Reservoir Dogs (1992)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 38 mins

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This tragic crime thriller follows the dangerous sequence of events that unfold when six criminals, seemingly strangers to each other, are hired by a crime boss, Joe Cabot, to carry out a diamond robbery. Right at the outset, they are given false names with the intention that they won't get too close and will concentrate on the job instead. They are completely sure that the robbery is going to be a success. The twist in the tale occurs when, to their utter shock and consternation the police show up right at the time and the site of the robbery. Panic spreads amongst the group members, and one of them is killed in the subsequent shootout, along with a few policemen and civilians. When the remaining people assemble at the premeditated rendezvous point (a warehouse), they begin to suspect that one of them is an undercover cop. Does the group really comprise of strangers with no prior knowledge of each other's identity? Is there truly an informant in their midst? How will the heist turnout for them?
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Harvey Keitel

Crew: Quentin Tarantino (Director), Andrzej Sekula (Director of Photography)

Rating: R (Australia)

Genres: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Release Dates: 23 Oct 1992 (India)

Tagline: Four perfect killers. One perfect crime. Now all they have to fear is each other.

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Did you know? Madonna - who is the main topic of the opening conversation - really liked the film but refuted Quentin Tarantino's interpretation of her song 'Like a Virgin'. She gave him a copy of her 'Erotica' album, signed "To Quentin. It's not about dick, it's about love. Madonna." Read More
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Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Sound Re-recording Mixer


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Stunt Coordinator
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Frame Rate:
24 fps
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Four perfect killers. One perfect crime. Now all they have to fear is each other.
Let's get the job done.
Every dog has his day.
Let's go to work.
Movie Connection(s):
Reference: The Riot Club (English)
Character Error
When Mr. Pink asks what happened to Mr. Orange, Mr. White says that the cops shot him, even though it wasn't the cops who shot him.

Character Error
When Mr. White and Mr. Pink are talking in the room about what happened, Mr. White gives Mr. Pink a cigarette and takes one for himself. He then lights Mr. Pink's but then he only holds the lighter up to the end of his own cigarette without actually lighting it.

Character Error
When Mr. White and Mr. Pink are talking about Mr. Blonde going "psycho" at the heist, Mr. White says he almost took Mr. Blonde out himself. When the two later confront Mr. Blonde about his antics, Mr. White says to Mr. Pink, "You said yourself you thought about taking him out."

Character Error
Stealers Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You" was released and hit the charts in April of 1973, not April of 1974 as the radio DJ says.

Character Error
When Mr. Blonde opens the trunk of his car to reveal his "surprise" to Mr. White and Mr. Pink, he puts his hand on the trunk before unlocking it. When he does, the trunk clearly moves, showing he never locked it.

When Mr. Blonde is pouring gasoline on Marvin Nash, Nash's legs are taped to the chair. When the angle changes you can see his legs kicking up in the air. And then they go back to being taped up.

When the police are chasing Mr. Pink in the first flashback, they run by all the same stores twice.

When Mr. Pink carjacks the woman, the satchel of diamonds is on the street in front of the door. In the next shot when he opens the door, the bag is gone. There is no time for him to have stepped forward, kneeled and grabbed the bag, stood back up and tossed it into the car.

Mr. Blonde opens his barber blade twice.

After the driver of the car that bumped Mr. Pink while he was fleeing from the police gets tossed out of her car, we see the briefcase beside her on the street. As Mr. Pink is about to get in the car, the briefcase is gone.

In the warehouse when Mr. Blonde jumps off the car and takes off his coat he has a cigarette in his mouth. In the close-up shot to his face, the cigarette is gone.

In the opening scene in the diner, the size of Mr. Blue's cigar.

Crew/Equipment Visible
After leaving Mr. Brown, during the steadicam shot following in front of Mr. White and Mr. Orange, there is clearly a group of crew members in the far background on a smoke break and drinking beverages, watching the scene.

Factual Mistake
Mr. Pink breaks a car window with his elbow and it breaks into several large pieces. Car window glass is tempered and as such would break into thousands of small pieces.

Revealing Mistakes
All car scenes are obviously filmed with the car on a trailer.

Revealing Mistakes
When firing at the police, the slide on Mr. Pink's pistol locks back, indicating an empty clip, and yet he continues to fire without reloading.

When torturing Officer Nash, Mr. Blonde leaves the building to retrieve a gas can from his car. Re-entering the building, he does not close the door behind him. When Mr. Orange kills Mr. Blonde to save Officer Nash from being burned to death, Mr. Blonde falls to the floor at an angle where the door to the building is visibly closed.

Revealing Mistakes
When Mr. Orange shoots Mr. Blonde, when the camera focuses on Mr. Orange after the shooting, you can see a whole bullet roll from behind Mr. Orange instead of only the shell, which is the only part of the bullet that comes out of the gun after firing.

Revealing Mistakes
Nice Guy Eddie falls before Mr. White's gun swings at him and goes off.
Mr. Blonde's real name is Vic Vega. This is the same surname as Vince (John Travolta) from Quentin Tarantino's other film, Pulp Fiction (1994). Tarantino has revealed that Vic and Vince are brothers. He also intended to do a prequel to both films called "Double V Vega", which would star the Vega Brothers, but Madsen and Travolta eventually got too old to reprise their roles, and Tarantino has since abandoned it.

Madonna - who is the main topic of the opening conversation - really liked the film but refuted Quentin Tarantino's interpretation of her song 'Like a Virgin'. She gave him a copy of her 'Erotica' album, signed "To Quentin. It's not about dick, it's about love. Madonna."

Michael Madsen had difficulty filming the torture scenes. He was particularly reluctant when he was required to hit actor Kirk Baltz. When the cop, pleading for his life, says that he has a child at home (a line not in the script), Madsen, himself a new father at the time, was so disturbed by the idea of leaving a child fatherless that he couldn't finish the scene.

The film's budget was so low that many of the actors simply used their own clothing as wardrobe; most notably Chris Penn's track jacket. The signature black suits were provided for free by the designer, based on her love for the American crime film genre. Steve Buscemi wore his own black jeans instead of suit pants.

During filming, a paramedic was kept on the set to make sure that Mr. Orange's (Tim Roth) amount of blood loss was kept consistent and realistic to that of a real gunshot victim.

At several points, Tim Roth had lain in the pool of fake blood for so long that the blood dried out and he had to be peeled off the floor, which took several minutes.

The budget didn't stretch to obtaining police assistance for traffic control so in the scene where Steve Buscemi forces a woman out of her car and drives off in it, he could only do so when the traffic lights were green.

In an interview on BBC in 2009 Quentin Tarantino said he was proud the movie is often on top ten heist movies even though you never actually see the heist.

Quentin Tarantino was originally going to play Mr Pink, although he made a point of letting all the other actors audition for the part. When Steve Buscemi came in to read for it, Tarantino told him that he really wanted the part for himself and that the only way Buscemi could possibly wrest it from him was to do a killer audition. Buscemi duly complied.

One of the radio ads heard in the background is for "Jack Rabbit Slim's", the fictitious 1950's-themed restaurant and "home of the $5 milkshake" that was also featured in Tarantino's second film, Pulp Fiction (1994).

According to an interview on the DVD, Michael Madsen says that Kirk Baltz asked to ride in his trunk to experience what it was really like. Madsen agreed, but decided as he went along that this was time for his own character development. So he drove down a long alley with potholes, and then a Taco Bell drive-through before taking Baltz back to the parking lot and letting him out. The soda he ordered at said drive-through is the same one he can be seen drinking during his character's first appearance in the warehouse.

Quentin Tarantino wanted James Woods to play a role in the film, and made him five different cash offers. Woods' agent refused the offers without ever mentioning it to Woods as the sums offered were well below what Woods would usually receive. When Tarantino and Woods later met for the first time, Woods learned of the offer and was annoyed enough to get a new agent. Tarantino avoided telling Woods which role he was offered "because the actor who played the role was magnificent anyway". It is widely accepted that the role that Tarantino was referring to was Mr. Orange.

Tim Roth refused to read for the film. He did insist on going out drinking with Quentin Tarantino and Harvey Keitel. He agreed to read for them when they were all drunk.

Filmed in 35 days.

Mr. Orange's apartment was actually the upstairs to the warehouse where most of the movie takes place. The filmmakers redecorated it to look like an apartment in order to save money on finding a real apartment.

For the European release, the distributor used one sheet posters for each of the main characters. This was quite a novel strategy at the time, and has now become very widespread.

The film contains 272 uses of the word "fuck".

Armed with $30,000 and a 16mm camera, Quentin Tarantino was all set to make the film with a bunch of friends, including his producing partner Lawrence Bender who was going to play Nice Guy Eddie. It was then that Tarantino received an answerphone message from Harvey Keitel, asking if he could not only be in the film but help produce it. Keitel had gotten involved via the wife of Bender's acting class teacher, who had managed to get a copy of the script to him. Keitel's involvement helped raise the budget to $1.5 million.

The title for the film came to Quentin Tarantino via a patron at the now-famous Video Archives. While working there, Tarantino would often recommend little-known titles to customers, and when he suggested Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987), the patron mockingly replied, "I don't want to see no reservoir dogs!" The title is never spoken in the film, however.

Quentin Tarantino originally wrote the role of Mr. Pink for himself. Steve Buscemi originally auditioned for the part of Mr. White. Michael Madsen originally auditioned for the part of Mr Pink. George Clooney read for the role of Mr. Blonde/Vic Vega but was turned down, and Christopher Walken refused the same role. Vincent Gallo turned down the role of Mr. Pink. Samuel L. Jackson auditioned for the role of Mr. Orange. Once Tim Roth was cast, Quentin Tarantino originally wanted him to play Mr. Blonde or Mr. Pink. Robert Forster and Timothy Carey auditioned for the part of Joe Cabot, and the film is dedicated to Carey.

The line where Mr. White tells Mr. Pink, "I need you cool. Are you cool?" was added into the script after a conflict between Lawrence Tierney and Michael Madsen. To break the scuffle and continue shooting, Quentin Tarantino said to Tierney, "Larry. I need you cool. Are you cool?"

Directly prior to the scene showing the colored bottles of soap, you see two shirts hanging on the wall, and a rag in the distance on the floor. These are appropriately in sync with the surnames of the characters in their present states. Mr. White and Mr. Pink are upright and close to each other, corresponding to the two shirt colors, while the orange rag laying in the distance would be the position of Mr. Orange in the next room.

The film was released in America with almost no promotion, so it did not do that well at the box office. In England, however, it was such a huge hit that Quentin Tarantino would be mobbed as he walked down the street in London. British filmmakers have been "influenced" by it since.

Quentin Tarantino wrote the first draft in three and a half weeks.