Near the end of Django Unchained, Schultz has a flashback to the dog-mauling that Candie had ordered earlier in the movie. Soon after the flashback, Schultz takes his climactic action.

Did the flashback represent Schultz realizing the sadistic Candie was going to kill them all, even if they paid the $12,000? Or did the flashback represent something else?

  • I also found the fact that Shultz chose to kill Candy rather than shake his hand both somewhat out of character (for shultz) and also inconsistent with everything up until that point in the plot. For example Shultz was a very adept planner/schemer. He was also a law abiding man. Killing Shultz the way he did demonstrated a lack of control and foresight on his part. Had he just shaken hands, it seemed plausible that everyone would have walked out of that place alive. Secondly, the skills that Shultz had demonstrated up until that point were flawless - it was so disappointing to see him die in t
    – user6901
    Commented Nov 25, 2013 at 4:25

3 Answers 3


You have slightly muddled the occurrence of events. Schultz has a flashback of the dog-mauling scene not right after Candie ups Broomhilda's(Django's wife) price, but later when the deal is being put to paper. In the violent moment where Candie threatens to bash Hilda's skull with a hammer, Schultz agrees to the raised price in a breath.

Later, when Dr. Schultz has a moment all by himself, sitting in the arm-chair, does he begin to experience the flash-backs of the hideous episode(dog-mauling). I believe he had those visions as a result of the trauma he had to undergo while witnessing the scene. The doctor was indeed a violent man, but not cruel and certainly didn't agree with slavery or Candie's methods.


Calvin Candie: Your boss looks a little green around the gills.

Django: He just ain't used to seein' a man ripped apart by dogs is all.

The climatic scene that you mention, was the repercussion or the end result of this flashback. Candie managed to antagonize Dr. Schultz so much over Broomhilda's deal and later(remember the insistence to shake hands) that he decided to pull the trigger.

EDIT: IMO, Schultz never considered the possibility (however remote or substantial) that Candie was going to kill them all. Rather than this being an act of premeditated self defense, this was more of an aggravated assault by Schultz not only against Candie's physical form but also against his misplaced ideals (read slavery, penchant for killing etc.).

  • +1 good points. I edited the question to remove the references to Broomhilda, which were not necessary.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 0:33
  • I'll edit my answer to make it more suitable to the current edited question.
    – Sayan
    Commented Jan 31, 2013 at 10:31

In fact my answer is very similar to KeyBrd Basher's but I'm still going to post my views:

I for myself wouldn't say that with this flashback he realized Candie was going to kill them all (which I'm not even sure was the case). I would rather say that this flashback just raised his anger over Candie's cruelty and increased his moral aversion against him, which then in the end led to him shooting Candie when he was angered even further to shake hands with such a man.

The point here is Schultz's aversion against Candie and slavery in general. In fact for me a much more important question was the deeper reason for this aversion. Of course slavery was a bad thing but at that time I think it still was something special to be as strongly against slavery as Schultz was (but maybe there wasn't much to it and he was just supposed to be a "good guy").

So even if at first Schultz seemed a bit violent or emotionless to Django (when he demanded to kill that one criminal in front of his son and urging Django to play that role of a black slave trader), this shifted when they finally entered Django's world and he realized that there were still things he hadn't seen yet. In the end he didn't expect the journey to be that traumatic and thought it would be a nice adventure helping Siegfried to get back Brunhilde and at the same time making an active statement against slavery by helping his "new black friend".

So in this flashback he recapitulated what evil he was really standing against there. When he was then finally urged to shake hands with a man he hated so much, he just couldn't resist.

  • 1
    +1 to me, it was more of a transformation: Schultz begins the movie mildly opposed to slavery and ends the movie fiercely hating slavery. But either way could support your idea that he then killed Candie out of disgust over slavery.
    – Shiz Z.
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 0:41
  • @ShaneFinneran Yeah, indeed. That transformation makes good sense.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 11:47

The flashback to be mindful of here is not of Schlutz seeing the dogs mauling at D'Artagnan, but the point of time where he asks Django to kill Smitty Bacall in the presence of his son and when Django confronts Schlutz on their way to Candyland with Candie in relation to Bacall"s killing.

This stirs up his moral sense when he witnesses D'Artagnan's killing which subsequently makes him kill Candie...

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