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Author Topic: Preparati la bara! aka Get the Coffin Ready/Viva Django (1968)  (Read 8686 times)
Marco Leone
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« on: August 18, 2005, 02:38:30 PM »

Yes, its review time again! This week I am spouting my thoughts on :

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

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titoli
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2005, 04:06:07 PM »

Quote
This is perhaps Terence Hill's greatest role...second only to the Man With No Name for pure charisma.

Guess I'll have to check on this...(I vaguely remember it as a good movie)

P.S. Marco, don't want to play smart ass but I think that the original title of the movie should be indicated. Also, pay more attention to the transcription of the original names, like that of Gianfranco Reverberi. Thanx anyway for these useful and prodding reviews.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2005, 04:12:47 PM by titoli » Logged

Marco Leone
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« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2005, 04:30:16 PM »

  Cheesy No offence taken - my typing fingers occasionally just do weird things lol.  Its a good point though about the original titles.  I'd been toying with it, but was put off by the thought of going through each page and adding them (lazy too!).  But as someone has mentioned it, I really should do it.

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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2005, 05:21:01 PM »

Seen the movie. Good, no question about it. Of course, there's little logic in it: why should Django wait 5 years to start revenging? Why they keep sending undermanned gold transports knowing they are gonna be stolen?
But as I said in another topic, a movie (expecially a B- or even C- movie like this) has to move no to bore and not to let you think about the absurdities of the plot. And this it moves: I rarely came across a movie that gives no respite like this. I can't point to a single scene which could be eliminated; that happens rarely, even with A-movies. So praise must be due to the writers. Just think of the feat they did to sketch a character like that of Torres' wife, who never appears to be melodramatic and never slows the action.
I didn't, on the contrary, appreciate  the direction, that I find little imaginative or, better, pedestrian. Can't think of a single shoot or sequence distinguishing itself for originality or just professionalism.
The actors. Marco has said everything, forgetting maybe Josť Torres performance which I put on a par with Frank's and Eastman's.
Where I disagree is with the evaluation of Terence Hill: he is surely better than Nero (that I do not even consider an actor. Actually I do not consider even Hill an actor) but I don't think he sketches a character even remotely comparable to Eastwood's. And anyway, with this direction, it would have been impossible.


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spag fan
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2005, 07:15:28 AM »

...better than Nero (that I do not even consider an actor. Actually I do not consider even Hill an actor)

You don't consider Nero an actor? Damn. Roll Eyes

« Last Edit: August 24, 2005, 01:33:13 PM by spag fan » Logged
titoli
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2005, 07:41:20 AM »

Yes. He's got simply a screen presence (and, to me, barely that, like Fabio Testi). Tomas Milian is an actor.

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2005, 01:19:59 PM »

Interesting points Titoli.

What I should just clarify though is that my review is perhaps not worded the best.  What I was trying to say was that Django as a character was second best only to The Man With No Name, not the actors.

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« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2005, 01:34:53 PM »

Yes. He's got simply a screen presence (and, to me, barely that, like Fabio Testi). Tomas Milian is an actor.

Then I guess we really shouldn't consider Eastwood to be an actor either. I mean, he's got screen presence, but like so many of the great "actors", he's basically been playing himself all these years.

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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2005, 03:22:44 PM »

My second in line after Eastwood is Sartana, followed by Sabata. Marco, where else may  I have heard the tune of this movie (not the song). I was sure it was in a Morricone's compilation before I saw this movie. Was it in another movie?

To Spag Fan: you've got exactly the point. There are many movie actors who can't play but that have screen presence and many good actors who can't get through the screen.
About Eastwood, just think of the close-up before he shoots the three bads in FOD: it is ludicroous, to be generous. But he was clever (this sets him apart from many others who didn't learn) and I never saw such awkward expressions already starting from the second movie with Leone. He hasn't managed to acquire the variety of expressions other, more gifted actors have. But he doesn't need it as long as he's playing Clint Eastwood: on the contrary, it would be damaging. The problems arise when he tries something different, as in painful movies like Honky Tonk Man. Then you feel (or, at least, I do) that he doesn't have it. True, the last effort of him I saw is A Perfect World, where he played Eastwood. Don't know what he did after that. † † †

« Last Edit: August 24, 2005, 04:08:46 PM by titoli » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2005, 08:03:46 AM »

To Spag Fan: you've got exactly the point. There are many movie actors who can't play but that have screen presence and many good actors who can't get through the screen.
About Eastwood, just think of the close-up before he shoots the three bads in FOD: it is ludicroous, to be generous. But he was clever (this sets him apart from many others who didn't learn) and I never saw such awkward expressions already starting from the second movie with Leone. He hasn't managed to acquire the variety of expressions other, more gifted actors have. But he doesn't need it as long as he's playing Clint Eastwood: on the contrary, it would be damaging. The problems arise when he tries something different, as in painful movies like Honky Tonk Man. Then you feel (or, at least, I do) that he doesn't have it. True, the last effort of him I saw is A Perfect World, where he played Eastwood. Don't know what he did after that. † † †

I agree. There are actors and then, there are Actors. Both can be enjoyable.

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2005, 02:14:30 PM »

Titoli - the film borrows a piece from "Bullets Don't Argue", which I have on a 1995 Ennio Morricone compilation entitled "Spaghetti Western".

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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2005, 03:20:58 PM »

thanx!
(strange, though).

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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2005, 12:29:38 AM »

ok i've just watched this film and i have some problems with it.
i enjoyed it and Hill's performance. however if its considered to be a prequel (which i'm fine with) he says in django he was too far away to save his wife and why is it when shes dead in the next scene we see Hill quite happy and playing with a parrot, did they not get on?? as far the rest of it goes as a prequel it works.

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Marco Leone
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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2005, 03:04:06 AM »

Going from memory (which is always a bad thing for me to rely on) I'm thinking that a fair amount of time has passed in between those two scenes.  Correct me if I'm wrong.

I love the final scene in that film though, and there is some really cool dialogue.

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« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2006, 05:17:22 AM »

This DVD is now available from independent sellers on UK Amazon.I just picked up my copy for less than a five pound from a  US seller i buy regularly from and i expect them to quickly relist this as normal so keep your eyes peeled.I've been meaning to pick this up for ages now and i think i'll make my next purchase $10,000 Blood Money where the great Gianni Garko plays Django.

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