The 2012 film Django Unchained featured an ensemble of A-listers, including Jamie Foxx (Django Freeman),
Leonardo DiCaprio (“Monsieur” Calvin J. Candie), Kerry Washington (Broomhilda “Hildi” von Shaft), Christoph Waltz (Dr. King Schultz), and Samuel L. Jackson (Stephen Warren).
It tells the story of Django, a freed slave who turned into a bounty hunter partner.
At the time of film release, Tarantino already has been a seasoned director known for taking inspiration from other movies and real-life events, versatile mastery, and excessive dose of violent scenes.
Django Unchained was Tarantino’s first attempt at exploring the revisionist western genre. Some have questioned whether the director created it based on a true story.
There was a Django character before portrayed by Franco Nero in the 1966 film Django. Tarantino also used the term “Mandingo” as a reference to the 1975 film.
Few sources claim that Bass Reeves inspired Django, the legendary Deputy U.S. Marshal believed to be the real Lone Ranger.
Throughout Reeves’ career, he killed 14 outlaws and arrested thousands of them. Django or not, Reeves’ story and legend are worth retelling many times over.
10 /10 Born Slave
Before Bass Reeves became a Deputy U.S. Marshal, he was a farmer in Van Buren, Arkansas. Way back in his childhood, he was a slave.
Bass was born a slave in Arkansas, but he grew up in Texas, specifically in the Lamar and Grayson counties.
His master was Colonel George R. Reeves, who would be later become Texas Speaker of the House in 1881.
Bass made a run for his freedom in his youth, escaping to Indian Territory where he familiarized himself with Seminole, Cherokee, and Creek. During Civil War, he served with the Union Indian Home Guard Regiments.
9 /10 A Prolific Scout
When he was not working on his farm in Van Buren, Bass earned a lot of money from his job as a guide for deputy U.S. Marshals who had to venture deep into the Indian Territory.
He knew the Territory well from his time as a fugitive slave before the Civil War. He once boasted of having known the area just like a cook in the kitchen.
Even if being a farmer didn’t bring a fortune, his occasional work as a scout and tracker for peace officers earned him a relatively comfortable life.