There are few filmmakers quite like Quentin Tarantino. Bucketloads of violence, sharp, witty dialogue and casts to die for, you always know you’re in for an experience when watching one of his films.
With his latest epic, The Hateful Eight, out here in the UK very soon, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the most iconic scenes in Quentin Tarantino film. We had trouble choosing the scenes, but we’ve picked ten of our favourites.
Note: As you can imagine, this post contains videos that are only suitable for those over 18 years old as they contain violence and a lot of swearing.
Ear cutting, Reservoir Dogs
Let’s start with Tarantino’s directorial debut Reservoir Dogs and the scene that caused the BBFC to refuse the film a video release until 1995. We don’t actually see the guy’s ear cut off, but it’s still enough to make your toes curl. And pairing it with Stealers Wheel’s ‘Stuck in the Middle With You’ is just Tarantino at its purest.
Like a Virgin, Reservoir Dogs
The opening to Reservoir Dogs is also some of Tarantino’s finest work with the snappy dialogue he’s become synonymous with. Here the gang discuss the real meaning behind Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ in probably too much depth. It’s these kinds of exchanges that have become a hallmark of Tarantino’s films.
I want to dance, Pulp Fiction
We could make an entire post about the iconic scenes from Pulp Fiction (and maybe we will) but we’ll just pop a couple in here, starting with Uma Thurman and John Travolta’s famous dance number. More great use of music in this scene from Tarantino that was almost definitely a nod to Travolta’s Grease days.
Ezekiel 25:17, Pulp Fiction
Despite his reputation, we think Samuel L Jackson has actually been in very few good films. However, he’s fantastic in Pulp Fiction and this scene is one of his best – there’s something incredibly ironic about quoting from the bible just before shooting someone to death.
The Bride vs Gogo & The Crazy 88s, Kill Bill Vol 1
We know Tarantino for a good bit of the ol’ ultraviolence, but it arguably hits peak claret spillage in Kill Bill Vol. 1 when Uma Thurman’s The Bride takes on the psychotic Gogo and here crazed henchmen. Blood doth indeed flow, but the whole scene is actually a masterpiece of choreography with a heavy Japanese influence (as with the rest of the film).
The Chase, Death Proof
Whilst it may not be one of Tarantino’s best films, Death Proofhas plenty of good stuff in there, namely this awesome car chase scene. Using real stunt performers and insisting on not using CGI, the director created a real edge-of-your-seat scene.
Melanie Provokes Louis, Jackie Brown
Jackie Brown is, without a doubt, Tarantino’s most underrated work and it’s full of great scenes. Here we see Robert De Niro’s Louis pushed to breaking point by the dim-witted Melanie. You can feel the red mist come over Louis as Melanie continues to irritate him more and more until we get one of the most WTF moments across all of Tarantino’s work.
The Face of Vengeance, Inglourious Basterds
To say that Inglourious Basterds plays it fast and loose with the historical facts is somewhat of an understatement, particularly this scene towards the end of the film. The trap has been set and a cinema full of Nazis is set on fire whilst Hitler is riddled with a machine gun. A scene that really does beggar belief.
Strudel, Inglourious Basterds
Whilst the previous scene is shocking in one way, this restaurant scene is equally so but for completely different reasons. Christoph Waltz and Mélanie Laurent chat over strudel in one of the most tense scenes you could ever watch. Waltz’s pleasantness is what makes the whole scene so uncomfortable and you really feel how terrified Laurent is by him. Superb filmmaking and acting.
Fight to the death, Django Unchained
Django Unchained is full of WTF moments, such as the guy who gets ripped to shreds by dogs, but this fight to the death scene is brutal and uncompromising even by Tarantino’s standards. Not an easy watch.
What are your favourite scenes in Quentin Tarantino films?