Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Overlooked Films: A Few Dollars for Django (1966)

Until last week, the only Django movie I’d seen was the original with Franco Nero. This one, known variously in the U.S. as Some Dollars for Django, Django: A Bullet for You and A Few Dollars for Django, is nowhere near as good. But the original set the bar so high that lesser films like this can still provide plenty of entertainment.

And that’s what it did - entertain me. And it wasted no time getting started. In the first seen our hero rides into a two-bit town wearing a Man With No Name hat and serape. When a gang of villains challenges him, he promptly kills them all. Then he tosses what appears to be a stick of dynamite into the tavern, so the head villain will come out an get shot. That done, he picks up the stick of “dynamite,” which is only a candle, and lights his cigarette. This guy has style.

Luckily, the opening scene’s dead guys were only a small part of the gang that robbed the Miners Association, so the Association big wigs send our hero, a bounty killer named Regan (he’s never called Django) to Montana to kill the rest of them. And eventually, of course, he does.

In the process, he rides into the middle of a typical ranchers vs. farmers range war, where he impersonates a sheriff and gets cozy with the fresh-from-back-East daughter of a gunfighter-turned-farmer. Yeah, there’s a little bit of a plot here, but don’t worry. It never gets in the way of the killing.

Regan’s identity is eventually exposed by his “calling card,” his habit of shooting bad guys smack in the center of the forehead.

The dubbing, as is usually the case with these flicks, is sometimes good and sometimes horrible. The guy dubbing Regan (Anthony Steffan) sounds like he’s doing a bad Stewart Whitman impression. And the guy doing his Gabby Hayes-like deputy cackles like a lunatic.

The film’s chief drawback is it’s lack of grit. The town and all it’s inhabitants, good and bad, look clean and wholesome enough for an episode of Bonanza. Everybody’s clothes look brand new. Even the nastiest villains look like they’ve just shaved and brushed their teeth.

Near as I can tell, Steffen (a Brazilian by birth) went on to appear in at least three more films with Django in the title, and one each in the Ringo and Sabata franchises, along with many other miscellaneous oaters.

I wouldn’t mind seeing them, but I’m sure hoping they have more grit.

More Overlooked Flicks at Sweet Freedom.


pattinase (abbott) said...

From the posters you would swear it was Eastwood.

Lexman said...

thanks, great posters, i love those westerns...

Charles Gramlich said...

Never heard of this one. Certainly a Spaghetti western title.

Oscar Case said...

Another spaghetti-o I never heard about or saw. The posters are colorful to say the least.

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