With Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood currently getting a lot of attention, many people are taking the time to look back over Tarantino's impressive past works. One of his films that can sometimes get lost in the shuffle is True Romance, an early script of his following the violent love story of two young outlaws.
Though Tarantino did not direct the movie (it is a Tony Scott film), it still has his distinct feel. One of the dead giveaways is the brilliant and spell-binding dialogue. It remains one of the most quotable of Tarantino's films and that's saying something. Take a look back on some of the best quotes from True Romance.
10 Number One Fan
I always said, if I had to f**k a guy, I mean had to, if my life depended on it... I'd f**k Elvis.
Tarantino really knows how to grab an audience's attention early on and he can usually do it just with his extraordinary dialogue. Such is the case with the memorable opening scene in this film when we are introduced to Clarence (Christian Slater).
Clarence is in a bar talking to a young woman about his favorite obsession, Elvis Presley. It is certainly a bold choice to flirt with a girl while talking about his Elvis fantasies. It's a funny line and shows Clarence as an unusual guy who isn't afraid to talk at length about the things he loves.
He must have thought it was white boy day. It ain't white boy day, is it?
True Romance is a star-studded film filled with plenty of famous people giving great performances. One of the most entertaining performances is from Gary Oldman as Drexl, a dreadlock-wearing pimp who likes to pretend he's black.
It is an unhinged performance like only Oldman can deliver, and although he is not in the film for long, he leaves his mark. After beating up Clarence, he delivers this wonderfully weird line that shows just how delusional this psychopath is.
8 Big Don
I eat every mother f**king thing.
Samuel L. Jackson seems like he was born to say Tarantino's dialogue. Having appeared in most of Tarantino's films, he just sells those wonderful lines so well and he first proved it even before he worked with Tarantino himself.
Jackson has a tiny role in this film as Big Don. While at a drug deal, Don and the other thugs have a lively and vulgar conversion about their sexual habits. Jackson proves he is the master at handling this kind of dialogue in this small but hilarious moment.
7 Elvis The Mentor
I like you, Clarence. Always have. Always will.
Clarence's obsession with Elvis goes beyond those odd hypothetical fantasies and proves to be a full-on hallucination. As we see several times in the film, Clarence imagines Elvis himself is talking to him as a sort of guardian angel.
Played by a mostly unseen Val Kilmer, the addition of the so-called "Mentor" character is brilliantly strange. It adds a fantasy element to this ultra-violent crime story as this Elvis figure guides Clarence on his dangerous journey. His repeated line, "I like you, Clarence. Always have. Always will" shows how much Clarence has lost touch with reality.
6 Couch Potatoe
Don't condescend me, man. I'll f**kin' kill ya, man.
One of the biggest surprises in the film is the amazing and hilarious cameo by Brad Pitt as Floyd. Though Pitt was well on his way to stardom at the time, he appears in this small role as a useless stoner who is constantly seen on the couch.
Pitt is incredibly funny in the part as Floyd unwittingly sets the stage for some of the bloodiest moments in the film, all the while he is just smoking his bong. His attempt to tough-talk James Gandolfini's gangster character is one of the film's funniest moments.
5 Be Prepared
If there's one thing this last week has taught me, it's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.
Watching Clarence go from a lonely comic book store clerk to a violent outlaw is a fascinating journey. He takes to the new life very well and proves to be quite good at it, but it becomes clear that everything he is doing is just taken from movies or comic books.
Despite living in a fantasy world, Clarence is a convincing tough guy. After surviving several dangerous situations by the skin of his teeth, Clarence decides to always be prepared for things to go south. As it turns out, it was a good philosophy.
4 Coke Deal
Hi. How are you? My name's Elliot, and I'm with the Cub Scouts of America. We're selling uncut cocaine to get to the jamboree.
As the third act of the film gets ready to kick-off, a new plot development is thrown into the equation. Hollywood assistance Elliot (Bronson Pinchot) is arrested and forced to be an informant and wear a wire during the drug deal between his producer boss and Clarence.
In a great moment, Elliot is testing out his new communication device with his police handlers. His nervous energy is hilarious and the moment was improvised by Pinchot himself.
3 Love Story
I think what you did… was so romantic.
As the title suggests, despite all the drugs and violence, True Romance is a love story at its core. Sure, it is an unconventional love story, but its hard not to root for the young lovers to win and make it out alive. Alabama (Patricia Arquette) is the heart of the story and the reason Clarence's actions don't seem so terrible.
After being married a few short days, Clarence comes home to tell Alabama that he killed her former pimp. Breaking down into tears, she tells him she thinks it was so romantic and thus begins their violent and strange love story.
2 History Lesson
You're Sicilian, huh?
While the movie is Clarence and Alabama's story, the most intense, exciting and memorable scene involves neither of them. The scene involves a gangster named Coccotti (Christopher Walken) who interrogated Clarence's father Clifford (Dennis Hopper) about the whereabouts of his son.
Not willing to give up his son but not wanting to be tortured, Clifford decides to teach Coccotti some history about his Sicilian heritage. It is a brilliantly written scene elevated further by two amazing actors at the height of their talents.
1 Fruit Basket
You're a cantaloupe.
After Clifford gives Coccotti his racially insensitive history lesson, he decides to twist the life a little further by adding "You're an eggplant" which is meant as a racial slur.
At this point, the audience can pretty much guess what is going to happen to Clifford, but the film drags out the moment with even more tension. Coccotti laughs at the remark before saying, "You're a cantaloupe." It's a bizarre but brilliant and funny line improvised by Walken that has appropriately brutal connotations.