Article

Django Unchained

In 1858 Texas, brothers Ace and Dicky Speck drive a group of shackled black slaves on foot. Among them is Django, sold off and separated from his wife Broomhilda von Shaft, a house slave who speaks German and English. They are stopped by Dr. King Schultz, a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter seeking to buy Django for his knowledge of the three outlawed Brittle brothers, overseers at the plantation of Django's previous owner and for whom Schultz has a warrant. When Ace levels his gun at Schultz, Schultz kills him and shoots Dicky's horse. As a result, the horse falls on top of Dicky, pinning him to the ground. Schultz insists on paying a fair price for Django before leaving the other slaves to kill Dicky and seek their freedom. Schultz offers Django his freedom and $75 in exchange for help tracking down the Brittles. Django and Schultz kill the Brittle brothers at Spencer "Big Daddy" Bennett's Tennessee plantation. Bennett rounds up a posse whom Schultz ambushes with explosives, killing most of them while Django kills Bennett. Feeling responsible for Django, Schultz agrees to help him find and rescue Broomhilda. They return to Texas where Django collects his first bounty, keeping the handbill as a memento. He and Schultz rack up several bounties before spring, when they travel to Mississippi and learn that Broomhilda's new owner is Calvin J. Candie, the charming but cruel owner of the Candyland plantation, where slaves are forced to wrestle to the death in brutal "Mandingo" fights. Schultz and Django hatch a plan: deciding that Calvin will price Broomhilda beyond their reach if they try to buy her upfront, they will instead offer $12,000 (equivalent to $359,000 in 2020) for one of his best fighters as a pretext to acquiring Broomhilda for a nominal sum. They meet Calvin at his gentlemen's club and make the offer. Intrigued, Calvin invites them to Candyland. En route, the group encounters Calvin's slave trackers who have cornered D'Artagnan, an escapee and disfigured Mandingo fighter. Schultz attempts to save him, but Django intervenes to prevent him from blowing their cover. Calvin has lead slave hunter Stonecipher release dogs at D'Artagnan, who maul him to death. The sight upsets Schultz, but Django does not visibly react. Calvin asks Django why Schultz, supposedly in the business of forcing slaves into death-matches, is so disturbed. Django tells Calvin that Schultz is used to seeing men die in fights, but not being killed by dogs; he also says that Schultz is unaccustomed to America.

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