True Romance

Stealing. Cheating. Killing. Who said romance was dead?

Action Crime Romance
120 min     7.536     1993     France


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.


John Chard wrote:
The King, Chiba, White Boy Day and Love…Bloody Love. True Romance is directed by Tony Scott and written by Quentin Tarantino. It stars Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Michael Rapaport, Christopher Walken, James Gandolfini, Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore, Bronson Pinchot and Saul Rubinek. Music is by Hans Zimmer and cinematography by Jeffery L. Kimball. Comic book store clerk Clarence Worley (Slater) falls in love with call girl Alabama Whitman (Arquette) when she turns up at the movie theatre as one of his birthday presents. Marriage is quick but as the whirlwind romance gathers apace, complications quickly follow in the form of psycho drug dealers and the mob! It's still speculated on how True Romance would have panned out had Tarantino directed his own screenplay, but really in the grand scheme of things it doesn't matter. For True Romance is a wildly exciting fusion of lovers on the lam premise with violence a go go thrills. Director Scott did a bang up job bringing Tarantino's screenplay to life, even making a couple of narrative changes that suits (QT agrees) the picture no end. People often get hung up on the fact that Scott had previously helmed Top Gun, Beverly hills Cop II and Days of Thunder, citing these as reasons that Scott was wrong for the material, yet the film he did immediately before True Romance was The Last Boy Scout, a thrilling and muscular actioner that pings with sharp savvy dialogue scripted by Shane Black. It was the perfect trial run for True Romance, and Scott proved to be a wise and cohesive choice for the material. He also expertly marshalled a large ensemble cast, garnering career high turns from Slater and Arquette in the process. Almost everything clicks into place on True Romance, it never lacks for kinetic thrills or edge of the seat drama. In turn it likes to grab you around the throat with some wince inducing violence, cunningly drawing you in to root for a couple of lovers who will do anything for each other, while simultaneously causing carnage for all they come into contact with. There's odd ball characters galore (Oldman and Pitt excelling in this area), exquisite set-pieces and dialogue so sharp you could cut a steak with it. From conversations between Clarence and his imaginary Elvis (Kilmer) mentor, to iconography unbound with one of the 90s great sequences that sees Walken's mob boss verbally joust with Hopper as Clarence's stoic father, it's a film as rich in the art of vocal acting as it is in eye splintering gloss. All that and it's a clinically beautiful love story as well! A wet dream fantasy of QT for sure, and if you wanna be churlish? Then there should have been more room made for Sizemore and Penn's glorious coppers. Hell we could even complain about the editing being a touch too slam-bang at times…But nah! Small complaints be damned, the meeting of Tarantino the writer and Scott the director delivers neo-noir goodies galore. In fact it's a film that just gets better with age. 9/10
Rob T wrote:
Can't believe I haven't seen this movie until now. My neighbor could not believe I never saw this movie, and suggested I watch it A.S.A.P.! I did and loved it! This is a _**must see**_ Star-Studded movie. One of Quentin Tarantino best works.
tmdb27219454 wrote:
For the amount of Grade A and High B actors in the movie, along with the top o' the line writing cast, producers and director, you would think this would be nothing less than a 5-Star film. Unfortunately, the movie just never gathers any traction and seems to be nothing more than a collection of cameos without any cohesiveness, even with the story running in the background. Not a terrible flick, just a disappointing one.
Wuchak wrote:
***A stepping stone to “Pulp Fiction”*** A lonesome comic store geek in Detroit (Christian Slater) meets the woman of his dreams (Patricia Arquette) and suddenly has the gonads to be a bad dude. But the mob tracks the couple down in Los Angeles with all guns blazing. The peripheral cast includes the likes of Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt, Bronson Pinchotand and Saul Rubinek. "True Romance" (1993) is a crime drama/thriller/romance and black comedy directed by Tony Scott (younger brother of Ridley) and written by Quentin Tarantino. The latter sold the script to fund his first movie “Reservoir Dogs” (1992). It contains the ultra-violence/gore that Tarantino is known for, along with his satirical, comic book style that makes it more amusing than shocking. While the all-star cast is incredible and there are several great scenes, something keeps “True Romance” from the top tier of “Pulp Fiction” (1994) and “Jackie Brown” (1997). I suppose it doesn’t help that the protagonist’s sudden transformation isn’t convincing, not to mention that what he does is unnecessary and perilous (i.e. stupid), which turns him into a bit of a creepy nutzoid. But that’s just me. Imagine being blown away by the greatest album by a band and then purchasing their previous album, which is good, but not in the same league. You like it, but you’re also a little letdown. That’s how “True Romance” comes across after viewing “Pulp Fiction.” Nevertheless, it’s still worthwhile if you don’t mind this genre. The script was originally written in a nonlinear structure, which Tarantino is known for, but Tony Scott changed the story to chronological, as well as altered the ending, which made for a morally confused message. Quentin’s original version would’ve worked better, preferably directed by him. The film runs 1 hour, 59 minutes, and was shot in Detroit and the Los Angeles area. GRADE: B-
Peter McGinn wrote:
This is a sort of pre-Tarantino Tarantino movie. The story I read is that he rewrote a script for a co-worker, and he didn’t end up directing it, so it is both his and not completely his work. But it is a violent quirky films like many of his other ones. I had to smile when i read the brief summary of the plot on this site. Rarely does a movie blurb capture the essence of a movie this well: “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 dialogue rings true and there is a chemistry between the romantic leads. It is star studded also, though the actors play secondary roles to make for quite a talented group of character actors/actresses. I highly recommend it. Oh, and there is one other aspect of the movie that intrigued me and contributed to how much I like it. I haven’t seen it mentioned in other reviews here or elsewhere, and that is the soundtrack. It was composed by Hans Zimmer, who is widely recognized as one of the best movie composers. If you have seen the movie “Badlands” with Martin Sheen and Cissy Spacek, you will hear a startling resemblance (almost identically so) between the opening themes of the two movie. The music for Badlands, also a road movie featuring a killer and his girlfriend, was written by Carl Orff, taken from a study piece he apparently wrote for other composers and performers to use as a learning or development piece. I only know this because back then in pre-Google times I searched for weeks tracking down where the music came from, as Badlands did not release a soundtrack album. You can also notice the voiceover ending for both movies, recited by the girlfriends, are also very similar. I assume this is done as a tribute to the earlier film.
Filipe Manuel Neto wrote:
**A film where love is unbelievable, the characters are unlikely, and the action scenes are brutal and quite intense.** This is one of those films that you shouldn't watch with your family: it's full of violent scenes, foul dialogue full of profanity, several sex scenes, among other heavy features. The story isn't exactly nice either: during his birthday, a seemingly ordinary man meets a seductive woman and the two get very involved. We learn that she is a prostitute, and was hired to be with him that night. They decide to escape, but are forced to kill her pimp and take with them a suitcase full of pure cocaine. For me, the film's biggest problem wasn't the violence (Tarantino uses it regularly and is considered brilliant), but rather the implausibility of the story: I wouldn't believe in love at first sight with a prostitute, I find the idea implausible, and the same can be said about the idea of a frail boy, with a perfectly ordinary life, becoming in a few hours a brutal murderer and potential drug dealer. These are things that don't fit, but that the film takes advantage of to create a kind of “Romeo and Juliet Bang Bang”. There are several well-known names in the cast. For me, the best performance came from Gary Oldman, who is extraordinarily good in the role of a violent pimp. I wish that his participation was not so brief. Patricia Arquette is sexy when she's almost naked, and that was put to full use. As an actress, she did what she could, but she was given such bad material and such an unbelievable character that she couldn't do much. In turn, Christian Slater is not a good actor. At least, I think that he lost itself a lot after “Name of the Rose”. Here, he keeps the same persona he presented in “Heathers”, but without such an intelligent script to base it on. The actor did the job that was possible with bad material and a very bad character. Chris Walken is good in the role of the big villain: he knows how to be cold and appear threatening. Val Kilmer and Brad Pitt make brief appearances, but I doubt they want to remember this work, where they were very far from the shape we are used to. Technically, the film stands out for the avalanche of good special effects it used in the action and shooting scenes, which are deeply crafted and stylized. Fans of action films will definitely enjoy this, and the climactic scene is worthy of an anthology. The rest ends up not really interesting and not having much relevance.