Bruckner talk about it, but Mario Giusti does mention High Plains Drifter, but he literally says that “the film (Django il bastardo that is) is often mentioned as a source of inspiration for Clint Eastwood’s masterpiece” In other words, he doesn’t refer to any specific article of interview.

The land of bull … who knows

It’s also often said that Eastwood considered for some time a remake of THE GREAT SILENCE
Watching this movie, I had the idea it influenced at least UNFORGIVEN, JOE KIDD and PALE RIDER (and maybe even HANG 'M HIGH, there is a barroom scene with Clint throwing a match that looks very similar to a scene in TGS, but it’s hard to imagine that Clint saw TGS before making H’MH)
Watching KEOMA last week, I noticed that PALE RIDER was influenced by that movie too (visually)


(alk0) #11

I would say “Django the bastard” is a very good SW but not a masterpiece by any means. Atmosphere in this one is nice. In my opionion Steffen wasn’t as effective in this one as some say, it’s Luciano Rossi who steals the show. Solid 7/10 for me


(Phil H) #12

As far as I know High Plains Drifter was inspired by High Noon. That is to say, the starting premise of the film is “What if the sheriff in High Noon had failed and he came back from the dead to exact revenge on the town that deserted him?”


(scherpschutter) #13

This ‘starting premise’ about ‘what if the sheriff from High Noon etc’ is completely new to me, I had never heard about it before.

That high Noon was an influence, seems clear to me. In a article, Don Graham, an American professor of English from Austin, calls High plains drifter ‘the High Noon-style western that outdoes its predecessor in contempt for the community’


(lordradish) #14
I don't know if Weisser or Bruckner talk about it, but Mario Giusti does mention High Plains Drifter, but he literally says that "the film (Django il bastardo that is) is often mentioned as a source of inspiration for Clint Eastwood's masterpiece" In other words, he doesn't refer to any specific article of interview.

In Weisser’s bit on DTB, page 94 -

“This is the uncredited inspiration for Clint Eastwood’s “High Plains Drifter”.”

Considering how much stuff Weisser makes up in the book (or “pulls out of his ass”, if you prefer), I can’t put too much stock in it. I mean, Weisser completely makes up new plots for movies that don’t resemble the ones in the movies even a tiny bit, so he doesn’t have too much credibility.


(Stanton) #15

Hang 'em High could hardly been influenced by TGS, it was made in 67 while TGS was released in November 68 (and wasn’t shown in the USA by the way).

I doubt that such a busy worker like Eastwood had enough time to watch many films from other people, and I doubt that he had any interest to watch SWs since his return to the US ( but that’s a guess of course).


(Col. Douglas Mortimer) #16

Thats interesting!!


(Phil H) #17

[quote=“scherpschutter, post:13, topic:560”]This ‘starting premise’ about ‘what if the sheriff from High Noon etc’ is completely new to me, I had never heard about it before.

That high Noon was an influence, seems clear to me. In a article, Don Graham, an American professor of English from Austin, calls High plains drifter ‘the High Noon-style western that outdoes its predecessor in contempt for the community’[/quote]

I checked where I had read this idea and found it in Jim Kitses’ book, Horizons West. In the chapter on Eastwood he discusses all his films as director and in the opening preamble he touches on High Plains Drifter. He starts with mention of Eastwood’s running theme of ‘uncivil justice’ and then goes on to mention the film’s roots in High Noon. A film Howard Hawks had already revisited with Rio Bravo.

“Infuriated by that film for making a supplicant of the western hero, Howard Hawks had replied with the robust Rio Bravo. But in their own analysis, Eastwood and his screenwriter Ernest Tidyman would take as its starting point the posing of the question: what if Gary Cooper’s Marshall Kane had not been ‘good enough’ in Hawks’ parlance, had in fact been whipped to death as the town looked on? Enter Eastwood as a ghost, a god or a reincarnation - in any case a superhero - to provide a cosmic justice, a shadow-figure to redeem and avenge the fallible, human martyr.”


(YourPallbearer) #18

I have the R1 disc but I’ve heard that it is cut.
Is this true?
If so, where can I get the uncut version?


(Lasky) #19

I’ve been meaning to check out the version under the alternate DJANGO THE BASTARD title which i told maybe uncut,and this is being aired every now and again on the UK Movies4men channel.

It’s on in the afternoon next Friday so i’ll try to remember to record it.


(korano) #20

I have rented this one from the video store. somewhat excited but shobary gives it a bad review. I find his reviews are pretty spot on. But many others have considered it one of the best spaghettis so I have two completely opposite opinionsto go buy. Is it good?