Tarantino took his sweet time making another movie to followup the immensely successful Pulp Fiction, which not only invigorated a genre and a few careers, but also brought independent movies into the mainstream. The follow-up was the 1997 California noir adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel Rum Punch starring 70s movie legend Pam Grier. The title, and lead character, were changed to “Jackie Brown” in a nod to one of Grier’s more famous roles as Foxy Brown. The cast was filled with big names, including Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Bridget Fonda, and Michael Keaton. Overall it is a slower, more linear, less bombastic movie than PF, and a lot of fans were turned off by the lack of violence and machine gun dialogue that was a big part of Tarantino’s previous two films, though JB has gained a big following since. Jackie Brown
When Jackie is released from jail in the first act, she’s picked up by bail bondsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster), whom she quickly befriends. They head to an airport hotel bar for a few drinks before Max takes her home.
It’s not until later that he realizes she snatched his gun, a Colt Detective Special, that he keeps in a holster in his glove box.
It’s a good thing she did, because after Max leaves her apartment, Ordell Robbie (Jackson) shows up with plans to kill her. She pulls on him first and foils his plan, allowing her to make a deal with the gun runner.
She later returns the Colt when Max comes by the next day.
At the end of the movie, Max stashes the same Colt in his desk, where its ready for Jackie to grab when a cornered Ordell shows up to the bail bonds office.
In the first act, Ordell picks up one of his associates who he recently bailed out of jail, Beaumont Livingston (Chris Tucker). Ordell knows that Beaumont was picked up on serious charges and can’t handle doing real time, so his only option is to give up Ordell for a deal from the cops.
Ordell convinces Livingston to act as his backup for a fictitious arms deal. He convinces him to hide in the trunk of his car with a shotgun, while he goes to sell some machine guns to new customers in Koreatown. The shotgun he gives him is a sawed off Mossberg 500 with a cut-down wood pistol grip, wood pump grip, and a ventilated barrel rib.
He locks Livingston in the trunk with an unloaded shotgun, drives around the block, leisurely pulls on a pair of gloves, and proceeds to open the trunk and shoot him to death with a Smith & Wesson Model 10 in .38 Special that he has in his glove compartment.
Later, when Ordell goes to Jackie’s house intending to kill her for the same reason he killed Beaumont, he has a different pistol, presumabely having disposed of his S&W when he disposed of Beaumont’s body. This time he’s packing a diminutive nickel Beretta 950B Jetfire in .25 ACP.
Jackie takes the gun from him using Max’s revolver and holds it on Ordell until she can convince him to sit down and talk. She keeps the little automatic, though we don’t see it again.
When Ordell meets back up with Louis (De Niro) after the handoff and finds out not only was Louis duped into taking a ringer bag mostly full of romance novels instead of money, but that Louis also shot and killed Melanie (Fonda) in the mall parking lot simply because she was annoying him.
Ordell Check’s Louis’ nickel M1911A1, which looks an awful lot like Vincent Vega’s pistol from Pulp Fiction, sniffing the chamber to see if it had actually been recently fired. He lets Louis finish telling his side of things before he kills him right there in the front seat of Melanie’s VW bus.
Later, Ordell holds the 1911 on Max Cherry before heading to his office to meet Jackie for the last time.
Max Cherry’s primary handgun is the compact Colt Detective Special that Jackie takes from his glove compartment. When he realizes she took it, he grabs his backup gun from a drawer in his desk, which is a Harrington & Richardson Model 732 in .32 S&W.
When Max shows up at Jackie’s apartment the morning after dropping her off and discovering his gun was missing, she gives it back to him, telling him she got one of her own, referring to the Beretta she took from Ordell the night before.
Max places it back in its holster on the kitchen table as the two talk and get to know each other.
ATF Agent Ray Nicolette
The ATF agent hot on Ordell’s trail is Ray Nicolette, (Keaton), a slick talking street smart law officer who bends the rules a bit to get done what needs getting done.
His duty sidearm is a Smith & Wesson 5906 that he carries alternately in a strong side hip holster and a shoulder rig. He doesn’t draw it or use it until the climactic scene in Max’s office when he uses the pistol to kill Ordell.
Nicolette’s partner, Dargus, carries a Glock 19, which is more in line with ATF duty weapons.
In something of an oddity, Keaton reprised his role as Ray Nicolette in another unconnected adaptation of a different Raymond Chandler novel Out of Sight (1998) starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.
The Promo Video
Early on, as we’re getting to know the characters, Ordell shows Louis a video called “Chicks Who Love Guns” while talking up his illegal arms business dealings.
The video is a fictional promotional video for various full-auto firearms, which are each introduced and fired by a bikini-clad, muscular woman.
The five guns showed in the video are: an Intratec TEC-DC9 submachine gun; a Steyr AUG-A1 rifle; an AKM, which is incorrectly referred to as “the Chinese model”; and a Beretta PM12S submachine gun, which is referred to as “the older M12S model.”
In fact, a lot of what Ordell says about the guns he sells is incorrect, lending credence to Melanie’s claims that he’s all talk and doesn’t really know what he’s doing.