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Film Studies 101
Feature
Become A Heist Films Expert In Ten Easy Movies
Master a genre in just a handful of films

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Become A Heist Films Expert In Ten Easy Movies | Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Tagline: “Seven Total Strangers Team Up For The Perfect Crime. They Don't Know Each Other's Name. But They've Got Each Other's Color”

Hailed by Empire as the greatest indie ever made, Reservoir Dogs was conceived by Quentin Tarantino as his take on ‘50s heist movies – a lo-fi LA-set version of The Killing with a ‘70s pop soundtrack. His script, nutted out in a handful of weeks while working at Video Archives, employed the same fractured timeline as Kubrick’s heist effort but marries it with a modern sensibility, ultra violence and some brilliantly random debates about Madonna lyrics. We never see the robbery itself, a gambit designed to keep attention focused on the sharpsuited crims, but we’re in undercover cop Mr. Orange’s (Tim Roth) blood-soaked shoes from the moment the heist unravels, a particularly hairy place to be. Still incendiary 18 years on, Dogs is a timeless thriller that could only have emerged from the architecture of Quentin Tarantino’s twisted mind.

Iconic moment: In an abandoned downtown warehouse, Mr. Blonde – and Steelers Wheel – set about giving Marvin Nash serious earache.

What to quote: “Somebody's shoved a red-hot poker up our ass, and I want to know whose name is on the handle!”

Pub trivia: Madonna gave Tarantino a signed copy of Erotica with a note that read: "To Quentin. It's not about dick, it’s about love. Madonna."

Further reading… Kansas City Confidential (1955), Kelly’s Heroes (1970), Jackie Brown (1997), City On Fire (1987), The Usual Suspects (1995)

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