Top 365 Films – #102 – True Romance (1993)

Top 365 Films - True RomanceDIRECTED BY: Tony Scott

STARRING: Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Michael Rapaport, Bronson Pinchot, Saul Rubinek, Dennis Hopper, James Gandolfini, Gary Oldman, Christopher Walken, Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore, Michael Beach, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Samuel L. Jackson, Conchata Ferrell, Anna Thomson, Paul Bates, Victor Argo, Frank Adonis, Kevin Corrigan, Paul Ben-Victor, Eric Allan Kramer and Ed Lauter

BUDGET: $13m

EARNED (Worldwide): $14.3m




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.


True Romance takes us to Detroit, Michigan where we follow Clarence Worley going to the cinema on his own on his birthday to watch a Sonny Chiba triple bill where he meets Alabama Whitman. After a one night stand she confesses that she’s a call-girl hired to spend the night with him but the pair have fallen in love with one another leading to them getting married the following morning. When he goes to her pimp to collect her clothes it leads to a bloodbath and him accidentally taking a suitcase full of cocaine, which takes them to Hollywood to try and sell it.


True Romance is a perfect little film with a ridiculously impressive ensemble looking back on it now, even for the so called minor roles (I mean it has Val Kilmer lurking in the background as Elvis, mentoring Clarence in certain moments), when Christian Slater was just cool as ice and fitted the role perfectly of a courageous yet reckless guy and probably thinking more on it…it’s probably my favourite performance of his. More than holding her own alongside him is Patricia Arquette who is a shining light for Clarence as Alabama and seems innocent and can definitely hold her own when push comes to shove, as evidence in the sequence she shares with James Gandolfini’s character Virgil. The story is simple to follow as it proceeds at a roller coaster pace for a chaotic finale, terrifically directed by Tony Scott, working on a terrific screenplay written by Quentin Tarantino and because it’s written by him there’s so many memorable scenes, from the obvious one mentioned below as my favourite scene, to Clarence coming face to face with Drexl (How much I want to see more of this character played by Gary Oldman), the elevator scene leading into the final act and Alabama throwing down with Virgil. Even now typing out this piece I’m still humming the ‘You’re So Cool’ piece in the films score by Hans Zimmer as that’s the first thing that instantly comes to mind now whenever someone mentions True Romance.


FAVOURITE SCENE: It’s wonderfully written and terrifically acted, I’m obviously choosing the scene that Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken share.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Sicilians are great liars. The best in the world. I’m Sicilian. My father was the world heavy-weight champion of Sicilian liars. From growing up with him I learned the pantomime. There are seventeen different things a guy can do when he lies to give himself away. A guys got seventeen pantomimes. A woman’s got twenty, but a guy’s got seventeen… but, if you know them, like you know your own face, they beat lie detectors all to hell. Now, what we got here is a little game of show and tell. You don’t wanna show me nothin’, but you’re tellin me everything. I know you know where they are, so tell me before I do some damage you won’t walk away from.’ – Vincenzo Coccotti

DID YOU KNOW?: Following the “eggplant scene”, Dennis Hopper was concerned about being “shot” by Christopher Walken with the prop gun so close against his head for fear of being burned by the barrel. Director Tony Scott assured him the gun was 100% safe, and even tested it by having the prop man fire it against his (Scott’s) own forehead. But upon firing the prop gun the barrel extended about a third of an inch and Scott ended up on the floor with blood pouring from the wound. Although this movie was not directed by Tarantino, it is still considered part of the Tarantino universe. The two key pieces of evidence is Lee Donowitz being the son of Sgt.. Donnie Donowitz from Inglorious Basterds, this being confirmed from Tarantino himself. The second pieces of evidence is the fact that Mr. White from Reservoir Dogs mentioned working with a girl named “Alabama”.

One response to “Top 365 Films – #102 – True Romance (1993)

  1. I have seen True Romance 1993 many times and I can say this film is a celeb – a showcase of Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino celebrating their cinematographic talent. Thank your review so much 🙂

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