Skip to content
Home » 10 nice movies that influenced Quentin Tarantino

10 nice movies that influenced Quentin Tarantino


Few filmmakers put on their influences on their sleeves as openly and defiantly as Quentin Tarantino. In a 1994 interview, in response to accusations that Reservoir Canine (1992) is a full-blown rip-off of Ringo Lam’s Hong Kong crime movie Metropolis on Hearth (1987), he famously proclaimed: “I steal from each film ever made… Nice artists steal; they don’t do homages.”

In his relentless rummaging via the annals of cinema historical past, Tarantino typically blurs the strains between filmmaker, curator and critic. Every new venture is invariably accompanied by excited chatter, a lot of it from the person himself, about his newest style obsessions and sources of inspiration. As present-day Hollywood’s most commercially profitable and media-savvy auteur, he’s utilised every of his movies as a launch pad to reignite mainstream curiosity in every little thing from the French new wave (with Pulp Fiction) to 70s Blaxploitation (with Jackie Brown) to Shaw Brothers wuxia movies (with Kill Invoice). He’s additionally some of the passionate high-profile proponents of movie criticism as an artwork type, and frequently cites pioneering New Yorker critic Pauline Kael as considered one of his cinematic idols.

Get the newest from the BFI

Join BFI information, options, movies and podcasts.

As such, one may spend the following yr compiling lists of movies which have performed a big function in shaping the magpie-like maverick’s specific model of cinema, and solely start to scratch the floor of the debt he owes to his forefathers and friends. However with out these 10 titles, the mind-bendingly self-reflexive, darkly humorous, wildly violent Tarantino-verse would undoubtedly be a really totally different place.

To Be or To not Be (1942)

Director: Ernst Lubitsch

To Be or To not Be (1942)

Tarantino’s high-concept pitch for Inglourious Basterds was to current a WWII-set spaghetti western – “As soon as upon a Time… in Nazi-occupied France”, because the movie’s opening chapter title card places it. However the pre-release trailer prompt one thing altogether extra playful, with Brad Pitt’s bizarrely affected southern accent, and the presence of Mike Myers (in full-on Austin Powers mode) as an ostentatious British military common.

And so it will transpire that whereas Inglourious Basterds is certainly indebted to the likes of Sergio Leone, it owes simply as a lot to Ernst Lubitsch’s charmingly audacious screwball comedy To Be or To not Be. Telling the outlandish story of a troupe of Polish actors who pose as Gestapo officers in a daring bid to overthrow the Third Reich, the movie mounts a subversive assault on Nazism, searching for to undermine its poisonous efficiency via ridicule. It was dismissed as an train in dangerous style on launch and flopped commercially, however looking back Lubitsch’s efforts appear positively heroic. Tarantino not solely borrows main plot components from Lubitsch for Inglourious Basterds, he additionally appears motivated by the identical earnest perception in movie’s skill to re-write the course of historical past, having mentioned “On this story, cinema adjustments the world, and I fucking love that thought!”

Rio Bravo (1959)

Rio Bravo (1959)

Tarantino is a passionate advocate of the ‘hangout film’, a time period he appears to have coined himself when trying to explain the laid-back attraction of Jackie Brown. His 1997 adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch marked a dramatic change of tempo from his explosive first two options, and is far more involved with permitting viewers time to get to know its solid of likeable miscreants than it’s in stunning the viewers into submission with acts of violence and stylistic thrives.

The final word hangout film, based on Tarantino, is Howard Hawks’s silky-smooth, gloriously engrossing 1959 western Rio Bravo. John Wayne stars as seasoned small-town Sheriff John T. Probability, who assembles a rag-tag band of assistants to assist him stand agency towards a corrupt native rancher, who’s intent on breaking his deadbeat brother out of jail. Whereas the movie is steeped in environment and suspense, its chief pleasure lies in watching the characters type significant relationships. The nice and cozy affection that slowly, convincingly develops between Probability and enigmatic out-of-towner Feathers (Angie Dickinson) is a selected pleasure to look at. It clearly foreshadows the candy, understated relationship that builds over the course of Jackie Brown between Jackie (Pam Grier) and her world-weary bail bondsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster), which stays Tarantino’s most nuanced and touching character work to date.

Bande à half (1964)

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Bande à half (1964)

In a latest interview with Bret Easton Ellis, Tarantino relayed the story of his eureka second as an aspiring filmmaker. Studying Pauline Kael’s New Republic overview of Bande à half, having seen the movie for the primary time a few weeks earlier, he was deeply struck by one line specifically: “It’s as if a French poet took an bizarre banal American crime novel and advised it to us when it comes to the romance and wonder he learn between the strains.”

“Once I learn that, I actually thought ‘that’s what I need to do’”, defined Tarantino, “what I wished to offer to films, I’d by no means heard anybody describe so effectively earlier than.” Watching Bande à half as we speak, one can simply see the way it paved the best way for Pulp Fiction (1994) specifically, with its imaginative re-appropriation of clichéd style tropes, its cocky self-reflexivity, and its defiant refusal to adapt to mainstream cinematic conventions. The movie stays a delight to today, with Anna Karina, Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur all exuding easy Gallic cool as a trio of Parisian slackers who embark on an ennui-induced crime spree.

The Good, the Unhealthy and the Ugly (1966)

The Good, the Unhealthy and the Ugly (1966)

The operatic conclusion to Sergio Leone’s {Dollars} trilogy is incessantly heralded by Tarantino as the best movie ever made. A deceptively easy story of three gunslingers who type a deeply uneasy alliance within the hope of uncovering a stash of Accomplice gold, the movie’s true intent is to obliterate the picture of the cowboy as healthful all-American hero. As an alternative, Leone gives us a imaginative and prescient of the outdated west as a sun-baked hell through which greed and self-preservation are the one believable character motives, and the place the specter of instant violence hovers over each body like a mud cloud.

In a 2003 reappraisal of the movie, Roger Ebert applauded Leone for the best way through which he “builds his nice movie on the garbage of western film cliché, utilizing fashion to raise dreck into artwork”. That is exactly the trick Tarantino has sought to tug with every of his style deconstructions. Furthermore, it may very well be argued that his sustained effort to duplicate and riff on The Good, the Unhealthy and the Ugly’s putting tone – which oscillates between grimly stoic and absurdly grandiose, typically throughout the area of a single scene – has turn out to be considered one of his defining traits as a filmmaker.

Charley Varrick (1973)

Charley Varrick (1973)

With its ensemble of charismatic lowlifes, punchy tough-guy dialogue and cruelly ironic sense of humour, it’s simple to see why Don Siegel’s offbeat crime thriller captured the creativeness of a younger Tarantino. He pays direct tribute to the movie in Pulp Fiction, stealing a line of dialogue about “a pair of pliers and blowtorch” virtually verbatim, and giving it to Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) to utter menacingly within the aftermath of the infamous pawn-shop rape scene.

Tonally, nonetheless, Charley Varrick is way nearer to Jackie Brown. Its pleasure lies in rooting for our titular antihero (Walter Matthau) as he double-crosses and outsmarts the authorities, the mob and his personal reckless accomplice (Andrew Robinson), within the aftermath of a small-town financial institution theft. It may additionally be argued that Varrick, an ageing former stunt pilot-turned-career prison, is one thing of a precursor to Kurt Russell’s suave serial killer Stuntman Mike in Loss of life Proof (2007).

Woman Snowblood (1973)

Director: Toshiya Fujita

Woman Snowblood (1973)

Kill Invoice sees Tarantino pilfering liberally from a bewildering array of spaghetti westerns, giallo shockers and wuxia slash-em-ups. But when a key supply of inspiration needed to be singled out, Toshiya Fujita’s cult masterpiece could be as sturdy a contender as any. Woman Snowblood tells the exquisitely overwrought story of Yuki (Meiko Kaji), a “baby of the netherworld” raised for the only real goal of exacting bloody revenge on the prison gang who murdered her mom’s household.

The director relays Yuki’s story in a supremely assured, non-linear vogue. With its beautiful mise-en-scène, satisfyingly melodramatic plot twists, and playful use of freeze-frame, illustration and narration, the movie is a continually shocking pleasure to behold. Variations on each these aesthetic components and the overarching plot could be noticed all through Quantity 1 of Kill Invoice specifically, from the slick anime sequence depicting the homicide of O-Ren Ishii’s (Lucy Liu) dad and mom, to the spectacular climactic battle, which takes place in a snow-covered backyard.

Carrie (1976)

Director: Brian De Palma

Carrie (1976)

Tarantino incessantly cites Brian De Palma as considered one of his key influences, and declared Carrie considered one of his favorite movies of all time in each the 2002 and 2012 Sight & Sound polls. This fashionable, streamlined chiller was the primary display adaptation of a Stephen King novel, and inarguably stays one of many best. Sissy Spacek is mesmerising because the painfully introverted Carrie White, whose utter humiliation on the evening of her highschool promenade units the stage for an eye-popping show of supernatural revenge.

Carrie effortlessly straddles, and incessantly blurs, the road between exploitation trash and serious-minded cinema, in a way that Tarantino has sought to emulate all through his profession. De Palma clearly revels within the bloodshed and pyrotechnics of the grisly last act, however first goes to nice lengths to make sure that viewers are completely invested within the plight of our protagonist, and incensed by the distress inflicted on her by each her friends and her non secular nut mom, performed with ferocious aplomb by Piper Laurie. Tarantino primarily reverses this method in Kill Invoice, front-loading Quantity 1 with technically dazzling murderous mayhem, earlier than spending Quantity 2 exploring each the motives for and the human price of The Bride’s (Uma Thurman) “roaring rampage of revenge”.

The Factor (1982)

Director: John Carpenter

The Factor (1982)

From its opening pictures of an unnervingly nonetheless, snow-covered panorama, to its ominous Ennio Morricone rating, to the presence of star Kurt Russell, The Hateful Eight is as a lot a meditation on John Carpenter’s Antarctica-set horror traditional as it’s an ol
d-school western or parlour room thriller. The Factor is an absolute masterclass in slow-burning pressure, which escalates to virtually insufferable ranges when it emerges, roughly midway via the movie, that the titular extraterrestrial is able to assimilating and completely mimicking every other residing creature. As helicopter pilot R.J Macready (Russell) takes it upon himself to research who amongst his fellow survivors is actually human, Carpenter delights in casting aspersions on every of his characters, forcing our allegiances to shift proper up till the blood-splattered climax.

As The Hateful Eight’s band of miscreants discover themselves holed up collectively in a distant buying and selling submit, whereas a blizzard rages exterior, and Russell’s Jon Ruth posits that a minimum of one member of the occasion will not be who he says it’s, it turns into obvious that Tarantino is intent on pulling the very same trick, a lot as he did in Reservoir Canine.

Dogville (2003) / Manderlay (2005)

Director: Lars von Trier

Dogville (2003)

In a 2009 interview for Sky Films, Tarantino declared Lars von Trier’s screenplay for Dogville “perhaps one of many best scripts ever written for movie… I feel if he had carried out it on the stage he would have received a Pulitzer Prize”. This formally daring, Nice Melancholy era-set evisceration of American imperialism casts Nicole Kidman as Grace, a younger lady on the run from mobsters, who seeks refuge in a distant Colorado mining city. Regardless of her earnest efforts to ingratiate herself into the neighborhood, the locals start to show towards her, setting the stage for a story of perverse degradation and violent, eye-for-an-eye justice. Its 2005 sequel Manderlay follows Grace (now performed by Bryce Dallas Howard) to a southern plantation through which slavery persists, many a long time after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

Dogville and Manderlay are maybe the clearest fashionable antecedents of Tarantino’s latest output, each for higher and worse. His final three, period-set movies have necessitated a shift in writing fashion, away from the rapid-fire, popular culture reference-laden dialogue that established him as a prodigious expertise within the 90s. The arch, florid tone he’s adopted of late feels considerably indebted to Dogville, with its rambling, novelistic construction and droll, fourth-wall-breaking narration.

Manderlay (2005)

Then there’s the best way through which each filmmakers appear to intentionally courtroom controversy by taking part in quick and free with historical past, and by exploring deeply delicate points with a defiant lack of reverence and tact. Manderlay’s audacious premise is at instances performed for uncomfortable laughs, paving the best way for Django Unchained’s outlandishly lurid depiction of slavery.

Now, with The Hateful Eight, Tarantino finds himself going through accusations of misogyny, as von Trier has for a lot of his profession. As Jennifer Jason Leigh’s Daisy Domergue suffers a patience-testing barrage of humiliation and bodily abuse, one is reminded of Kidman’s Grace, chained to a mill wheel, beneath fixed menace of bodily and sexual assault. In each situations, detractors have expressed distaste at what is likely to be construed as a prurient fascination with sexual violence. But defenders have countered that few main filmmakers create such compelling alternatives for Hollywood actresses, or place ladies on the centre of the work with such regularity. Both means, The Hateful Eight totally embodies von Trier’s oft-quoted assertion that “a movie must be like a stone in your shoe”.


Supply hyperlink