The movies of Quentin Tarantino had a large part in shaping cinema in the 1990s and changed the structure of Hollywood, proving that independent movies that don’t quite fit an established genre can become monster hits at the box office.
His career began with an offbeat script for a movie called True Romance that became a successful Tony Scott studio flick in 1993. By the time the movie was released, Tarantino had made a movie of his own as an independent filmmaker with the release of Reservoir Dogs (1992). He funded its production with the money he made selling the script for Natural Born Killers to Oliver Stone.
Reservoir Dogs would go on to be named the “Greatest Independent Film of All Time” by Empire magazine.
Tarantino’s second film, Pulp Fiction (1994), was a shocking hit that made him the hottest new director in Hollywood and relaunched the careers of more than one of its ensemble cast members. His style was completely different from anything being produced at the time and the movie’s non linear structure and liberal peppering of pop culture references from the 1950s through the 1970s along with the movie’s landmark soundtrack all resonated with audiences, young and old alike.
His third film, Jackie Brown (1997) was an homage to the blaxploitation films of the 1970s and an adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel, Rum Punch. It’s slower pace, small cast, and fairly simple story structure with few moments of actual violence turned off some fans of his previous two films, but it has since become a cult classic, much like the movies on which it was based.
After a few years away from movies, Tarantino followed Jackie Brown with a two-part film that is a mix of martial arts films, spaghetti westerns, horror, and revenge movies. Kill Bill Vol. 1 came out in 2003 and the Vol. 2 followed in 2004. Both highly stylized films developed a strong following among fans of the various genres they encompass and made a ton of money at the box office.
An experiment with reviving grindhouse cinema of the 1970s resulting in Death Proof (2007), a decidedly violent and terrifying tale of a serial killer stuntman who uses muscle cars as his weapon of choice.
In 2009, audiences finally got to see Tarantino’s long-delayed Inglourious Basterds, a WWII alternate history story with a large ensemble cast that harkened back to his earliest movies. The story of two separate plots to assassinate the Nazi high command was a big hit with critics and audiences alike and gave the director’s career a much needed boost.
He followed it with the equally strong Django Unchained a sort of western set in the antebellum era of the Deep South that paid tribute to a 1960s spaghetti western, Django.
His eighth film, the mystery western The Hateful Eight, was released in its roadshow version on December 25, 2015, in a 70mm film format, complete with opening “overture” and halfway-point intermission, after the fashion of big-budget studio pictures of old.
Currently, Tarantino is working on a new movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The cast is huge and studded with starpower, both old and new. Though the exact plot is still secret, the crime mystery movie centers around a successful actor, his stuntman, and the Manson Family murders in 1969. It’s set for a July, 2019 release.
Let’s take a look at all the guns Tarantino has put on screen in his wild career: