Few filmmakers have as distinct a 'style' as Quentin Tarantino. He is a true auteur, who has written and directed each of his feature films, and every single one of them is unmistakably Tarantino. Initially coming to prominence in the 1990's, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that he revolutionized independent filmmaking; his movies broke through and entered the mainstream, all while staying fiercely unique and original. In fact, several writers and directors since have been described as having a style that is 'Tarantino-esque'; the man was so influential that a term was coined to describe his imitators!
Perhaps the two most famous aspects of Tarantino's style are his incredible dialogue and his propensity for bouts of extreme violence. It's not unusual to watch his movies and wish that you could just listen to the characters talk for hours on end; everything they say is so interesting and wonderfully written. And then something brutal will happen to them, and you'll remember that you're watching a Tarantino film! He also loves to present his films with choppy, non-linear storytelling, and his personally-curated soundtracks are legendary.
This quiz will test any fan's knowledge of the Tarantino oeuvre. All his directorial efforts are present and accounted for here, as well as a few questions relating to his screenplays that were produced by other directors, and even a few of his acting roles. Enjoy!
Which character did Tarantino play in Reservoir Dogs?
Reservoir Dogs was the full-length directorial debut of Quentin Tarantino, and it went on to become regarded as a modern classic of independent cinema. Tarantino wrote the screenplay for the film while working at Video Archives, a video rental store in Manhattan Beach, California. He gave the script to his acting teacher, whose wife passed it on to actor Harvey Keitel, who liked it so much that he signed on as co-producer and helped secure funding. Tarantino, as well as writing and directing, also starred in a minor role in the film, as one of the group of thieves behind a botched diamond heist. But what was his character's name?
What body part does Mr Blonde cut off of Marvin Nash, the kidnapped policeman?
Reservoir Dogs created a storm of controversy upon its release, due to the graphic violence depicted in the film. During a screening at the Sitges Film Festival, fifteen people walked out, including legendary horror director Wes Craven and special effects maestro Rick Baker. Perhaps they struggled with the realistic way the violence was portrayed, as opposed to their traditional heightened horror movie approach? Either way, one scene was particularly gruesome, and actor Michael Madsen, playing Mr Blonde, reportedly struggled to finish it....
Name John Travolta's character in Pulp Fiction.
In 1994, Tarantino released what many still consider to be his ultimate masterpiece: Pulp Fiction, a black comedy neo-noir crime film about the intersecting lives of LA mobsters, small-time criminals and a down-on-his-luck boxer. John Travolta's acting career was resurrected after his excellent performance in the film, as a chatty hitman working for local crime boss Marsellus Wallace. He took a heavily reduced pay-packet for the film, but it paid off handsomely when he was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award and was soon cast in several hit movies, such as Get Shorty and Face/Off.
What do the French call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, according to Travolta's character?
Before Tarantino came along, audiences the world over had been used to the way dialogue was normally utilized in movies: a way to propel the plot forward. Characters very rarely were shown talking about anything that wasn't relevant to the story, so it was a complete revelation when Tarantino took several opportunities to have his characters simply chat about whatever was on their minds, for extended periods of screen-time. This conversation, between Vincent Vega and Samuel L. Jackson's Jules Winnfield, is perhaps the most well-known example of this particular Tarantino trademark.
Name the couple, played by Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer, who hold up the restaurant at gunpoint.
Pulp Fiction's narrative is told out of chronological order, with three main stories all intersecting in different ways. The film therefore begins with an armed stick-up at a diner, and returns to the very same scene at the end, with the audiences knowledge of the players in the scene having changed drastically. Tim Roth (returning after Reservoir Dogs) and Amanda Plummer play the small-time hoods who hold up the diner. Their real names are Ringo and Yolanda, but they are better known in the film as...
What dance do Travolta and Uma Thurman do at Jack Rabbit Slims?
Uma Thurman's iconic performance as Mia Wallace, wife of gangster Marsellus Wallace, in Pulp Fiction launched her onto the A-List. She was prominently featured in nearly all of the promotional material for the film, and her chemistry with Travolta was electric. His Vincent Vega is asked by Marsellus to escort Mia while he is out of town, so he takes her to 1950's-themed restaurant Jack Rabbit Slim's, where they participate in a dance contest (in a scene that became legendary)....
Jackie Brown was an adaptation of the novel Rum Punch, written by which legendary crime author?
Jackie Brown was Tarantino's homage to the 1970's blaxsploitation films of his youth. It starred Pam Grier, who was the star of two of the biggest examples of the genre in the 70's, Coffy and Foxy Brown. The rest of the cast was filled with a who's who of Hollywood at the time: Sam Jackson, Michael Keaton, Bridget Fonda and Robert De Niro. To date, it is the only Tarantino film to have been adapted from a previous work. In this case, a 1992 crime novel by author...
Michael Keaton played ATF agent Ray Nicolette. He also appeared in another crime movie as the same character. Name it.
Michael Keaton's role as ATF agent Ray Nicolette in Jackie Brown is a far more significant piece of Hollywood history than you might know. At the time Jackie Brown was being filmed, another movie based on a novel featuring the character of Ray Nicolette was being developed by rival studio Universal. The legal rights to the character were held by Miramax and Tarantino, but yet Keaton was able to make an uncredited cameo as Nicolette in the other film a year later...
Name the team of assassins that The Bride was formerly a member of in Kill Bill Vol 1.
Kill Bill was Tarantino's loving (and bloody) homage to the martial arts films he grew up watching. It was originally set to be released as one gargantuan film, with a running time of over four hours, but sensible heads prevailed and it was instead released as Kill Bill Vol's 1 and 2, with a six month gap in between. Uma Thurman starred as Beatrix Kiddo/The Bride, a former assassin seeking vengeance against her former crew, who massacred members of her wedding party and left her for dead.
The Bride travels to Okinawa to obtain a sword made by which legendary swordsmith?
In a brilliant section midway through Kill Bill Vol 1, The Bride travels to Okinawa to obtain a sword crafted by a legendary swordsmith, who has vowed to never forge a sword again. However, after he learns her target is Bill, a former student of his, he forges her his finest sword ever. The character was played by Sonny Chiba, one of the first actors to achieve worldwide fame through martial arts. Tarantino had actually included a reference to him in Pulp Fiction: a modified version of the opening scroll to his movie Karate Kiba is in the film.
How does The Bride defeat fellow assassin Elle Driver in Kill Bill Vol 2?
In Kill Bill Vol 2, The Bride attempts to take revenge on Budd aka Sidewinder (Michael Madsen), but he was warned of her approach, and so is able to subdue her and bury her alive. He then agrees with Elle Driver aka California Mountain Snake (Darryl Hannah) to sell her the Hattori Hanzo sword for $1 million. Elle double crosses Budd, though, killing him, but by this point The Bride has escaped from the coffin and fights Elle, where she defeats her in a particularly gruesome fashion...
What technique does The Bride use to finally kill Bill?
It would be pretty disappointing if, over two movies entitled Kill Bill, The Bride failed in her mission to, you know...kill Bill. It's a good thing she succeeds, then! And in a very inventive way. During the film, we see Bill tell The Bride a story about how his trainer Pai Mei knows of a legendary death blow that he refuses to teach his students. At this point, we know this is going to come back to bite Bill in the ass, and at the close of the film, The Bride uses the secret technique on him.
How does Kurt Russell's Stuntman Mike kill his victims in Death Proof?
Death Proof was part of an interesting experiment. Released in the US as one half of a double feature, alongside Robert Rodriguez' Planet Terror, the films were collectively known as Grindhouse. This was to be both directors' way of paying tribute to the gory exploitation films of their youth. Unfortunately, neither film received overly positive reviews, and outside of the US, they were split up and released separately anyway. Even Tarantino himself has said it's his worst film. Oh well, can't win 'em all!
Name Christoph Waltz' 'Jew Hunter' character in Inglourious Basterds.
Tarantino well and truly rediscovered his mojo with Inglourious Basterds, his excellent World War II movie starring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Christoph Waltz. In a 'none more Tarantino' move, it told the fictional alternate history story of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's political leadership. This meant that Tarantino could include things that didn't happen in real life; like when we see members of the Basters gun down Hitler and Joseph Goebbels in a movie theatre screening the premiere of Stolz Der Nation (Nation's Pride), a fictional movie-within-a-movie!
What does Brad Pitt's Aldo Raine do to Nazi criminals so they can never hide who they are?
Brad Pitt plays Lieutenant Aldo 'The Apache' Raine in Inglourious Basterds. He is the leader of the First Special Service Force, and recruits a team of Jewish-American soldiers to serve as 'The Basterds', a brutal unit who will spread fear through the German ranks. Though Pitt is the source of quite a bit of humour in the film, the audience is never allowed to forget what he and his unit are there for. What they do to Nazi's they capture is really quite something...
Which comedic actor has a cameo in the film as General Ed Fenech?
General Ed Fenech appears in only one scene in Inglourious Basterds, but it's an important one. Deep within an unknown military building, Fenech meets with Archie Hicox (Michael Fassbender), under the watchful eyes of Winston Churchill. He briefs him on Operation Kino, which is the codename for the plot to assassinate the German High Command. Fenech was played by a very well known Canadian comedic actor, who was simply a Tarantino fan and had enquired about being in the movie as his parents had been members of the British Armed Forces.
Name Django's wife, who he strives to be reunited with, in Django Unchained.
Django Unchained, which starred Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz and Leonardo DiCaprio, is Tarantino's most financially successful film to date (grossing over $425 million worldwide). It is (another) Tarantino homage to an old genre: the Spaghetti Western, specifically the 1966 Italian film Django. The plot follows a slave named Django who is freed from captivity by Dr King Schultz, a bounty hunter. They then go on a journey to track down the Brittle Brothers, outlaws who have a bounty on their heads, but also to find and reunite Django with his wife.
What does Calvin Candie force his male slaves to do, and then bets on the outcome?
Leonardo DiCaprio's Calvin Candie is a terrible, terrible man. Though he projects a surface level of charm, beneath that is a cruelty that can scarcely be believed. For our money, it's one of DiCaprio's best roles, and he seizes the opportunity to wrap his tongue around Tarantino's trademark dialogue with gusto. Perhaps the most appalling thing we see Candie do is when he forces two of his black, male slaves to do something that is very, very against their will...
Name Calvin Candie's staunchly loyal house slave, played by Samuel L. Jackson.
In Django Unchained, longtime Tarantino collaborator Samuel L. Jackson bagged one of the best roles of his career. He played Calvin Candie's house slave, who was fiercely loyal to his master and capable of just as much malevolence as Candie. Just watch his horror at the idea of Django being allowed into the 'big house'. Jackson plays the character with comical tendencies, but a true darkness lurking very close to the surface. Given that this is a Tarantino movie, though, you can rest assured that he meets a very sticky end!
In The Hateful Eight, Sam Jackson's Major Marquis Warren boasts about being written a personal letter by which US President?
In 2015, Tarantino followed up Django Unchained with another Western: The Hateful Eight, which starred Samuel L. Jackson (of course), Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Walton Goggins. It told the story of eight despicable people (bounty hunters, hangmen, criminals etc) who seek refuge from a blizzard sometime after the American Civil War. Jackson played Major Marquis Warren, a bounty hunter who boasts an awful lot about a personal letter he was written by an ex-President of the United States Of America...
Name the location where the majority of the film takes place.
The Hateful Eight had a much lower budget ($44 million) than both Django Unchained ($100 million) and Inglourious Basterds ($70 million). Those two were much more expansive films, with many more locations and actors. By contrast, The Hateful Eight takes place primarily in one location, and has considerably less movie stars in it. No Leo this time, folks. The location is a dusty old stagecoach lodge, Major Warren and Kurt Russell's John Ruth aka The Hangman, turn up and are greeted by Bob (Demian Bichir), a Mexican who tells them the owner is away visiting her mother and has left him in charge...
Tarantino wrote the screenplay for which 1993 thriller starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette?
This 1993 romantic crime thriller was based on the first screenplay Tarantino ever sold, even though it was released a year after Reservoir Dogs. Initially, he had hoped to also direct the film, but lost interest, and sold the script instead. The film was eventually directed by Tony Scott, who assembled an amazing cast. Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette were the leads, but the rest of the supporting cast featured Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman, James Gandolfini, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper and Samuel L Jackson.
Tarantino also wrote the script for which controversial 1994 Oliver Stone film?
This movie was controversial in a few different ways. Firstly, the graphic violence depicted meant that it was banned in Ireland, and its release was delayed in the UK by over 6 months as the BBFC investigated claims it provoked copycat murders in the US and France. Secondly, though, was that Tarantino's original script was heavily revised by writer David Veloz and director Oliver Stone. So much so, in fact, that Tarantino could only receive a 'Story By' credit, instead of 'Written by'.
Name the vampire strip club at the heart of From Dusk Till Dawn?
In 1996, Tarantino wrote and starred in From Dusk Till Dawn, a horror action thriller co-starring George Clooney, Juliette Lewis and Harvey Keitel. The movie, which was directed by Tarantino's pal Robert Rodriguez, was a modest success at the box office but has since developed a cult following, and also spawned several sequels and a TV show. The script was actually Tarantino's first paid writing gig, and he secured it while still working at Video Archives. He elaborated on a 24 page script treatment by Robert Kurtzman, and they then spent the next 10 years trying to get it made. It was only when Rodriguez became involved that they got their green-light!
Tarantino directed a scene in which ultra-violent 2005 comic book movie?
This film, which was released in 2005, was part of a revolution in filmmaking that took place in the mid-2000's. It was shot primarily on a digital backlot, which meant all the actors worked in front of a green screen, which then allowed for background elements to be added after the fact in post-production. The film was originally shot in colour, but then converted to black and white (with the odd splash of colour). Robert Rodriguez and comic book legend Frank Miller directed the film together, but one scene was helmed by Tarantino.