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True Romance

Tony Scott

Although he sold his script for True Romance to help finance Reservoir Dogs, Tarantino declared himself happy with director Tony Scott’s staging of the material as an over the top action movie. The script is essentially a variation on the lovers on the run scenario, clearly inspired by Terrence Malick’s Badlands but replacing that film’s irony and poetry with lashings of smart-aleck humour and electrifying violence. Tarantino’s couple are naive, endearing, amoral, and borrow their attitudes from the shared world of the movies. Comic store assistant Clarence (Christian Slater) and novice whore Alabama (Patricia Arquette) meet and fall in love while watching a Kung Fu triple bill. After killing her Rasta pimp (Gary Oldman) and accidentally stealing his coke haul, the couple head for Hollywood, pausing only to say farewell to his dad Clifford (Dennis Hopper). But the couple’s bid for riches and happiness are thwarted by Mob boss Cocotti (Christopher Walken), whose efforts to persuade Clifford of his son’s whereabouts make for one of the classic scenes in Tarantino’s cinema. The strong script and cast, combined with the director’s evident faith in the material, mean that Scott’s flashy approach meshes surprisingly well with Tarantino’s playful exploitation of genre conventions.

U.S.A., 1993.
Colour.
Anamorphic.
Dolby stereo.
119 mins.

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