True Romance (1993)

The Very Best



France, United States of America
English, Italian
Action, Crime, Romance, Thriller
Anna Levine, Anna Levine Thomson, April Freeman
120 min

What it's about

Clarence marries hooker Alabama, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood, while the owners of the coke try to reclaim it.

The take

True Romance is a wildly entertaining and twistedly enjoyable crime film, directed by Tony Scott (Top Gun) and written by a young Quentin Tarantino. It stars Christian Slater as a young nebbish comic book store employee named Clarence who falls in love with a prostitute named Alabama (Patricia Arquette), and sets his mind to rid her of her indebtedness to a volatile pimp named Drexel (Gary Oldman). The story eventually finds them absconding to California with a suitcase full of cocaine, with the intention of selling off their illicit cache to a Hollywood bigwig in order to pursue their dreams of freedom and opportunity. Replete with a remarkable cast of famous names and familiar faces (including Brad Pitt, Christopher Walken and even Val Kilmer as the ghost of Elvis), True Romance is a true 90’s-era classic. It showcases Tarantino’s trademark witty dialogue throughout, enmeshed with the savage humor and jarring violence that he has become so well known for. It’s very much an homage to Hollywood classics such as Bonnie and Clyde and Badlands (including a rousing score by Hans Zimmer inspired by George Tipton’s score for Badlands), and ultimately serves as one of Tarantino’s most underrated career accomplishments.


A friend recommended this movie to me and explained how it was written by Tarantino, but directed by one of the greats, Tony Scott. The only thing that could make this flick any better was if it were directed by Tarantino himself. That’s not to say that Tony Scott did not do well (I think it was impeccable and expertly crafted) however, Tarantino always has a specific signature and tone he brings to his directorial projects that is so distinct that only he could capture that essence. True Romance as is is a masterpiece of direction, writing, acting, as well as casting. Christian Slater as the protagonist was amazing and, while he only played a small part, Gary Oldman was awesome per usual. Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper’s scene together was tense and thrilling so good that I think I’m going to go to YouTube now and try to find it (it was that good).

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