There is a scene in Django Unchained in which Candie (Leo DiCaprio) demands that Schultz shake his hand.

Did Candie really want just a handshake or did he have something more sinister in mind?

  • 1
    I wish I could edit the question to add "If there was indeed a law in southern US, particularly Mississippi that dictated deals to be finalized with a handshake?". But I can't in my right mind, pollute the original question. Great question btw!
    – Sayan
    Jan 24, 2013 at 7:06
  • I believe Dr.Schultz had simply met his disgust with Mr.Candie face to face. Earlier in the film he stated that he did not believe in slavery nor did he have any intention of abiding by it. Those flashback were sort of adding fuel to the fire in his mind.
    – user4849
    May 13, 2013 at 21:00

3 Answers 3


I believe it is to be interpreted as "getting the last laugh", "getting one up", or "getting the better" of the other person. A game of wits in which the two are playing mind games with each other to see who can get the last laugh.

Throughout the scenes leading up to this moment, after Candie forces Schultz to pay 12,000 for Broomhilda, Candie repeatedly says things to Schultz such as:

You're just upset that I got the better of you

(not an exact quote), implying that he outwitted Schultz. So when Schultz refuses to shake Candie's hand, Candie devises a scheme to "get one up" and force Schultz to shake his hand, to which Schultz replies with a gun shot to the chest. Schultz ultimately gets the better of Candie, but does so knowing he will lose his life. "I couldn't resist" shrugs

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    So Schultz essentially committed suicide, just to win a battle of egos? To me, such recklessness would be inconsistent with his character's behavior through rest of film. But maybe that was the point -- maybe that's how upset Candie made him. Hmm.
    – Shiz Z.
    Jan 10, 2013 at 19:20
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    @ShaneFinneran not so much reckless as vengeful. Immediately prior to this he was contemplating (via flashback) the scene of dogs attacking and killing the runaway. His moral sense that Candie deserved to be punished may have neutralised his risk aversion and allowed vengeance to dominate.
    – matt_black
    Jan 22, 2013 at 23:29
  • That explanation makes sense, Matt - thanks. Although I took the flashback to the dogs as Schultz thinking "he's going to kill us anyway, so I might as well take him out."
    – Shiz Z.
    Jan 23, 2013 at 19:34
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    @ShaneFinneran I'm not so sure Candie was really going to kill them. In fact I wondered why he didn't and waited for something sinister to happen, but in the end I'm not that sure he was really going to kill them, but who knows.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Jan 23, 2013 at 22:08
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    @Christian now that you mention it, I might ask a second question about what Candie had in mind...
    – Shiz Z.
    Jan 24, 2013 at 0:11

I think, that he wanted handshake, because of last abasement from Schults, who felt him his nonentity: he underlined Candy's faux-gentility, that he had many of books by Dumas but hadn't mind on its content (Schults was disgusted by Bethoven music because of this spuriousness too)


Anybody think Schultz poisoned Dicaprio? He walks off scene after asking for a pen and then comes back and give Dicaprio the pen when Dr Schultz takes the pen you'll notice he grabs it in a certain spot, as apposed to Dicaprio grabbed it full fisted. I think he poisoned him and was gonna leave but by shaking his hand he would've been poisoned as well. Back against a wall he shot him unexpectedly to end it all.

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    I would guess the "grabbing it in a certain spot" is a reaction to Candie's grabbing it "full fisted." In other words, Schultz was so disgusted by Candie that he minimized his contact with the pen Candie just man-handled.
    – Shiz Z.
    Apr 22, 2013 at 20:42
  • Interesting theory! But I think @ShaneFinneran's theory makes more sense.
    – Sayan
    Apr 29, 2013 at 8:04
  • No. He didnt posion him. And no Candie wasnt going to kill them all anyways. Dr Shultz was just so disgusted with Candies disregard for human life, and his callousness towards it, that finally, in the end, when Candie presses him for one more southern "lesson" in one upsmanship, he simply cannot take it anymore and simply shoots Candie in the heart. However, since his gun had two shots, he might just as well have killed butch as well, then he and Django mightve been able to shoot their way out together, but alas, it all worked out in the end anyways...
    – user7519
    Jan 8, 2014 at 15:40

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