Welcome to Commentary Commentary, the place we sit and take heed to filmmakers speak about their work, then share probably the most fascinating components. On this version, Rob Hunter revisits a movie this column has already lined however with a distinct observe… this time we’re listening to Quentin Tarantino discuss True Romance.
True Romance is arguably a prime 5 Quentin Tarantino film and one among solely three movies he wrote however didn’t direct. It’s just lately been remastered and launched in 4K UltraHD with outdated dietary supplements ported over. A rewatch reveals it to be a movie that holds up remarkably effectively with a forged that also manages to impress, and the commentary tracks are equally price having fun with. 9 years in the past we gave a take heed to director Tony Scott’s commentary observe, however at this time we’re revisiting it with the author.
Hold studying to see what I heard on Tarantino’s commentary for True Romance!
True Romance (1993)
Commentator: Quentin Tarantino (author)
1. This “was the primary script I ever wrote,” he says earlier than clarifying that he wrote a number of others earlier than this, “however I by no means completed any of them.” He by no means made it previous web page thirty with the others, however this was the primary time he discovered himself absolutely enamored together with his story and characters. “I had a narrative to inform, and I wasn’t simply making an attempt to a screenplay to be able to make a film.”
2. He mentions one other script referred to as The Open Highway — his “nice American novel” — that not less than in handwritten type, numbered over five-hundred pages. It was reportedly break up in some style to grow to be each True Romance and Pure Born Killers, however he makes no point out of that right here.
3. The opening dialogue the place Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) says he’d fuck Elvis was lifted from a monologue in Tarantino’s quick “My Greatest Buddy’s Birthday” (1987).
4. His goal with this script was to get it made alongside the traces of how the Coen Brothers produced Blood Easy (1984) — by discovering financing from medical doctors and dentists. He spent 5 years making an attempt to go that path to no avail. “If you happen to had met me throughout these 5 years, simply know that I might have bought you this script for a cut price basement value simply to show to myself that I used to be a author.”
5. The Road Fighter (1974) was the primary movie to obtain an X-rating for violence within the U.S.
6. Whereas folks dig his author’s “voice” now, he remembers being instructed early on that he “was doing it mistaken” when it got here to the correct approach to write a script.
7. The questions that Clarence asks Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette) within the diner are primarily taken from the Playboy centerfold questionnaires.
8. The diner sequence initially included a second half with Alabama telling a narrative about having amnesia and no reminiscence of who she is or the place she’s been. He doesn’t blame director Tony Scott for ignoring it.
9. Tarantino’s dream casting whereas writing the script was Robert Carradine as Clarence and Joan Cusack as Alabama.
10. He refers back to the script/movie as “autobiographical” quite a few instances whereas including that he by no means had a girlfriend and was by no means chased round by thugs searching for their stolen medicine. “It’s like watching some bizarre residence films of my former self.”
11. The movie is just about a direct adaptation of Tarantino’s script other than the ending change and a few structural shifts. Like a few of his personal directorial efforts, the script initially adopted a non-linear construction.
12. A scene from A Higher Tomorrow II (1987) is within the movie, however the script initially specified Grasp of the Flying Guillotine (1976).
13. It wasn’t specified within the script that Elvis (Val Kilmer) would by no means actually be seen all that clearly, and he was nervous that the actor could be upset by Scott’s alternative. He heard later that Kilmer beloved it.
14. In addition they have been uncertain they might get the rights to make use of Elvis’ likeness from Lisa Marie Presley, so they only referred to him as Mentor within the credit. Years later, Tarantino obtained to look at the movie sitting subsequent to Lisa Marie, “however I believe she appreciated it.”
15. When he lastly bought the script — for $33,000 — it was initially going to be directed by Invoice Lustig (Maniac Cop, 1988), however “he wasn’t able to take this leap.”
16. A small “exploitation” studio referred to as CineTel Movies employed Tarantino to do dialogue touch-ups on scripts they have been producing — “they have been truly web page one rewrites” — and the pinnacle of improvement launched him to Scott. They hit it off, and he let Scott learn his new script for Reservoir Canine which the director instantly wished to make. Tarantino stated no as he hoped to direct it himself, so he supplied Scott the scripts for each True Romance and Pure Born Killers as a substitute.
17. He is a large fan of Scott’s Revenge (1990) which is the right response to that movie.
18. Tarantino provides notes in his script signifying music cues, and Scott ignored all however one among them — Burl Ives’ “A Little Bitty Tear.”
19. He didn’t go to the set in any respect as his opinion is that writers shouldn’t be except they commit in a giant approach and stay there day-after-day.
20. “I believe the case may be made that this scene is simply too good,” he says relating to the notorious “Sicilian scene.” He’s not a fan of Christopher Walken‘s “you’re a cantaloupe” improvisation, however this scene is the primary time he stops speaking to easily benefit from the brilliance of Scott, Walken, and Dennis Hopper. He recommends Jack Cardiff’s The Lengthy Ships (1964) for folks excited by the entire historical past of Moors/Sicilians.
21. Brad Pitt‘s Floyd is Tarantino’s tackle all of the roommates he needed to undergo by earlier than discovering success. Floyd’s the closest factor he’s written to a mere sketch of a personality, and he credit Pitt with taking that nothing on the web page and making it so memorable.
22. Tarantino desires to make it clear that the weather he consists of in his movies are by no means meant to be taken mockingly. Violence, popular culture references, dialogue beats — “I imply it.”
23. The scene the place Virgil (James Gandolfini) beats the tar out of Alabama was closely trimmed by the MPAA, and Tarantino remembers how they have been much less involved along with her being crushed than they have been along with her combating again. “She’s too animalistic,” they complained.
24. True Romance is Tarantino’s mother’s favourite movie of his.
25. One of many issues he doesn’t like concerning the movie is the unrealistic facet of the framed posters on Dick (Michael Rapaport) and Floyd’s partitions. These two are far too broke to afford a lot framing, and he thinks they really feel like film selections that don’t match the characters.
26. The Coming House in a Physique Bag 2 “dailies” taking part in within the producer’s resort suite is helicopter footage from Platoon (1986).
27. Tarantino was a real movie lover within the 80s and grew to despise the Academy for being too stuffy, however his opinion modified within the 90s. Coincidentally, Pulp Fiction (1994) was nominated for 2 Oscars and gained one for his script.
28. He desires to make it clear that he didn’t ripoff “Mexican standoffs” from John Woo and different Hong Kong filmmakers. This script was completed in 1987 — he’s certain of the date as a result of after finishing it he went to see Norman Mailer’s Robust Guys Don’t Dance which opened in September 1987 — and by that point he hadn’t seen any Hong Kong movies other than the old-school martial arts films. “Mexican standoffs are as a lot mine as they’re anyone else’s.”
29. “Now, the closest factor I ever got here to a Mexican standoff was concerning the finish. He wished to vary the ending, and I bear in mind coming to him, very impassioned, and saying ‘Tony, don’t change the ending! Not for business bullshit causes! You’re the person that made Revenge, and I like Revenge a lot, and she or he dies in the long run of Revenge, and it’s what makes the film so romantic.’ Tony was in a position to fight me very passionately on his personal factors and stated ‘Quentin, I’m not doing it to make it a Hollywood film. I’m not doing it to attempt to flip it into one thing it’s not. I wish to do it. It’s not for business causes. I wish to do it as a result of I like these two children, and I wish to see them get away.’ I wished to be robust, however I don’t know what it’s about Tony Scott however I’m a whole pussycat in his fingers, and he may most likely discuss me into doing something. Now I gotta say, I believe Tony’s ending is best for the film Tony made.”
30. He credit Scott with doing what a director ought to with the difference and make it their very own. Clarence dying within the script is sensible to Tarantino, however Scott’s movie is much extra profitable as a fairy story of types which means Clarence wanted to stay. “If I had made the film he would have died. It could have been the identical script however it will have been completely different. And in mine I believe it will have labored. However in his, no, in his I believe he was proper.”
Greatest in Context-Free Commentary
“If you attempt to make a film, I don’t know in case you’ll have something price exhibiting for it, however you’ll know how you can make a film.”
“I’m throughout my scripts.”
“If you end a chunk of labor, you need to virtually be embarrassed by it a bit bit, since you are simply revealing your self.”
“I’m extremely moved by my notion of myself.”
“It was essential that Clarence be a minimum-wage child.”
“Now it’s okay to say you want Tony Scott, however within the early 90s folks used to place him down.”
“Scripts you write are like girlfriends. There’s the women you marry and the women you don’t.”
“That is probably the most single autobiographical scene I’ve ever written, not that any of this occurred or something.”
“Clearly, I like Mexican standoffs.”
“Half the rationale I wished to be well-known was so I may say my opinions folks would recognize them.”
“I’m a giant fan of Bruce Lee.”
“I consider nice artists don’t do homages, they steal. Neophytes do homages.”
It’s a rattling disgrace that Tarantino doesn’t do extra commentary tracks as they’re each extremely entertaining and crammed with fascinating particulars. True Romance stays a implausible movie, and he’s proper that it’s extra of a Scott film than a Tarantino one. Followers ought to make time to rewatch with each commentary tracks — there’s even one other with Slater and Arquette — and in case you haven’t picked it up but the brand new 4K UltraHD launch from Arrow Video is simply perfection.
Learn extra Commentary Commentary from the archives.
Associated Matters: Commentary Commentary, Quentin Tarantino, True Romance