Song of the Day #4,079: ‘I Got a Name’ – Jim Croce

Continuing my countdown of the films of Quentin Tarantino:

#8 – Django Unchained

Maybe it says more about my opinion of Westerns than about the films of Quentin Tarantino, but I just realized the bottom of my list is made up of QT’s explorations of Western tropes.

Django Unchained looks at American slavery through the lens of a Black bounty hunter on a quest to win back his wife from a plantation owner. And for most of its nearly three hour running time it is one of Tarantino’s best films.

Unfortunately, the final 25 minutes or so is a bit of a mess, including a cameo by Tarantino in which he attempts an Australian accent (one universal truth of Tarantino’s movies is that his “acting” scenes fall incredibly flat).

But oh, if you just set the ending aside, this is a glorious movie. Charming, funny, scary and even romantic.

Jamie Foxx brings intense charisma to the title role. Christoph Waltz won his second Supporting Actor Oscar for his winning portrayal of Dr. King Schultz, a German bounty hunter who takes Django on as a protege. And Leonardo DiCaprio chews scenery (and accidentally slices open his hand without breaking character in one scene) as the villainous man-child Calvin Candie.

Samuel L. Jackson adds another strong performance to his Tarantino repertoire, perhaps the most vile of the bunch, as the house slave Stephen.

Django won Tarantino his second Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and remains his top-grossing film. It’s an unlikely hit and a great example of how unique Tarantino is in the movie business. Who else could turn this subject matter into a $150 million-plus crowd-pleaser?

[Verse 1: Jim Croce]
Like the pine trees lining the winding road
I got a name, I got a name
Like the singing bird and the croaking toad
I got a name, I got a name
And I carry it with me like my daddy did
But I’m living the dream that he kept hid

Movin’ me down the highway, rollin’ me down the highway
Movin’ ahead so life won’t pass me by

[Verse 2: Jim Croce]
Like the north wind whistlin’ down the sky
I got a song, I got a song
Like the whippoorwill and the baby’s cry
I got a song, I got a song
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud
If it gets me nowhere, I’ll go there proud

Movin’ me down the highway, rollin’ me down the highway
Movin’ ahead so life won’t pass me by

And I’m gonna go there free

[Verse 3: Jim Croce]
Like the fool I am and I’ll always be
I got a dream, I got a dream
They can change their minds but they can’t change me
I got a dream, I got a dream
Oh, I know I could share it if you’d want me to
If you’re goin’ my way, I’ll go with you

[Chorus x2]
Movin’ me down the highway, rollin’ me down the highway
Movin’ ahead so life won’t pass me by

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,079: ‘I Got a Name’ – Jim Croce

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Definitely one of QT’s most provocative films. I don’t specifically recall the last 25 minutes being a mess, but I only saw this once and it’s been awhile,

  2. Peg says:

    I really liked this one! Especially Christopher Waltz’s character, I did have to hide my eyes a few times but it wasn’t during the ending.

  3. Amy says:

    I so want to see the scenes with the songs you’re featuring this week!! I may have to go rewatch this film just to remind myself of the context of the scene when this song appeared. I loved this movie and was intrigued to recently learn the DiCaprio had to convince Tarantino to let him play the role, as QT initially intended it for a much older actor.

    • Clay says:

      YouTube has you covered in this case. This is one of my favorite scenes in the movie. It takes place after Schultz invites Django to join him as a fellow bounty hunter.

      • Amy says:

        Well why not just post that in the first place?! Found myself tearing up a bit…. boy, do I adore the way QT weaves in unexpected songs into his films. Just beautiful. And where the hell was that shot? Such a glorious country this is.

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