The D is silent
We’re opening this feature on something most die-hard Tarantino fans will have seen. But be warned, there are some HUGE spoilers to follow.
These 50 Best Moment features are designed to go in-depth on the experience of watching the best films of the year – to remind you of bits you enjoyed, or highlight stuff you might have missed first time out, to encourage you to see it a second time.
But these features are not for the uninitiated, so if you haven’t seen Django Unchained yet, turn away now!
Still here? Good. We adored Django Unchained , and we’re looking forward to discussing the best bits with you.
You’ll have seen it in all the trailers, but this list wouldn’t be complete with this particular slice of film geek heaven.
Jamie Foxx’s new Django, spelling out his name to the original, Franco Nero. Surreal, and awesome.
We're going to ignore the fact that Nero's response doesn't really make sense when you think about it - (If he knew, then why did he ask him to spell it out?) - and enjoy pretty much the coolest cameo in Tarantino’s back catalogue.
Django vs The Snowman
Django Unchained might be nearly three hours long, but there’s no time for a training montage.
Django instantly and instinctively knows how to shoot straighter than any cowboy in movie history.
Not that we have a problem with that – if you’re going to create the most bad-ass gun-slinger in the South, why show him missing?
Still, we do feel a bit sorry for the snowman. Shot in the heart, eyes and, um, carrot.
We really hope Raymond Briggs hasn’t seen Django Unchained . It would break his heart faster than a December puddle.
The story of Broomhilda
Encouraged by Django, Dr King Schultz explains that Broomhilda is a significant name in Germany, because she's the star of the most famous German story of them all.
She's a princess, and a daughter of a god, who is placed on top of a mountain as a punishment. Guarded by a dragon, surrounded by a circle of hellfire.
There she stays, until a hero comes to save her.
Everything about this moment is magical - from the way Django eagerly sits down to hear Schultz's tale, to the way the scene's lit; the shadows from the fire making the rocks behind King look like the mountain he's describing.
Because, after all: "It's a German legend, there's always going to be a mountain in there somewhere."
Where is my beautiful sister!
Calvin Candie has been fairly cool, calm and collected up until this point.
It seems that only two things get him excited - winning a Mandingo fight, and the thought of his sister.
Leo's sudden passion - leaping out of his seat and bellowing like he's just remembered he's king of the world - is a truly surprising sight.
It's another shade to his character - one who appears to be ruled by his emotions.
Then we see his sister, and wonder what the fuss was all about. Schultz's later dismissal of her, slamming a door in her face, is a joy to behold.
And for how Django treats her, well, that's worthy of an entry on its own...
Django reads out a death warrant
It’s a small moment, but it’s an aspect of Jamie Foxx’s performance that seems to have gone relatively unnoticed.
When Dr Schultz encourages Django to read aloud the warrant of his first kill, Foxx perfectly mimics the cadence of an adult with reading difficulties, complete with stammers and pauses.
It’s actually a surprisingly moving scene, on the strength of Foxx’s delivery alone.
The first squib explosion
Pretty much every single gunshot in Django causes an explosion of blood so enormous, it’s like someone slipped some red dye into the Bellagio fountains in Vegas (see above).
Nothing prepares you for the first time a Django mega-squib goes off – it’s a jaw-dropping sight.
It’ll either inspire a big grin, or a slight retch, depending on your sensibilities.
Hildi in the water
Throughout his journey to the Candyland plantation, Django is haunted by his memories of Broomhilda.
This is our first glimpse of her through his eyes, and it's a spooky, atmospheric moment.
And the contrast with the first time he lays eyes on her in Candyland is clear.
When Django leans on the horse
Django has just been unchained by Schultz, who tells him to take the coat of the Speck brother he's just shot in the head.
Django throws off his blanket, and when the last living Speck brother tells him not to touch his brother's coat, Django stands over him, and pushes his foot down hard on the horse that has fallen on top of his former oppressor. His reward? A howl of agony. And a new coat.
It's worth noting as Django's very first act of vengeance.
It will not be his last.
Almost immediately after Schultz warns Django not to attract attention, the German offers to reimburse Candie the 500 dollars he needs to let the escaped slave known as d'Artagnan live.
This sentimental reaction is extremely out of character for the cold-hearted Mandingo trader he's supposed to be portraying, and Django knows it.
Django diffuses the situation, but Candie uses it as an opportunity to test him, forcing him to be complicit in the brutal murder of the escaped slave.
It's Candie's first demonstration of unnecessary cruelty - and Leonardo's first hint at the layered performance he's about to give; you can see the pure evil in his eyes as he explains the implications to Django.
"Seeing as you won't pay a penny for this pickaninny here, you won't mind me handling this nigger any way I see fit?"
Walking in the moonlight
It's Django's first real confrontation with Billy Crash.
"I'm going to go walking in the moonlight with you." Crash says, insinuating that he's going to be the one to lead Django to his death.
"You wanna hold my hand?" Django responds, turning the threat into a flirtation.
As it turns out, Crash ends up holding something else belonging to Django, in one of the film's most shocking scenes.