Viva Django / Django, Prepare a Coffin / Preparati la bara! (Ferdinando Baldi, 1968)


(Half Soldier) #1

Apologies again for those that have already seen my thoughts on this film elsewhere, but here goes…

VIVA DJANGO
"Whilst Viva Django is one of many Spaghetti Westerns to steal the “Django” moniker following the success of Corbucci’s classic, this particular outing is a rarity in that it both captures the mood and effect of the original and actually contains the same character.

The story presumably acts as a prequel to the Corbucci movie, with Django (on this occasion played by Terence Hill) hellbent on revenge following the murder of his wife at the hands of Lucas (George Eastman) and his gang. Django was sold-out by his former friend and politician David Barry (Horst Frank).

Years have passed and Django is acting as the local hangman, whose job is to execute ‘innocent’ locals who have been framed by Barry for the thefts carried out on his behalf by the Lucas gang. Both are unaware that Django is faking the executions, and recruiting the condemned for his act of revenge.

Few of these men can be trusted however, and whilst Django’s back is turned (during the rescue of the innocent wife of one of the group members from the hangman’s noose) a number sabotage Django’s plot and beat Lucas’ gang to a proposed ambush of a cash shipment. I shall ruin the plot no more…

This is perhaps Terence Hill’s greatest role (albeit in effect playing Franco Nero playing Django) as I personally often find his slapstick styling of later movies difficult to grasp. Here however he oozes class, clad all in black and convincingly playing the character second only to the Man With No Name for pure charisma. The rest of the cast is also a real treat - with both Eastman and Frank as brilliant as ever. Eastman’s characters alway manage to be quite likable regardless of their bad morals and actions, whilst Frank just oozes with evil. Two of the great great supporting actors of the genre.

Ferdinando Baldi’s direction also merits much credit, managing to both keep the feel of Corbucci’s original whilst also firmly stamping the movie with his own “comic book action” trademark. The final scene in the graveyard deserves particular mention - a real “fist in the air” moment of excitement, with some great dialogue also.

Gianfranco Reverbi provides a really recognisable score, and the title theme track “You’d Better Smile” will stick in the head for days. And quite rightly so! Whilst not all the Django films are worthy of much mention at all, this particular Django is one that should most definitely be viewed. Great entertainment".

Feel free to cast your own vote at the poll at http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/spaghettiwesterns/reviews/vivadjango.html


(Sebastian) #2

Preparati la bara (Django und die Bande der Gehenkten - german title) is really an enjoyable film. actually in germany there are 2 versions. one is the original uncut version and the other is not only severely cut, but re-dubbed to ride on the spencer/hill wave of succes so django is always talking about “the fattie” n stuff, although Spencer is not in that film and has nothing to do with it. that version is called “joe der galgenvogel”.

Preparati la bara database linkhttp://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Preparati_la_bara%21


(Half Soldier) #3

Interesting stuff. Well, not being too much of a fan of all the comedy westerns, I’m glad I have the copy I have ;D


(Bill san Antonio) #4

[quote=“Sebastian, post:2, topic:65”]Preparati la bara (Django und die Bande der Gehenkten - german title) is really an enjoyable film. actually in germany there are 2 versions. one is the original uncut version and the other is not only severely cut, but re-dubbed to ride on the spencer/hill wave of succes so django is always talking about “the fattie” n stuff, although Spencer is not in that film and has nothing to do with it. that version is called “joe der galgenvogel”.

Preparati la bara database linkhttp://www.spaghetti-western.net/index.php/Preparati_la_bara%21[/quote]

Is this the case with all serious Spencer/Hill-movies in German? Isn’t there also a comedy version of God Forgives…I don’t? I saw the German trailer of Reason to live, reason to die. They’ve made that one look like Spencer comedy too.


(Sebastian) #5

no. not with all. preparati la bara is an extreme example but a large bunch of those films were re-dubbed after the spencer/hill comedies became popular and of course they got cut (violence n stuff). so still today you dont get them all uncut, for example 5 Man Army etc… or its at least hard to get…


(Lode) #6

Yeah, I enjoyed it very much. At the beginning it was a little slow, but went on very well. What about the Super 8 Version on the DVD? It is only 15 minutes or something. Was this one time released?


(Sebastian) #7

i have no idea what this super8 crap is all about really


(Bluntwolf) #8

Those super 8 (8mm) releases are usually only 15-25, maybe 30 minutes long and mostly just black and white but that depends on the time of release !!! Before there was video (VCR) there was super 8 !!! So back then it was the hit, now it’s almost forgotten !!!


(Lode) #9

This is really weird. It is coloured and only 15 minutes. After the fire in the saloon the movie stops and says “Ende”. Very poor. And it makes no sense why the put it on the DVD. Interviews or Commentaries qould have been better.


(Mortimer) #10

Super 8 refers to 8mm home movie cameras that people used to buy to make movies of their vacations. They also had to have an 8mm projector.

You could buy movies in Super 8 but they were very expensive and very poor quality. A lot of Super 8 projectors were silent, so a lot of films released on Super 8 didn’t have any sound. Also imagine what a 35mm image looks like shrunk down to a square 8mm frame!

And these home projectors could only hold one small reel so the films were very short.


(valenciano) #11

I liked this one. I had to get used to Hill, since I only knew him from the comedy stuff that i´ve seen in my childhood. The plot was interesting with all the turns and the betrayals. And I think george eastman is going to be my favourite actor in the fututre. Don´t know but there is a certain atmosphere about him in the spaghettis that i saw so far, and I saw a few with him, maybe it´s his height.
The music is also very good, the one piece reminded me alot of the 06 summer hit crazy by gnarls barkley, i allways like to see/hear were people “steel” the music from. check it out if you haven´t noticed it.
I liked the lanscape shots in it, especially the grave scene at the end. The city shots arent that good for me. Allthough i like the dirty muddy city in the original django.


(Cian) #12

Yea. I liked it too. I prefer Hill in a serious role. I felt that the story fitted in nicely as a prequel to Corbuccis Django.


(Bill san Antonio) #13

I’ve heard somewhere (can’t remember my source, maybe it was on some Franco Nero dvd-interview) that this was going to real official Django sequel with Franco Nero in lead and probabaly it was going to be directed by Corbucci too. But they were busy doing some other films or something and they chose Hill to play the part because he looked like Nero. Viva Django is also written by Fraco Rossetti who co-scripted original Django. Anyway this film is the closest to original Django than any other Django-film and in my opinion worthy of called official sequel.

Great film, one of my favorites. I love the scene where the guys are rushing out of the burning saloon just to face Django in the street shooting 'em down mercilessly.


(ENNIOO) #14

[quote=“Bill san Antonio, post:13, topic:65”]I’ve heard somewhere (can’t remember my source, maybe it was on some Franco Nero dvd-interview) that this was going to real official Django sequel with Franco Nero in lead and probabaly it was going to be directed by Corbucci too. But they were busy doing some other films or something and they chose Hill to play the part because he looked like Nero. Viva Django is also written by Fraco Rossetti who co-scripted original Django. Anyway this film is the closest to original Django than any other Django-film and in my opinion worthy of called official sequel.

Great film, one of my favorites. I love the scene where the guys are rushing out of the burning saloon just to face Django in the street shooting 'em down mercilessly.[/quote]

Yes, I have read this aswell.

Franco Nero had a sort of three picture deal with the producers, and this is the one he did not make because of other commitments.

Obviously Hill is suppossed to look like Franco Nero, but I have to admit I have to look twice in some shots, as he looks so much like Franco.

This is a worthy, entertaining and enjoyable film and has a catchy theme tune aswell.


(Cian) #15

I love the rotoscope credit sequence too!


(R-T-C Tim) #16

Cheers, I heard that playing in a bar a while back and knew it was from ‘Viva Django’, but couldn’t work out what the piece was called.

‘Viva Django’ was one of my first SW titles and I really enjoy it.


(ENNIOO) #17

Yes, this is good!


(Bad Lieutenant) #18

Watched this for the first time yesterday, and I must say I’m a little disappointed. The story just doesn’t add up. The character Django… well his name is Django and he has a coffin with a machinegun in it, but that’s about it. The lame comedy attempts don’t work. Some memorable scenes though. And the music is good. Furthermore, it’s alway nice to see Horst Frank. 5,5/10 in my book. Sufficient, but just that.


(Stanton) #19

Yes, uneven in every aspect.


(New Brandon) #20

Not a perfect movie by any means, but still fairly enjoyable… More worthy of the Django name than 90% of the other movies called “Django.” Terence Hill does a good job, although I’m not so sure about his dubber with the Southern drawl. Recommended. ** 3/4 -> ***.