In a behind-the-scenes trivia, director Quentin Tarantino reveals that he considered cutting the KKK “stock market head” scene in Django Unchained.
Quentin Tarantino reveals that he almost cut off the iconic “stock market head” conversation between KKK members in Django unchained. Tarantino’s Oscar-winning film, which opened in 2012, follows a German bounty hunter named Schultz (Christoph Waltz) and a freed slave known as Django (Jamie Foxx) as they attempt to rescue Django’s wife (Kerry Washington) from a Noted plantation owner (Leonardo DiCaprio) in 19th century Mississippi.
During the film, members of the Ku Klux Klan gather at night to prepare for a violent raid. In the middle of the discussion, the ringleader fiddles with the eyeholes in his mask, complaining that he cannot see, and accidentally rips the fabric. Other followers of KKK proceed to criticize the integrity of the design of the bags on their heads, pointing out that they cannot see or breathe properly. One of them snorts angrily, insulted by what he perceives as a slight against his wife, who spent all day working on the masks. After admitting that the bags could be better, the ringleader insists they use them anyway. As a result, the followers of the KKK end up riding their horses aimlessly in circles.
According to Empire movie podcast (via Collider)Tarantino considered deleting the scene because he wasn’t sure the audience would appreciate the comedy inherent in the situation. Speaking with Wright, Tarantino offered an explanation for his hesitation:
“That was everyone’s favorite scene in the script. Amy Pascal, half the reason I wanted to make the movie at Columbia was because of that scene. But it was one of those scenes that was so successful on the page that I started to get intimidated about whether it would be that good in the movie. Does everyone like the page so much? [that it’s] Will I lose anything in translation once I have a bunch of actors playing the parts? Because it is not based on a performance, it is a lot of people. And it happens in a strange part of the movie. “
In fact, when Tarantino showed snippets of the “stock market head” scene to visiting interviewers and directors, he was disappointed in their response. However, when she briefly removed content from the film, Sony producer Amy Pascal immediately questioned why it had been removed. In response, Tarantino re-added the scene and then decided to assess how to proceed from the reactions of the test projection. There, the audience couldn’t help but laugh at the “baghead” moment, cementing Tarantino’s decision to keep it in the end.
By sharing this fascinating trivia, Tarantino demonstrated the crucial ways context matters in storytelling. While the KKK scene may not have generated laughs on its own, its inclusion within the broader narrative of Django unchained elevated and strengthened his comic purpose. Ultimately, it functioned as a satirical rebuke from the KKK, stripping away the group’s false bravado and instead highlighting their cowardice. Like many of Tarantino’s movies, Django unchained offers reimagined historical situations that actively mock those in power.
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