One of the most exciting American filmmakers since Scorcese, Quentin Tarantino’s groundbreaking style has earned its own adjective: “Tarantinoesque.” Revered for his unique post-post modern sense, he’s been criticized for overt appropriation of techniques and imagery from films he admires. Yes, Tarantino’s pop culture-conscious style is an amalgam of the movies he watched during his do-it-yourself film education as a video store clerk. Everybody knows Tarantino was influenced by the Blaxploitation genre; the films of France, Hong Kong and Japan; and ’70s film. But what films from Hollywood’s Golden Age inspired him? here is the best tarantino movies.
1. Kiss Me Deadly (1955) As its title suggests, Pulp Fiction was partially inspired by the pulp crime fiction written by writers such as Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, and Dashiell Hammett, as well as the associated film noir genre. Although there is no single major film noir work that was the primary inspiration for Pulp Fiction, it is widely believed that the mysterious glowing briefcase pursued by the hit men in Pulp Fiction was Tarantino’s homage to a similar briefcase featured in the 1955 film noir classic Kiss Me Deadly. Kiss Me Deadly was adopted from Spillane’s detective novel of the same name.
2. Django (1966) One inspiration for Django Unchained is Corbucci’s 1966 spaghetti western Django, whose star Franco Nero has a cameo appearance in Django Unchained. Although both films feature deadly gunslingers named Django, racist antagonists, and over-the-top violence, there is little else to tie these two films’ plots together. However, Tarantino was obviously inspired by some elements of the 1966 film and he even borrowed its unforgettable title song for Django Unchained. The movie is said to be inspired by not only the 1966 movie Django, but also the unorthodox 2007 Japanese remake by director Takashi Miike, called Sukiyaki Western Django, which featured Tarantino in a cameo as a character named Ringo.
3. Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) As a five year old, Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein was Tarantino’s favorite movie. “The spookiest laugh fest on record” was named one of the top 100 funniest films of all time by Reader’s Digest, the first in a series where the inept comedy duo met Universal’s classic monsters. The pair play deliverymen charged with depositing Dracula and Frankenstein’s monster at their final resting place: a wax museum. But the monsters revolt, and try to snatch Lou’s brain. Tarantino credits the film with teaching him that horror and comedy can overlap, often with stunning results. He has described his own Kill Bill as “Funny. Solemn. Beautiful. Gross. All at the same time.”
4. Rio Bravo (1959) Dedicated Tarantino enthusiasts will know that the director actually lists Rio Bravo as his favorite film of all time. He loves the film so much he even uses it as a romantic screener: “When I’m getting serious about a girl, I show her Rio Bravo and she better $@#&*%! like it.” This classic Howard Hawks/John Wayne collaboration was supposedly made as a response to the anti-McCarthyism of High Noon, as John Wayne’s sheriff enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk and a young gunfighter to hold the brother of a notorious outlaw in jail. Tarantino is on record as enjoying the “hangout” quality of Rio Bravo – the time Hawks spends just letting his characters talk, allowing the audience to get to know them and care about them through their personal tics of dialogue. That’s certainly relatable to QT’s canon.
5. The Game of Death (1978) Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill series of movies that kicked off with Volume 1 in 2003 drew inspiration from a wide variety of film genres, including Japanese samurai films, Italian giallo films, and Hong Kong martial art films. However, perhaps the most obvious motif that Tarantino recycles in this film is the yellow-and-black tracksuit worn by Uma Thurman’s character, The Bride. The same outfit was famously worn by Bruce Lee in The Game of Death – the last film the iconic martial arts movie star was working on when he died unexpectedly in 1973. Although The Game of Death was never completed, a film using lots of footage of a Bruce Lee stand-in was released five years after his death.