Very few Tarantino scripts have been made by other people. One was the notorious Natural Born Killers, so disliked by Quentin that he disowned the film and might have physically attacked producer Don Murphy over it. It’s not clear how he felt about True Romance, the other Tarantino script rendered by a big-shot director, the late Tony Scott. But even fans agree it’s the best Tarantino movie made by someone else.
In all fairness, the final movie differs quite a bit from the original script, which employs the same out-of-order approach Tarantino later used for Pulp Fiction. There is even a fan-edit that re-arranges the movie to reflect the original script. But the Tony Scott product needs no improvement. Taking some of the finest talent of the early Nineties, it is a story for the ages, with some great cameos.
Let’s just start counting those: you have Brad Pitt as a couch-slumming stoner and James Gandolfini as a ruthless mob enforcer. You get to see Gary Oldman as a psychotic rasta drug dealer and an off-screen Val Kilmer as Elvis. And nobody can forget when Dennis Hopper manages the impossible and steals the entire scene from a brilliant Christopher Walken – arguably one of the top ten pieces of dialogue in the history of cinema. Leading all of this is Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette in one of the best love stories written for a film. Even the captivating intro song is instantly iconic and will always remind you of this movie.
As these cult classics go, True Romance bombed at the box office, not even making back its $13 million budget. But a year later Pulp Fiction arrived, spawning a legacy of edgy, colourful crime-drama movies. Yet True Romance was never a pretender. It was ahead of the curve and today deserves its reputation as one of those films you have to see before you die.
Last Updated: July 23, 2013