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Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.
~ Calvin Candie to Django and Dr. Shultz

Calvin Candie is the main antagonist in the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film Django Unchained.

He is portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio.

Biography

Calvin Candie is a Mississippi slave owner who owns a large plantation known as Candieland. Django Freeman's wife Broomhilda was taken to Candieland after being sold to Candie by her and Django's former slave master, who tried to distance them from one another as punishment for being married. Candie is a detestable individual who views his slaves harshly as his property and participates in a blood sport known as mandingo fighting, forcing male slaves to fight to the death for money. In one brutal instance, Candie has a slave torn apart by dogs because he tried to escape having to participate in any further mandingo fights, costing Candie some $500. His female slaves are often forced into prostitution. He sees people of colour as beneath him and little more than property, and Candie displays a disdain for people who are critical of slavery, referring to them as "nigger lovers." The depths of his depravity are seen when he gives Django and Dr. Shultz a lecture on his belief that people of colour are biologically inferior using pseudoscience. He claims that other races' supposed lower intelligence, along with submissiveness is the result of a series of dimples inside the skull, as Candie examines the skull of a deceased slave.

Candie appears to be quite close to his head slave, Stephen, and places a great deal of trust in him. Stephen immediately takes issue with Django and seems unable to comprehend the idea of Django being a free man. Stephen is almost as twisted as Candie; appearing to almost take joy at the slaughter and torment of his people. He is notorious for constantly sucking up to Candie, doing things such as repeating and agreeing with everything Candie says. Stephen takes notice of Broomhilda and Django's interaction and uses his relation to Broomhilda to intimidate and question her about him. After discovering the truth about them, Stephen explains to Candie that Django and Dr. Schultz's goal was to purchase Broomhilda. Upon hearing this, Candie loses his calm demeanour and reveals his sick and devious nature by threatening to beat Broomhilda to death with a hammer if Dr. Shultz does not pay $12,000 for her. After signing Broomhilda over, Candie then tries to convince Schultz to shake his hand to seal their transaction. Disgusted by the slave owner's behavior, Dr. Schultz appears to concede to Candie's wish, only to shoot him in the heart with a concealed pistol, killing him almost instantly.

At the end of the film, Django returns to Candie's estate after his funeral, killing all of his guards and sister and setting free several slaves in the process. Django shoots Stephen in the legs and leaves him for dead in the mansion as he walks out, blowing it up with dynamite seconds later.

Personality

Calvin is shown to act on the negative southern stereotypes, as seen with his sadistic racism and his implied crush on his sister. Despite his fearsome reputation, he isn't very intelligent as he didn't know his favorite writer, Alexandre Dumas, was black, nor does he know how to speak French despite insisting on being addressed as Monsieur. It is also implied that he doesn't know how to read or write. Nevertheless, Candy holds a high opinion of himself, considering himself a worldly person, an expert on French culture and Phrenology, which has since been proven to be a pseudo-science. Despite his negative traits, he is good friends with Stephen, his oldest house slave and a doting brother to his sister Lara. Maybe a little TOO doting.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Candie is regarded as the most evil character that Leonardo DiCaprio has ever played. In fact, even DiCaprio himself began to feel uncomfortable playing the role.
  • Candie's plantation, Candieland, appears to have a well known reputation throughout the slave community. When it is discovered that Broomhilda is at Candieland, Django tells Dr. Shultz that "All slaves know about Candieland."
  • Leonardo DiCaprio was considered for the role of Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds, but it eventfully fell to Christoph Waltz due to his German background.
  • It is mentioned at one point during the film that Candie is illiterate.
  • Like in most, if not all of DiCaprio's previous roles, Candie smokes for a good amount of the film.
  • In the film, Candie's dialogue contains 152 uses of the N-word.
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