Would anyone watch a Tarantino movie without the violence?

His new movie "Inglourious Basterds" (2009) is now in the theaters.  Apparently it has some very nasty "Reservoir Dogs" style torture violence in it.  Think I'll give it a pass.

{;-) Dan in Miami




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Don't be a nancy

Rajah's picture

We're here to kill natzies!

"Jackie Brown" (1997) was OK

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

It was a far more subdued movie by Tarantino standards.  The violence was much less explicit.  Also the performances by the actors were not nearly as over the top as in most of Mr T's flicks.  They were understated even. 

So how many people here would say it's better than "Pulp Fiction" or "Reservoir Dogs"?  Probably not many die hard Tarantino fans would pick it over his more violent stuff.  Since the new one has little to do with actual WWII history it would seem that the ultra-violence is gratuitous.

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  Rajah if this new film depicted the scalping of animals instead of the scalping of people would you still want to see it?

I have trouble watching the original silent version of Ben Hur

Rajah's picture

If you watch the chariot race, horses are clearly being hurt.

It's hard to know where to draw the line in a black comedy. I was watching the last recent Rambo. It wasn't a comedy but it was certainly graphic. Tarantino is over the top in most of his movies but remember these aren't people they're natzies!

Rajah that sounds like a Dick Cheney argument

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Some folks might take your natzies aren't people comment for real.

The Nazis were evil so we must behave like them to defeat them (or really to get vengeance in this new Tarantino flick.)

The terrorists are evil, so we must torture them in order to defeat them.

{;-) Dan in Miami


It's been done in every war

Rajah's picture

Make the enemy into inhuman monsters so you won't feel so bad about killing them. My dad told me about a dead german soldier he saw during the war. I think his message was they're people just like us. There were some true inhuman monsters in that war but that doesn't mean all the soldiers were evil, some were just soldiers.

I'm going to try to see this movie today. The trailer makes it look like he got the Germans from  Hogan's Heroes.

Billy Wilder on modern "comedy"

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Billy Wilder was perhaps the greatest screen writer ever and he had this to say about modern movie comedies:

The subtlest comedy you can get right now is MASH (1970). They don't want to see a picture unless Peter Fonda is running over a dozen people or unless Clint Eastwood has got a machine gun bigger then 140 penises. It gets bigger all the time, you know; it started out as a pistol and now it's a machine gun. Something which is warm and funny and gentle and urbane and civilized hasn't got a chance today. There is a lack of patience which is sweeping the nation - or the world, for that matter.

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  Instead of the Tarantino film I would like to recommend Wilder's frantic cold war farce "One, Two, Three".  It is set in Germany in 1961.  James Cagney is a Coca-Cola executive from the US who may be fired if his daughter marries a communist.  The jokes come so fast it will make your head spin.  They are witty and biting but never cruel.    Billy Wilder wrote and directed it.  The interplay between the American Cagney and the Germans who work for him is fascinating.  Especially when you consider that Wilder's mother, stepfather and grandmother all died in the Holocaust.



Critico's picture

Its not his daughter, its his boss's daughter.

I saw this movie.

Coaster's picture

And I enjoyed it better than any movie in which Billy Wilder was involved.  In fact, Brad Pitt had funnier lines in Inglorious Bastards than anything Wilder ever wrote for any of his characters.  

Seing Nazis slaughtered like sheep and tortured like a real man forced to sit through a chick flick marathing, bonus. 

Basically this is movie about revenge

Rajah's picture

Not what happened in the war but what should've happened. There were some chuckles but I found myself turning my head at times. Wished that jewish girl hadn't got soft at the end. This film might offend some nazis...heck screw them!

Coaster you spelled Bastard correctly

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

As opposed to the rest of your post.  So you never got a giggle out of Wilder's parody of 1930's gangster flicks "Some Like it Hot"?  Actually it was about some other things too.  Like sexual identity and the war between the sexes.  I lucked out and saw it on the big screen for the first time.  Laughed all the way through it.  Keep in mind he had to deal with some very stiff censorship at the time.  He couldn't show Marilyn Monroe naked for example.  Although most of us wish he had.

"Sunset Boulevard" is still the movie to compete against if you want to show how Hollywood screen writing really works.

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  One man's joke is another man's tragedy.

PPS:  Glad you enjoyed yourself at the theater.



Another Billy Wilder classic

FearlessFreep's picture


Kirk Douglas plays a big-city reporter banished to a small-town paper and anxious for a comeback.  His opportunity arises when a guy gets stuck in a cave. They could free him right away, but Douglas schemes to delay his rescue so he can make big reports and milk the story for all its worth.  A black comedy, very much in the cynical vein. (They retitled it because the original title struck many as tasteless.) Douglas' performance clearly anticipates his son's Gordon Gekko.

Jan Sterling has a classic line: "I don't go to church. Kneeling frays my nylons."


Billy Wilder defends "Ace in the Hole" (1951)

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

"I was attacked by every paper because of that movie. They loathed it. It was cynical, they said. Cynical, my ass. I tell you, you read about a plane crash somewhere nearby and you want to check out the scene, you can't get to it because ten thousand people are already there: they're picking up little scraps, ghoulish souvenir hunters.

"After I read those horrifying reviews about "Ace in the Hole", I remember I was going down Wilshire Boulevard and there was an automobile accident. Somebody was run over. I stopped my car. I wanted to help that guy who was run over. Then another guy jumps out of his car and photographs the thing. "You'd better call an ambulance," I said. "Call a doctor, my ass. I've got to get to the L.A. Times. I've got a picture. I've got to move. I just took a picture here. I've got to deliver it." But you say that in a movie, and the critics think you're exaggerating."

{;-) Dan in Miami

Some old time critics thought Billy Wilder was too cynical

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Compared to what?  A Lassie movie?

There are still a few right wing critics out there that want to turn back the clock.  I'm not saying movies should be censored or have all the violence sanitized.  The main problem I think I have with "Inglourious Basterds" is that the so called good guys are the ones doing the torturing.  In previous Tarantino movies it was the criminals doing the dirty deeds.

{;-) Dan in Miami

Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Marilyn Monroe had a reputation for being difficult to work with.  She was frequently tardy and usually flubbed her lines among other problems. 

After working with her in "Some Like it Hot" Tony Curtis said kissing her was like kissing Hitler.  A slight exaggeration since she clearly had no mustache.

Billy Wilder worked with her a couple times and had this to say about her:

[after directing Marilyn Monroe for the second time in Some Like It Hot (1959)] I have discussed this with my doctor and my psychiatrist and they tell me I'm too old and too rich to go through this again.

Breasts like granite and a brain like Swiss cheese.

An endless puzzle without any solution.

Hollywood didn't kill Marilyn Monroe; it's the Marilyn Monroes who are killing Hollywood.

My Aunt Minnie would always be punctual and never hold up production, but who would pay to see my Aunt Minnie?

{;-) Dan in Miami



FearlessFreep's picture

Another Wilder quote: (after recovering from the production) "I can look at my wife without hating her for being a woman."

After Curtis said kissing MM was like kissing Hitler, MM responded: "He was just jealous because I had a better dress."


Have you ever wanted to be a Hollywood screenwriter?

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Do you love reading about how Hollywood worked during the golden age before WWII when studio bosses ran everything?  If so you might enjoy this series of articles about how Billy Wilder became a huge success in Tinseltown.  It's long so you might want to save it for a time when you can read it at your leisure.


{;-) Dan in Miami

Hmmm, interesting thread.

HS's picture

Billy Wilder was a phenomenal filmmaker; I haven't seen "Ace in the Hole" but I loved, loved, loved "One, Two, Three," "Some Like it Hot" (one of the greatest comedies of all time), "Sunset Boulevard" (my personal favorite of his), "The Apartment," "Double Indemnity," etc.  So many classics.

As for Tarantino, you can't really compare him to Wilder; they are both so different.  Tarantino is more like Stanley Kubrick in that the normal rules of filmmaking and especially storytelling don't apply to either of them.  Pacing, music, graphic violence, running time - Quentin and Stanley are unique among their peers.

For me, I'll see anything Tarantino is involved with.  Except for his dreadful entry in the "Four Rooms" ensemble, his movies are always entertaining, if not quite highbrow cinema.  Overlong?  Sometimes (especially "Deathproof").  Pretentious?  You bet.  Funny as hell?  Usually.  Riveting entertainment?  Absolutely.

I'm still gonna have to go with "Pulp Fiction" as my favorite.  It remains the only film I saw in theaters three times in a single week.  Its dialogue is infinitely quotable, its violence shocking and visceral (and just a little bit funny), and its impact on the indie film movement undeniable.  Jackie Brown is probably his least-talked-about film, but it still earns a solid "A" or "A-" rating from me - it's more of a slow burn than his other films, with wonderful chemistry between Pam Grier and Robert Forster.  And while I'm on the subject of "Jackie Brown," I'll answer the original question from this thread: Yes, the promise of violence - graphic yes but also creative and comic book-y, draws in the crowds to his films - as does the guarantee of an R rating for language.

BTW, I saw "Inglorious Basterds" today.   It's a flawed, but still brilliant, WWII epic fantasy, and it was not what I expected at all.  More on that in a separate thread.



Kubrick versus Tarantino on violence in film

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Kubrick used violence to make a statement about something.  In "Paths of Glory" (1957) it was used to make a simple anti-war statement.  "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) was both Orwellian and a condemnation of wimpy liberalism in its graphic and still shocking use of violence.  "Full Metal Jacket" (1987) was an interesting take on the whole notion that the military must first break down and then build up its raw recruits to turn them into killing machines for the state.

Tarantino uses violence to titillate.  Nothing more.

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  "Doctor Strangelove" (1964) didn't really show any violence, but it was all about the absurdity of the ultimate violence ever conceived of by humans:  the nuclear bomb.

PPS:  George Orwell would have approved of the condemnation of wimpy liberalism.


Slim Pickens felt a little bit of that violence

Rajah's picture

What the heck do you mean by whimpy liberalism?

Were those getting beat up or killed protesting for Civil Rights whimps? Were those protesting the Vietnam War whimps?

Have you seen "A Clockwork Orange"??

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

The parents of the Malcolm McDowell character cave in to him and allow him to commit almost any act of violence or mayhem that occurs to his tiny little mind.

Typical weenie liberal indulgence.

{;-) Dan in Miami

It's one of my favorite movies

Rajah's picture

What about what happened to Alex when he went to prison? They turned him from a lion into a sheep. His parents were very minor characters in the movie. I think instead of being indulgent they just didn't give a shit. More like an indifference to his fate, at least that was my impression. One thing I liked about Alex the Large, he enjoyed beating up hobos.

Seen it, hell, I patterned my life after it.

Coaster's picture

I recommend the book by Anthony Burgess. In it, Alex kills around five people, including one in prison, all before his 16th birthday. Is that guy an overachiever or what? The 21st and final chapter was not in the movie as the American version (as published in 1970) of the book had only 20 chapters. This was done for American sensibilities and to sell more books. This really sucks, because as you'll see, what is in the 21st chapter is the point of the entire fucking book.  

So go read the book. Don't make me find you and pull a Ludavenko Technique on you just to have you read the book.  Besides, I'm low on eye drops.  Also, I'd use Lee Greenwood's I'm Proud to be an American as the soundtrack, and you'll have a hell of a time explainging yourself every time you go into puking convulsions during the playing our our country's new national anthem. 

In addition

FearlessFreep's picture

The 21st chapter explains the title.


If parents will not exercise discipline...

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

... then the state must.

As a Libertarian I think that really sucks.

{;-) Dan in Miami

I don't remember much about the parents

Rajah's picture

When Alex came back from prison I remember his mother walking in wearing go-go boots and a miniskirt which I thought was gross what with her being so old. I would imagine they were probably afraid of Alex. So parents should practice more ultra violence on their kids? Kool! Alot of parents don't know what their kids are up to or care. That's how you raise freaks like the ones in the Columbine massacre.


HS's picture

When Alex returned home following his release from prison, he discovered that mum and dad rented his room to someone else, and they didn't think it was "right" to displace their new tenant in favor of #1 son.



.Kubrick had already spent four months on the script...

Rajah's picture

when he became aware of the missing 21st chapter. He thought it was completely out of tone with the rest of the book.

What happens in Chapter 21?

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Alex reforms and goes to Disneyland?

{;-) Dan

This might answer that

Rajah's picture

Quite a change from "I was cured ALL RIGHT!"

Coaster's picture

Whis is indeed the last line from Chapter 20. 

Too many overt cinema references

Missy-Busty's picture

Beginning with Sergei Leoni and the many references to Pabst, etc. I didn't know if I would like this movie because Grindhouse was so bad. But this a very mature work by a major film maker. The violence was handled well (Eli Roth can't say that) & the actors were all great. I especially liked the David Bowie song 

Saw it the other night

FearlessFreep's picture

Shrewd and entertaining overall, but it kinda left a bad taste in the mouth.  Brad Pitt was a hoot. (I liked his way of saying "Bon giorno.")

"I love rumors!  Fact can mislead, but rumors, whether true or false, can be revealing."


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