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True Romance

True Romance is a movie directed by Tony Scott (Top Gun) and written by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary. It was released in 1993. It stars Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. Val Kilmer, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Bronson Pinchot, James Gandolfini, Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore, Samuel L. Jackson are also featured.

True Romance is a love story filled with violence, drugs, and some sex. The plot can be summarized as follows: Boy (Slater) meets Girl (Arquette), but the Girl is a prostitute. Boy kills her pimp and steals the pimp's cocaine, but the drugs really belong to Italian mobsters.

Notably, some of the appearances by the supporting cast are very brief. Christopher Walken, for example, appears in only once but gives a very memorable speech, as he would do in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, released the following year.

True Romance was a breakthrough, of sorts, for Quentin Tarantino, in that the money from the sale of the script enabled Tarantino to direct Reservoir Dogs. However, Tarantino's script, especially the ending, was different from the screenplay of the film as released. The original Tarantino ending is on the unrated special DVD release. The script for True Romance was Tarantino's first movie and he had hoped to direct himself but couldn't. He couldn't sell it for a long time, around 5 years, and thus wrote Natural Born Killers. That too didn't sell for a while and he then moved onto Reservoir Dogs, which finally became his "first film."

As it turned out, the script for True Romance had been sold when Tarantino was introduced to director Tony Scott. Scott read both of Tarantino's scripts, True Romance and Natural Born Killers, and decided to direct True Romance. Other than the ending and the ordering of the scenes, Scott's film uses Tarantino's original script. Originally, the film was written to begin with the same "I'd fuck Elvis" scene, then the opening credits as the release. But the first scene in Tarantino's script was the scene where the drug-dealer Drexel steals the cocaine. After that, the next scene was Clarence and Alabama showing up at Clarence's father home, from which point the scene order is the same up to when Clarence and Alabama meet Dick Ritchie, which ends Act I. Dick asks how they met and we see the movie theater scenes, marriage, and killing of Drexel and mistaken stealing of the cocaine. Act III begins with the scene where Dick sees how much cocaine Clarence brought with him and begins to freak out about it, after which the movie plays straight to the end.

Tarantino, in the commentary on the unrated director's cut DVD, mentions how this structure to the three acts results in the characters in the movie knowing everything in Act I while the audience doesn't know anything, the audience catches up in Act II, and the audience knows more than the characters in Act III.

Also notable is the film's score, by Hans Zimmer: its leitmotif is based on a familiar piece by Carl Orff (see also Badlands).


Drexel: "Where the fuck is that bitch?"
Clarence: "She's with me."
Drexel: "Who the fuck are you?"
Clarence: "I'm her husband."
Drexel: "Well shit, that makes us practically related."

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Last updated: 05-07-2005 12:40:13
Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04