Besides maybe Aaron Sorkin, no writer is as famed for their dialogue as Quentin Tarantino. He has an uncanny way of making each line stand well on its own and also contribute to the ongoing narrative. His characters’ conversations flow so smoothly, and they are each defined primarily by the way they speak and the words they choose.
A lot of this stems from Tarantino’s deep respect for language, something all good writers must have, and also his method of writing screenplays as novels without even considering how they’ll come out on-screen until he’s done writing them. Anyway, here is The Most Memorable Quote From Each Quentin Tarantino Movie, Ranked.
8 Death Proof: “Get ready to fly, b****!”
Quentin Tarantino has openly admitted that Death Proof is his worst movie, and he’s using it as the benchmark to make sure he never makes a movie that bad again. The slasher premise of the film actually had a lot of promise. Stuntman Mike is a menacing guy and he has an inventive way of killing his victims: crashing into them with his “death-proof” stunt car.
He even has quippy Freddy Krueger-esque lines like, “Get ready to fly, b****!” It’s just unfortunate that Tarantino eschewed the traditional slasher structure in favor of long, extended, drawn-out dialogue scenes that go nowhere, inspired by Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, a controversial cult Russ Meyers movie.
7 Kill Bill – “Do you find me sadistic?”
These are the movie’s haunting opening words. We open on a grainy black-and-white closeup shot of the Bride’s bruised and bloodied face and hear Bill speaking to her: “Do you find me sadistic? You know, I’ll bet I could fry an egg on your head right now if I wanted to. No, Kiddo, I’d like to believe you’re aware enough, even now, to know there’s nothing sadistic in my actions. Maybe towards those other jokers, but not you. No, Kiddo, this moment – this is me at my most...masochistic.”
And then she takes a bullet to the head and we burst into the opening titles set to the chilling twangs of Nancy Sinatra’s “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down).”
6 Jackie Brown – "AK-47. The very best there is."
"When you absolutely, positively got to kill every motherf***** in the room, accept no substitutes."
Samuel L. Jackson has said that Ordell Robbie in Jackie Brown is one of his favorite characters he’s ever played. And this is a guy with over 100 film credits to his name, so when he says he responded particularly well to a certain role, it actually means something.
Ordell is an arms dealer from the Elmore Leonard literary universe, who Tarantino brought to life on the big screen in his first (and so far only) adaptation of someone else’s story. Of all the guns he talks about, Ordell’s favorite is the AK-47, because it will “kill every motherf***** in the room.”
5 Inglourious Basterds – “I need me eight soldiers. Eight Jewish-American soldiers.”
This is the line that sets up Lt. Aldo Raine’s Apache warpath into Nazi-occupied Europe. But it also sets up Quentin Tarantino’s intentions with the movie. Inglourious Basterds is a historical movie, but not a historically accurate one – it’s a historical revenge fantasy that sees a platoon of Jewish-American soldiers exacting vengeance on Adolf Hitler and the whole Third Reich.
The Apache element is summed up at the end of the monologue: “Each and every man under my command owes me one hundred Nazi scalps. And I want my scalps. And all y’all will git me one hundred Nazi scalps, taken from the heads of one hundred dead Nazis. Or you will die tryin’.”
4 Reservoir Dogs – “Are you gonna bark all day, li’l doggie, or are you gonna bite?”
Michael Madsen was the perfect actor to play Mr. Blonde in Quentin Tarantino’s indie directorial debut Reservoir Dogs, because he has the ice-cool demeanor and laid-back charm to make him a simultaneously intense and charismatic character. Even his delivery of this seemingly aggressive and threatening line is pretty casual.
As he drinks back a soda, he nonchalantly says, “Are you gonna bark all day, li’l doggie, or are you gonna bite?” Madsen doesn’t quite steal the movie, since the likes of Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, and Chris Penn provide strong performances amid the ensemble cast, but he does give a memorable turn – and some memorable lines.
3 The Hateful Eight – “When you get to Hell, John, tell them Daisy sent you.”
The Hateful Eight might not have been the instant classic that a lot of Quentin Tarantino’s other movies were, but there is a lot to enjoy in it – namely, Jennifer Jason Leigh’s powerful, Oscar-nominated, kind of controversial turn as the convicted murderer Daisy Domergue.
The movie’s treatment of women came under fire for its darkly comic and violent bent, but at the end of the day, Daisy is a vicious criminal. Courtney Bissonette of Bust put it best: “They don’t treat her like a fairy princess because she is a woman, they treat her like a killer because she is a killer.”
2 Pulp Fiction – “The path of the righteous man...”
Samuel L. Jackson’s Ezekiel 25:17 speech in Pulp Fiction proves that in the Tarantino-verse, not only was Hitler assassinated by Jewish soldiers – there’s a whole different Bible, too. This passage isn’t what you’ll find in our world’s version of the Bible. Tarantino actually paraphrased it from an old Sonny Chiba kung fu movie.
Here’s the full version: “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”
1 Django Unchained – “The D is silent.”
In Django Unchained, when movie buffs noticed Franco Nero – who played Django in the original Italian spaghetti western series – sitting at a bar next to Jamie Foxx, they knew some cool reference was coming up.
Nero, technically playing a character named Amerigo Vessepi (but basically playing himself), asks, “What’s your name?” Django simply replies, “Django.” Nero asks, “Can you spell it?” “D-J-A-N-G-O. The D is silent.” And as if that last quip wasn’t cool enough – and the studio did deem it cool enough to be used as the film’s poster tagline – Nero then steals the scene by saying, “I know.”