The films of Quentin Tarantino offer many potential choices when you’re compiling a collection with the title you see above.
The obvious choices spring gleefully to mind: the countless bodies falling at the sword of The Bride in the slaughter of The Crazy 88, the final stand off between Mr White, Nice Guy Eddie and Joe Cabot, dance time at Jack Rabbit Slims, the final curtain call at Le Gramaar and so on.
Each new film brings a number of show stopping scenes to Tarantino’s stockpile and with Django Unchained out on DVD and Blu-ray today there are many great moments to be enjoyed as Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx seek revenge in Tarantino’s self-dubbed ‘Southern’, one of which we have included below.
Without further ado here are the six scenes from Mr. Tarantino which we enjoyed the most.
The making of Mr. Orange.
We become quickly used to the shifting narrative sands of Tarantino’s debut when we follow a relaxed pre-heist breakfast with wise cracks and tipping etiquette with a post-heist scene of carbound carnage. As the film plays on we discover more about the lead up to the job gone wrong, and Mr. Orange’s undercover identity is revealed in a great piece of cinematic storytelling.
It’s crucial that as even though we know that Freddy Newandyke has successfully fooled his way into the gang there is still a palpable tension as he describes a fictional close shave with the law in order to prove his criminal standing.
Tim Roth’s measured delivered is key to the unfolding of Mr. Orange’s tall tale. Having him appear in character (in another character) telling his story over and over (and even in the story) is a dazzling display and an indicator of the connection Tarantino has with his actors.
NSFW language, obviously.
Marvin loses his head.
It was the moment for many of us when we realised that in Tarantino’s world nothing, and no-one, was safe. The chilling violence of Reservoir Dogs re-emerged in the director’s next film but there was a glossy, almost comic-book sheen over it all. So when a bump in the road causes a gun to go off in Marvin’s face all bets are off. Like much of Tarantino’s violence it is sudden, cruel and ever so-slightly funny.
Where the moment leads us is just as good as the moment itself. The introduction of Winston Wolf (”That’s thirty minutes away. I’ll be there in ten.”), the menial work of cleaning up the car and the whole notion of the all conquering power of divine intervention interweaving with one of the most cruel accidents on film is just great fun.
Here’s the scene, violence, harsh language, etc all follow.
Max Cherry and Jackie Brown.
The adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch is not only arguably Tarantino’s least violent film it also features his most poignant love story. The oft-told tale of the drug-running stewardess and her bail bondsman is given a heart warming tenderness thanks to Leonard’s story, Tarantino’s most careful dialogue and Pam Grier’s beautiful chemistry with her co-star Robert Forster.
It is all too rare to see a man and a woman over the age of forty falling in love on-screen, it is even rarer to find a final moment as suddenly devastating as the one which befalls Max and Jackie. The film shows a considerable maturity from the days of Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction and the scene in which Jackie offers Max the chance to go away with her to enjoy the spoils of their shared endeavours is perfectly handled by the director. The slow fade out of focus as Max retreats into the back of his shop to consider his decision is heartbreaking every time.
Watch it first as part of the film, but if you want to relive it here it is.
Beatrix and her Kiddo.
There is bloodshed by the bucket load, with impeccably staged scenes of samurai sword swishing carnage, kitchenbound knife fights, premature burial, snake (not-so)charmers meeting grisly fates and much more in Tarantino’s double dose of Kill Bill. However it is the moment when it stops, the moment when there are no more bodies to step over, when Kill Bill reveals its true colours. It is, above all, a story not of revenge, but of love.
Arriving at Bill’s house with guns poised Beatrix Kiddo steps into a gun fight she was not expecting. Bill and B.B. in the middle of a pretend life and death situation welcome the introduction of The Bride with a playful version of a Mexican standoff. The utter desolation on Uma Thurman’s face and the complete collapse the realisation of her situation is nicely over the top, yet completely in keeping with the heightened emotional journey. The scene following with Mother and Daughter lying in bed watching Shogun Assassin is a welcome calm before the final throes of the storm.
Once Upon a Time…
From humble, almost gentle beginnings Tarantino’s war film very quickly descends into full-on madness. In it he captures the arrogance of war, the futility of human nature and many of the shades of collusion and resistance therein. Though we will end in the bullet-crowded inferno of a finale it is the opening scene which sets our scene with terrible efficiency.
This was, for many, an introduction to Christoph Waltz, now two-time Oscar winner for his roles in Tarantino’s films. His chuckling, self-deprecating demeanor renders our expectations unstable as the scene plays out with Tarantino raising the levels of suspense to almost unbearable heights with the German officer’s quarry seen hiding below the floorboards. Tarantino’s measure of pacing is pitch perfect here, as is the dialogue (and well timed language shift) which impresses immediately.
It begins a very satisfying film, and serves as a very welcome introduction to a great actor.
Big Daddy and the Brittle Brothers.
Following another fine opening scene in which Christoph Waltz’s Dr. King Schultz lays out his charge he and Django trot up to the gleaming white facade of Big Daddy’s plantation mansion. The time spent here is a great indicator of where Tarantino plans to lead us as the requisite disbelief at a black man (in a subtle cobalt blue suit with Knickerbockers and a touch of the Austin Powers) on a horse, the silver tongued rapport of Waltz’s Doctor playing up to the greed of Big Daddy and then the sudden violence is far more than just another step on the rode to revenge.
It is the moment when we realise the power of Django and the role of Dr. Schultz in harnessing this power. The former dentist turned bounty hunter aims to collect the bounty, aims to reunite Django with his beloved Broomhilda too, but there’s something far more intriguing about the man’s morality being out of step with the rest of the world. It is the moment when Django and Schultz become equals in more ways than one. Also it has the brilliant line from Betina, “You mean… you wanna dress like that?”