25 Little-Known Facts About Quentin Tarantino’s Films

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s_buckley / Shutterstock

1. In Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 film, Inglorious Basterds, the Wilhelm Scream (a stock sound effect originally recorded for the 1951 movie Distant Drums) is heard twice: the first half-second of the clip about 90 minutes into the film and the remainder of the scream about 20 minutes later, when a soldier is shot and falls to his death in the film-within-the-film, Nation’s Pride. The Wilhelm Scream is also heard twice in Reservoir Dogs (1992) — when Mr. Brown (Tarantino) is shot in the car and when Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) pushes someone out of the way while running down the sidewalk. The Wilhelm Scream is also used twice in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) during the battle at the House of Blue Leaves.

2. Tarantino always has a reference to the Netherlands in his films. In Reservoir Dogs, the opening tune, “Little Green Bag,” is performed by the George Bakker Selection, a Dutch band. In Pulp Fiction, Vincent (John Travolta) and Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) discuss Amsterdam and Vincent smokes from a Dutch tobacco shag, Drum. In Jackie Brown (1997), Ordell (Samuel L. Jackson) mentions the Dutch actor Rutger Hauer. In Kill Bill, The Bride (Uma Thurman)’s name is Beatrix, the name of the Royal Dutch Queen.

3. The clocks in the pawn shop in Pulp Fiction are set to 4:20.

4. In Inglorious Basterds, Sherlock Holmes is referred to at least two times. The first reference is Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz)’s smoking pipe, which is a Calabash Meerschaum, the exact same one that Holmes used. The other is Landa’s line, “A damn good detective. Finding people is my specialty.”

5. Sid Haig was considered for the role of Mr. Stonesipher in Django Unchained, and the casting director, Victoria Thomas informed Haig’s agent, “It’s a lock.” Tarantino personally scheduled, and later canceled at the last minute, two auditions for Haig. Two months later, the role instead went to David Steen. This prank is believed to be Tarantino’s witty method of retribution for Haig turning down the role of Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction 17 years previously.

6. In the end credits to Pulp Fiction, the coffee shop manager is credited as simply Coffee Shop. This is because when Tim Roth’s character holds a gun to the manager’s head and says “Are you gonna be a hero?”, the manager only says “No, I’m just a coffee shop–” before Roth cuts him off and starts yelling again.

7. Tarantino is known for never using real brands for products like cereals and cigarettes, however, in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004), the brand of the bread used to make a sandwich during the “Emilio’s killing story” scene, BIMBO, is a real and very popular brand of bread in Mexico.

8. During the end credits of Kill Bill: Vol 2, the names of actors playing characters on The Bride’s “Death List Five” list are crossed off, referencing the fact that their characters died onscreen. In order, as per the “Death List Five”, it is Lucy Liu (O-Ren Ishii), Vivica A. Fox (Vernita Green), and Michael Madsen (Budd). However, a question mark appears over Daryl Hannah (Elle)’s name, since her condition is unknown. Also, David Carradine (Bill), who supposedly dies onscreen, has his name appear before the aforementioned cast members, yet his name is not crossed off.

9. The same white Honda Civic is used in Pulp Fiction by Butch, by Jackie in Jackie Brown, and shows up in the parking lot of the My Oh My Strip Club in Kill Bill: Vol. 2.

10. In Reservoir Dogs, Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) has a poster of The Silver Surfer on his apartment wall. This is an homage to one of Tarantino’s favorite films, Breathless (1983), a remake of the 1959 Jean-Luc Godard film. In the remake, Richard Gere’s character reads The Silver Surfer comics obsessively.

11. Tarantino claims that all his scripts exist in one of two universes, the “Movie Movie” Universe or the “Realer Than Real World” Universe. The “Movie Movie” Universe (such as Kill Bill) are the kinds of films the characters in his “Realer Than Real World” Universe (as in Pulp Fiction) would go to see. They “Movie Movie” Universe films are purposely unrealistic. Tarantino says that Death Proof takes place in the “Realer Than Real World” Universe along with Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction.

12. The name of the fictional brand, Acuna Boys Tex-Mex Food, which appears in numerous Tarantino films, is inspired by the name of the gang from the 1977 revenge film Rolling Thunder (which lends its name to Tarantino’s DVD distribution company, Rolling Thunder Pictures). The Acuna Boys is the name of the gang that is run by Esteban Vihaio in Kill Bill: Vol. 2.

13. In Jackie Brown, the music playing in the scene where Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) is talking to Jackie on the phone is “The Lion and the Cucumber” from the Jess Franco sexploitation-horror film Vampyros Lesbos.

14. Michael Fassbender’s performance in Inglorious Basterds is layered with irony because of his own personal history. Fassbender was born in Germany to German and Irish parents and raised in Ireland. He now resides in London speaking fluent German as his first language and English as his second and is a master of English accents and dialects. In Basterds, Fassbender plays an Englishman who goes undercover as a German and can speak German fluently but cannot hide his accent.

15. “Okay ramblers, let’s get rambling” is said in both From Dusk Til Dawn and Reservoir Dogs.

16. In Inglorious Basterds, one of the Jewish names carved on The Bear Jew (Eli Roth)’s bat is Anne Frank.

17. Madonna – who is the main subject of the opening dialogue in Reservoir Dogs – liked the film a lot but refuted Tarantino’s interpretation of her song, “Like a Virgin.” She gave him a copy of her Erotica album, signed “To Quentin. It’s not about dick, it’s about love. Madonna.”

18. In the closing credits to Jackie Brown, Tarantino gives special thanks to “Bert D’Angelo’s Daughter.” In the late 70s, Paul Sorvino starred in a TV detective show, Bert D’Angelo/Superstar. Thus, “Bert D’Angelo’s Daughter” is Paul’s daughter and Tarantino’s girlfriend at the time, Mira Sorvino.

19. In the first mall scene in Jackie Brown, Max Cherry is seen exiting a movie theater while the music for the ending credits of a movie is playing. This end-credit music is in fact the closing music to Jackie Brown itself.

20. In Inglorious Basterds, during the final card game at the LaLouisiane tavern, the card that Hellstrom (the Gestapo major) has to identify is King Kong. King Kong was one of Adolf Hitler’s favorite movies.

21. In Pulp Fiction, the shot of Marcellus (Ving Rhames) turning his head to see Butch (Bruce Willis) in his car is taken directly from Psycho (1960).

22. In Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega (John Travolta) was originally supposed to shoot Marvin twice, once accidentally in the throat and again to put him out of his misery. Tarantino changed it to one bullet killing Marvin because he thought it’d be funnier.

23. In Kill Bill, before the fight between O-Ren and The Bride (Uma Thurman), O-Ren says, in Japanese, “I hope you saved your energy. If you haven’t you might not last 5 minutes.” After she says this, it is exactly 4 minutes and 59 seconds from when the music cues the start of the fight to when the fatal blow is dealt, ending the fight.

24. Following is the complete list of the songs played on the jukebox in Death Proof: 01. Isaac Hayes – “Theme from Shaft” / “Ellie’s Love Theme” (from Shaft); 02. Barry White – “You’re My First, My Last, My Everything” / “Can’t Get Enough”; 03. Bob Dylan – “George Jackson (Acoustic)” / “George Jackson (Big Band)”; 04. Stevie Wonder – “Lately” / “If It’s Magic”; 05. The Chi-Lites – “Have You Seen Her” / “Oh Girl”; 06. The THP Orchestra – “Theme from S.W.A.T., Pt. 1” / “Oh Girl”; 07. Stevie Wonder – “I Ain’t Gonna Stand for It” / “Knocks Me off My Feet”; 08. Bloodstone – “Natural High” / “This Thing is Heavy” (“Natural High” is heard in Jackie Brown); 09. Don McLean – “American Pie, Pt. 1” / “American Pie, Pt. 2”; 10. Sweet – “Little Willy” / “Man from Mecca”; 11. The Isley Brothers – “Take Me to the Next Phase, Pt. 1” / “Take Me to the Next Phase, Pt. 2”; 12. The Miracles – “Love Machine, Pt. 1” / “Love Machine, Pt. 2”; 13. Bob Dylan – “Subterranean Homesick Blues” / “She Belongs to Me”; 14. Honey Cone – “Stick Up” / “V.I.P.”; 15. Earth Wind & Fire – “Shining Star” / “Yearning, Learning”; 16. Amii Stewart – “Knock on Wood” / “When You Are Beautiful”; 17. Honey Cone – “Want Ads” / “We Belong Together”; 18. Kool & The Gang – “Hollywood Swinging” / “Jungle Boogie” (“Jungle Boogie” is also heard in Pulp Fiction); 19. Bob Dylan – “Band of the Hand” / “Theme from Joe’s Death” (from Band of the Hand); 20. Sweet – “Wig-Wam-Bam” / “New York Connection”; 21. Friends of Distinction – “Grazing in the Grass” / “I Really Hope You Do”; 22. Marvin Gaye – “:Trouble Man” / “Don’t Mess With Mr. T” (from Trouble Man); 23. Bob Dylan – “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” / “Rita May”; 24. Pacific Gas & Electric – “Are You Ready?” / “Staggolee”; 25. Donna Summer – “Love to Love you Baby” / “Need-A-Man Blues”; 26. Michael Zager Band – “Let’s All Chant” / “Love Express”; 27. Santa Esmeralda – “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” / “You’re My Everything” (“Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” is heard in Kill Bill: Vol. 1); 28. Jigsaw – “Sky High” / “Brand New Love Affair”; 29. George Baker Selection – “Little Green Bag” / “Pretty Little Dreamer” (“Little Green Bag” is heard in Reservoir Dogs); 30. Sweet – “Blockbuster” / “Need a Lot of Lovin'”; 31. Eddie Floyd – “Good Love, Bad Love” / “Things Get Better”; 32. Joe Tex – “The Love You Save” / “If Sugar Was as Sweet as You”; 33. Bob Dylan – “Gotta Serve Somebody (Long Version)” / “Gotta Serve Somebody (Short Version)”; 34. Dick Dale – “Misirlou” / “Eight Till Midnight” (“Miserlou” is heard in Pulp Fiction); 35. Lee Williams – “They Told a Lie” / “I’m Tore Up”; 36. William Bell – “Formula of Love” / “You Don’t Miss Your Water”; 37. Dinah Washington – “Mad About the Boy” / “Stormy Weather”; 38. The Box Tops – “Cry Like a Baby” / “The Door You Closed to Me”; 39. The Checkmates Ltd. – “Black Pearl” / “Lazy Susan”; 40. Sweet – “Fox on the Run” / “Miss Demeanor”; 41. The Delfonics – “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” / “La-La Means I Love You” (“Didn’t I” is heard in Jackie Brown); 42. Brothers Johnson – “Get the Funk Outta Ma Face” / “Tomorrow”; 43. Bob Dylan – “Hurricane, Pt. 1” / “Hurricane, Pt. 2”; 44. ABBA – “Waterloo” / “Watch Out”; 45. ‘T. Rex (I)’ – “Jeepster” / “Life’s a Gas”; 46. Melanie – “What Have They Done to My Song Ma?” / “Ruby Tuesday”; 47. George Frayne – “Hot Rod Lincoln” / “Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar”; 48. Robert Mitchum – “The Ballad of Thunder Road” / “The Tip of My Fingers” (“Ballad” is the theme from Thunder Road); 49. Dean Martin – “Rio Bravo” / “My Rifle My Pony and Me” (From Rio Bravo); 50. Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich – “Hold Tight” / “You Know What I Want”.

25. The final chase sequence in Death Proof lasts 20 minutes, 11 seconds. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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