Quentin Tarantino is best-known for his scripts with amazingly written dialogue and his brilliant casting choices, picking out the perfect people to deliver that dialogue. From his first film, Reservoir Dogs, which he shot in association with the Sundance Institute, to his breakthrough Pulp Fiction and everything that followed, Tarantino introduced the world to some of the most interesting and memorable characters in all movies.
Tarantino now has nine movies under his belt, as well as a co-director role in another (Grindhouse) and a few scripted movies directed by others (True Romance, Natural Born Killers). Through his work, crisp dialogue and great characters thrived. Just looking at the films he directed, here are 10 of Quentin Tarantino's most memorable characters.
10 MR. PINK
Quentin Tarantino started his career with the movie Reservoir Dogs. Thanks to Harvey Keitel reading the script, Tarantino was able to cast several familiar faces—one of which was an indie favorite in Steve Buscemi as Mr. Pink. Tarantino then started the movie with an extended scene of the criminals talking over breakfast in a diner.
It wasn't what people might expect, but thanks to the brilliant dialogue, it was the perfect introduction to Tarantino's body of work. Mr. Pink was one of the standouts, as he talked about the reason he never tips, much to the chagrin of his other partners in crime. He is also the only man who lives in the movie.
9 CALVIN CANDIE
Quentin Tarantino went way back in time for his 2012 film Django Unchained. The movie took place in the Old South and focused on a freed slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who meets a bounty hunter named Schultz (Christoph Waltz) and sets out to help him catch his targets in exchange for help freeing his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington).
Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Calvin Candie, a cotton plantation owner in Mississippi who is wealthy thanks to his cotton plantation as well as for holding what he calls brutal Mandingo fights between slaves. He is also the slave owner of Broomhilda and is a terrible person, although he really has no idea what he is doing.
8 LT. ALDO RAINE
In 2009, Quentin Tarantino told a story taking place during World War II that focused on the Americans' attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler. What makes Inglourious Basterds so brilliantly insane is that they succeeded, making this movie more of an alternate reality fantasy than anything else. He also got Brad Pitt to star in the film.
Pitt was not one of the main stars, but instead had a secondary role as Lt. Aldo Raine, the leader of the Basterds—a group of soldiers in Nazi-occupied France whose only goal was to hunt down Nazis and kill them. They also collected scalps to create a sense of terror. Pitt took on a Tennessee accent as a former hillbilly-moonshiner now leading a troop of killers.
7 MIA WALLACE
Pulp Fiction was the movie that made Quentin Tarantino a star and a household name, and that is why the film has the most characters on this list. Honestly, there could be 10 characters alone from the movie that can be considered immensely memorable. The movie follows three different stories, and Mia Wallace is the catalyst of the most interesting.
Mia is the wife of mobster Marsellus Wallace, whose ends up going out for a night of fun with one of her husband's top hitmen, Vincent Vega. While the film reveals little about Mia outside of this story, everything she does is memorable, from her dance moves both at home and at Jack Rabbit Slims to her overdosing on heroin and almost dying. Mia is more trouble than she is worth but entertaining throughout.
6 JACKIE BROWN
Jackie Brown might be Quentin Tarantino's most criminally underrated movie. Following Pulp Fiction, it had a lot to live up to, and it remains one of his best films. However, it received lackluster reviews and disappointing box office despite its brilliance. The movie followed the Rashomon formula, showing the story from different points of view until the truth was revealed.
As he did with John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, Tarantino brought back two stars from the '70s and made them relevant again in Pam Grier and Robert Forster. While both were great, it was Grier as the title character, a flight attendant named Jackie Brown caught smuggling money for a gangster, that stole the show and received a well-deserved career boost.
5 VINCENT VEGA
John Travolta was a star in the '70s both in movies (Grease) and TV (Welcome Back Kotter), but he wasn't in demand until Quentin Tarantino called on him to play the lead role in Pulp Fiction as Vincent Vega. He was one of the hitmen for gangster Marsellus Wallace and played a role in most of the stories in the movie.
Vincent was there when Mia Wallace overdosed and had to save her life. He was there when a wild couple took a diner hostage and his partner Jules Winnfield had to talk them down. The hit where Vincent and Jules took out some kids who doublecrossed Marsellus is classic. Plus, he died after getting off the toilet while attempting a hit on his own. After Pulp Fiction, Travolta was a Hollywood star once again.
4 MR. BLONDE
True Quentin Tarantino fans know that Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs is named Vic Vega and is, in fact, the brother of Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction. This connection is never part of the plots of the movies, but it is a fact that the director included this relationship in his movie universe for fun. With that said, if there is anyone in Reservoir Dogs that no one will ever forget, it is Mr. White.
While most of the criminals are killers, no one is as cruel and deranged as Mr. White. The scene where he has a police officer as a hostage and then cuts off the officer's ear and pours gasoline on him is one that is a masterclass of filmmaking, with the song "Stuck in the Middle Of You" playing over the horrifying and violent scene.
3 COL. HANS LANDA
Christoph Waltz has starred in two different Quentin Tarantino films and is a star thanks to the director. He was Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds and Dr. King Shultz in Django Unchained, and he won an Oscar for both roles. That should speak wonders for what a Tarantino script can do for a man's career.
The most memorable role of the two came in Inglourious Basterds, where Waltz was a Nazi whose nickname was The Jew Hunter, which is something he specialized in. He was evil, vindictive, manipulative, and very charming. He got the best monologues in the movie and stole every scene he appeared in.
2 JULES WINNFIELD
The most famous monologue from any Quentin Tarantino film came in Pulp Fiction when Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega went to pull off a hit on a group of slackers who doublecrossed Marsellus Wallace and stole something that belonged to him (a briefcase that is rumored to hold his soul).
Winnfield pulled out a fictional Bible verse as he stood over the men, and killed them all in the most brutal, unrelenting, and memorable manner ever recorded on film. Later, Jules decides he wants to be like Caine from Kung Fu and walk the earth, delivering another fantastic line of dialogue. Pulp Fiction is full of amazing characters, and Jules Winnfield is the best of them all.
1 THE BRIDE
The most memorable character Quentin Tarantino ever created was Beatrix Kiddo, who most people know as The Bride from Kill Bill. Released as two movies, Uma Thurman portrayed The Bride, a woman who was shot on her wedding day but ended up in a coma instead of dead.
When she came to, The Bride set out to kill everyone involved in her shooting until she finally reached the titular Bill and kill him as well. Through it all, The Bride ran through everyone in graphic, bloody, and violent action and became one of the greatest female action heroes in cinema history—and the most memorable Quentin Tarantino character ever created.