WARNING: This post is FULL of spoilers.

Django Unchained is brilliant. It’s classic Quentin Tarantino: cathartic revenge plot, tense moments, stylized violence, references to other films, artistic licence, historical context, gritty drama and epic comedy. QT marches to the beat of his own drum, and the results are fantastic.

I read the screenplay, and derived the nuggets below from it. These include mostly deleted scenes or changes in implementation, but some provide the context for things in the movie. Enjoy!

• Dr. Shultz gives Django the spelling of his name when writing the Bill of Sale in the forest at the beginning: “Django is spelled with a silent ‘D’, is it not?” Django: “Huh?” Schultz: “Why not. … Yes, that does add a little character.” Django references this proudly later, when one of Candie’s men asks him his name: “Django. The ‘D’ is silent.”

• Schultz gave Django his horse, and Django named it ‘Tony’. Schultz asks him why he chose Tony, and Django replies that he didn’t know he had to explain his choice.

• Between shooting the Sheriff of Daughtery and being called out of the saloon by the Marshall, Dr. Schultz plays a piece on the piano.

• Why does Django stay with Schultz for an entire winter before going to try to rescue his wife? Because, as Schultz explains in the canyon while Django is eating, Greenville is a dangerous place for a free black man. Django: “I gotta go, when do I go?” Schultz: “When you get more dangerous.” Later: “You should be in New York City. You should not be anywhere in Mississippi.” Much later, after a winter together bounty hunting: “You’re ready for Greenville. Greenville ready for you, that I’m not so sure.”

• Bennett Manor, the first plantation where they find and kill the Brittle Brothers, is also a brothel, hence the pretty young black women (called ‘ponies’) out front.

• Bennett threatens Schultz and Django before they leave, warning that they’re not going to make it out of the county alive, and will be hanging on his fence “by tomorrow morning”. This helps to explain why Schultz and Django are so prepared for the KKK-style raid that night.

• A flashback tells of how Broomhilda ended up at the Candyland Plantation. She was sold at the auction in Greenville to an old white man called Mr. Harmony as a birthday present for his fat 24 year-old virgin son Scotty. Scotty is shy and awkward, and Broomhilda becomes his sweetheart. On a romantic weekend in Greenville, they go to Candie’s Cleopatra Club where Scotty ends up losing Broomhilda to Candie in a high pressure poker game, after which he calls Candie a cheat and ends up getting shot. We can assume this was Candie’s plan from the moment he laid eyes on Broomhilda earlier in the evening.

• It’s five hours from Greenville to Candyland. Candie owns the 60 miles around it. It’s the fourth-largest cotton plantation in Mississippi, complete with a wood-built arena for mandingo fighting.

• Stephen shows Django to his room at Candyland. Django asks about the bell on the table, knowing Stephen is responsible for catering to his every whim as a freeman and a guest. Django picks it up and rings it straightaway, and tells Stephen to pour some water in his bowl. He then throws the water in Stephen’s face, slaps him and gives him a lecture asserting his dominance over him. “When I ring this bell, you better come a runnin’.” Schultz has heard this from the next room, and opens the door after Stephen leaves: “Was that wise?” This incident helps cement Stephen’s hatred of Django that will influence events later. (It also tells us that the door that reveals Django to Broomhilda is one that opens onto Django’s room.)

• There’s a moment after this when Broomhilda is whistling as she helps set the dinner table and Stephen notices and gets suspicious, saying she was so miserable she ran off and had to be put in the “hot box” less than 2 days ago: “I wouldn’ think you’d have a helluva lot to whistle ’bout. I’m jus’ sayin’.”

• When Stephen figures out what Schultz and Django’s real game is and tells Candie in the next room, Candie’s first response is to get so angry he was going to walk into the dining room and kill them. It was Stephen who proposed instead selling Broomhilda for the $12,000 that Candie wanted for Eskimo Joe.

• Candie’s elaborate lecture with a slave’s skull is nowhere to be found in the Django script.

• Neither is the first bloodbath in the house after Schultz shoots Candie and gets shot himself. Instead, the script cuts straight to Django hanging upside down in the shed, and he’s having his face wiped with a wet rag by an eight-year old stable boy.

• Before Stephen tells the upside-down Django that he’s being sold to the LeQuint Dickey Mining Company and leaves him with his clothes, he burns his nipples off with a hot poker.

• The reason Django doesn’t ride in the cage with the mandingos to LeQuint was because he told the overseers he was scared they would kill him.

• Back at Candyland, the four of Candie’s henchmen who are playing poker in their quarters are playing with the ears of slaves as chips.

• A scene shows Django killing more henchmen with an ax. Another shows him taking revenge on the angry dogs from earlier, by feeding them poisoned beef stew made with toadstools brought to him by the 8 year old.

• After rescuing Broomhilda, Django gives her her bill of sale and freedom papers and says: “No matter what happens to me, hold on to these and get out of the South.” After reassuring her he didn’t think anything would happen to him, he tells her to saddle up the horses and meet him in front of the big house.

• As the funeral party walks toward the house, the house explodes. As the dust settles, a figure emerges, walking toward them. The figure steps out of the smoke and they see it’s Django. He throws away the rifle he’s holding and challenges all the white people – including Lara Lee (Candie’s sister) and Stephen – to a quick draw shoot-out. They all take guns, and there’s a silent moment before Django spots one of them move and kills them all instantly. A flashback to Schultz: “You know what they’re going to call you, my boy? ‘The fastest gun in the South.'”

This ending is different in some significant ways to the one that finally made it to film. As for the deleted scenes, Tarantino says he didn’t want a 3 hour movie, so there are a lot of cuts. There are already rumors of a Director’s Cut DVD.