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"You will notice three distinct dimples. Here, here and here. Now... if I was holding the skull of an Isaac Newton or Galileo, these three dimples would be found in the area of the skull most associated with creativity. But this is the skull of Old Ben. And in the skull of Old Ben, unburdened by genius, these three dimples exist in the area of the skull most associated with servility. Now bright boy, I will admit you are pretty clever. But if I took this hammer here and I bashed in your skull with it, you would have the same three dimples in the same place... AS OLD BEN." ― Calvin Candie to Django and Dr. Schultz.[source]

Calvin Candie was the main antagonist of the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film, Django Unchained. He was the Francophile owner of the plantation Candyland.

He was portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, who also played Rick Dalton in Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.

Biography

Background

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.

Meeting Django and Schultz

When Django and Dr. King Schultz arrive at yoza Cleopatra Club*, they are taken to the bar to meet Candie, who is watching two muscular slaves fight to the death. After the winning slave kills the losing slave (a rule that is part of the slave fight), Candie congratulates him and rewards him a drink. When Django meets Candie, he antagonizes him since he is Broomhilda's owner. Schultz reminds him not to make Candie suspicious to which Django retorts that he is only trying to play the part. The duo begins a deal to purchase one of the fighting slaves as a coverage for rescuing Broomhilda.

Journey to Candyland

As the duo travel to Candyland, Django is riding horseback alongside Candie's hired white men while the fighter slaves walk on foot and Schultz is invited to share the carriage with Candie and his lawyer. During their travel, they meet up with slavers and hounds surrounding a tree in which a slave named D'Artagnan has climbed. Candie orders the slavers and hounds to remains quiet as he immediately speaks to D'Artagnan. He taunts him for his attempted escape and the slave reveals that he couldn't handle fighting anymore, even though he claimed he had won three matches. Candie reveals that D'Artagnan can't retire until he has won five fights in a row in order to recoup his investment for $500. Candie then orders the slavers to release their hounds to tear D'Artagnan into pieces, much to Django and Schultz's shock. Later, they travel directly to Candyland and meets with Stephen, who is the only slave who dishabits his fellow slaves and is staunchly loyal to Candie. Stephen announces to Candie that Broomhilda has tried to escape and is captured for which she has been locked in a box outside since morning. Candie orders his men to release her and get her dressed. Django watches as his screaming wife is taken in the house.

Dinner and Death

Candie, with his injured hand now bandaged after smashing a glass, is paid $12,000 by Schultz and signs a release form for Broomhilda von Schaft, making her a free woman. As Schultz turns to leave, Candie has one final thought: to shake Schultz's hand. Schultz refuses multiple times, but Candie insists, claiming that a deal in the South is not considered complete without a handshake. He orders one of his men to shoot Broomhilda should Schultz not comply. Schultz approaches Candie but draws his sleeve gun instead, shooting Candie in the chest, who stares at his wound wordlessly before dropping dead. Schultz then apologizes to Django before he is shot to death by Candie's bodyguard Butch Pooch (who would later get shot to death by an angry Django) leading to a bloody gunfight as Stephen mourns and cries over his master's body. Eventually, he is buried within a casket at his funeral.

Personality

Calvin Candie is shown to act on the negative Southern stereotypes, as seen with his sadistic racism and his implied incestuous feelings for his sister, Lara Lee Candie-Fitzwilly. He 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. Candie sees people of color as beneath him and little more than property, and displays a disdain for people who are critical of slavery, referring to them as "n*gger lovers". The depths of his depravity are seen when he gives Django and Dr. Schultz a lecture on his belief that people of color 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.

Despite his fearsome and opprobrious reputation, he is partially shrewd and intelligent, as he did not 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, Candie holds a high opinion of himself, considering himself a worldly and sophisticated 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. Candie is also extremely cold-hearted, sadistic, and cruel, taking incredible delight in watching two Black men viciously fight right in front of him, and cheering when one gouges out the other's eyes. He also casually orders one of his slaves to be mauled to death by dogs.

Trivia

  • Although Candie is the main antagonist of the film, he was killed off and replaced by Stephen in the climax.
  • Candie is regarded as one of the most evil characters 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. Schultz that "All slaves know about Candieland".
  • It is mentioned at one point during the film that Candie is illiterate.
  • In the film, Candie's dialogue contains 152 uses of the "N-Word".
  • It has been speculated that Calvin killed Lara's husband due to his feelings for her.
  • Quentin Tarantino stated that Candie is his least favorite character that he has created.
  • The scene where Candie is laughing has become a popular internet meme.
  • During the scene where Candie threatens both Django and Schultz while they are negotiating on a table, his actor Leonardo DiCaprio got his left hand accidentally cut when he hits a wine glass with it, where he was supposed to hit the table only, causing it to bleed in real life. Later scenes of the character shows him having his bled out hand wrapped in bandage after the injury.