True Romance


Character: Floyd
Release Date: 10 September 1993
Directed By: Tony Scott
Written By: Quentin Tarantino
Genre: Action/Crime/Drama/Romance/Thriller
Tagline: Stealing, Cheating, Killing. Who said romance is dead?
MPAA Rating: –
Produced by: Morgan Creek Productions, Davis-Films, August Entertainment
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Budget: $12,500,000 (estimated)
Filming Dates: June 1992 – September 1992

Christian Slater…Clarence Worley
Patricia Arquette…Alabama Whitman
Michael Rapaport…Dick Ritchie
Val Kilmer…Elvis, Mentor
Bronson Pinchot…Elliot Blitzer
Dennis Hopper…Clifford Worley
Gary Oldman…Drexl Spivey
Brad Pitt…Floyd
Tom Sizemore…Cody Nicholson
Christopher Walken…Vincenzo Coccotti
Samuel L. Jackson…Big Don
James Gandolfini…Virgil

Filming Locations:
Ambassador Hotel – 3400 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, USA
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Los Angeles, California, USA
Rae’s Restaurant, Santa Monica, California, USA
Safari Inn – 1911 W. Olive Ave., Burbank, California, USA
The Athenaeum, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, USA

Clarence Worley, a penniless hipster in Detroit with a love for Elvis meets a mysterious hooker paid to meet him named Alabama on his birthday in a theater at night. Falling in love, he makes it his mission to dispose of her past, namely her violent pimp, Drexl Spivey. Defeating him and unknowingly taking a vast fortune of Cocaine, the two fight to sell the white gold in Los Angeles as Drexl’s associates fight to reclaim it in a bloody romantic thriller full to the brim with style

Trivia & Facts:
Writer Quentin Tarantino sold this script to fund Reservoir Dogs (1992).

When Dick Ritchie throws the suitcase full of coke into the air, a “D.A.R.E. to keep kids off drugs” bumper sticker can be seen.

Bronson Pinchot ad-libbed the scene where his character was caught with the cocaine.

Drexl uses the phrase, “from a diddled-eyed Joe to a damned if I know” which was also used by Mr. Orange’s mentor in Reservoir Dogs (1992), also written by Quentin Tarantino.

The film that Alabama and Clarence watch in his apartment is the John Woo film Ying hung boon sik II (1987).

The comic book that Clarence shows Alabama is “Sgt. Fury and His Howling Commandos” #7. There is a bridge scene in which they look at the Spider-Man comic (Clarence relays the story about Spider-Man being the story of Jesus) and Clarence takes out the Sgt. Fury issues. This issue in which Nick dives into the ocean to retrieve the ring for the woman he loves (Pamela Hawley) is referred to as …”real romance”. When Fury returns to give the ring to his love he finds she’s been killed.

The screenplay of True Romance (1993) was originally part of a very long screenplay written by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary. The other half of it was used for the film Natural Born Killers (1994). In both films Tom Sizemore plays a cop.

Quentin Tarantino sold the script for $50,000 which was the minimum amount of money that can be paid for a script at the time (according to WGA rules).

Tarantino wanted the role of Concotti to be played by Robert Forster. This role went to Christopher Walken.

According to Dennis Hopper, the only words that were improvised in the scene with Christopher Walken were “egg plant” and “cantaloup”.

The work “fuck” and its derivatives are said 225 times.

Quentin Tarantino said that he never visited the set of the movie during filming.

The structure of the script was different in Quentin Tarantino’s original script. The first two parts of the movie were told in trademark Tarantino nonlinear fashion. Director Tony Scott changed the script to linear structure for filming.

The roller coaster scene was originally written to have taken place in a zoo. Director Tony Scott changed it to give the movie an “adrenaline rush”.

When Clarence and Alabama are showing the coke to Dick in the motel room, the movie playing on the TV is Freejack (1992).

It was Brad Pitt’s idea for his character to be a stoner who never leaves the couch.

One of the original directors set up to do this was B-movie veteran William Lustig. But Tarantino turned him down because he did not believe he could do like Jonathan Demme (who went from B-movies to “regular” feature movies).

Following the “eggplant scene”, Dennis Hopper was concerned about being “shot” by Christopher Walken with the prop gun so close against his head for fear of being burned by the barrel. Director Tony Scott assured him the gun was 100% safe, and even tested it by having the prop man fire it against his (Scott’s) own forehead. But upon firing the prop gun the barrel extended about a third of an inch and Scott ended up on the floor with blood pouring from the wound.

In Quentin Tarantino’s original script Floyd D. calls Drexl a “white boy”. That’s why Drexl kills him and Big Don. In the original script Marty wasn’t around when Drexl kills them.

Patricia Arquette’s voice-over scene in the beginning of the film is borrowed from Badlands (1973), and is even set to very similar music (though not the Carl Orff piece used in Badlands).

There are 21 on-screen deaths, all male, all from death by gunshot.

Gary Oldman based the character of Drexl on an actor named Willi One Blood, who he later starred with in Luc Besson’s Léon (1994).

Jack Black appears in a cameo as a theater usher in a deleted scene.

In the scene where Clarence calls Dick while on the toilet, a poster for the film My Blood Runs Cold (1965) can be seen behind Dick.

According to director ‘Tony Scott’ , Val Kilmer had originally wanted to play the character of Clarence.

That’s Patricia Arquette’s four-year-old son Enzo Rossi in the final scene.

Tony Scott gave Patricia Arquette the Cadillac featured heavily in the film as a gift after filming wrapped.

Val Kilmer’s Elvis impersonation is referred to as Mentor in the closing credits so as not to face any litigation from the Presley estate.

Val Kilmer spent 8 hours in make-up being transformed into Elvis Presley. Fortunately, he was only required for two days of filming.

The character of Blue Lou Boyle was originally a speaking part (with Robert De Niro as the definite favorite), but many cuts were made to Quentin Tarantino’s script, including a scene featuring him. Instead, he’s briefly mentioned as Vincent Coccotti’s (Christopher Walken) superior.

The scene on the roller coaster was filmed over two days. Michael Rapaport unfortunately has a fear of roller coasters, and suffers from acute motion sickness, facts which no one knew during the first day’s filming. By the second day, the crew was prepared for this, and they gave him something to calm his nerves. As a result, one can easily tell from cut to cut on which day a particular moment was filmed by watching his face in the background. His expression goes back and forth from apprehensive and nauseous (the first day) to bland and oblivious of his surroundings (the second day).

As a temporary music track, Film Editor Tony Ciccone put “Outshined” by Soundgarden in the scene where stoner Brad Pitt gives directions to the henchman. The result was such a hit at test screenings that a good portion of the music budget went for obtaining rights to use the hit song in the final film.

The opera piece heard during the scene with Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper is from Lakmé by Léo Delibes. It is also used in The Hunger (1983), another film directed by Tony Scott.

The hat Brad Pitt wears in the kitchen sequence he found abandoned on a street in Venice, Italy. He took it, washed it, and wore it for the film.

From the gallery

Floyd: Hey! Get some beer and some cleaning products!

Floyd: Don’t condescend me, man. I’ll fuckin’ kill ya, man.

External Links
Official website

SB Store (US)
True Romance (Director’s Cut Two-Disc Special Edition DVD)
True Romance (DVD)
True Romance (Blu-ray)

SB Store (UK)
True Romance (Special Edition DVD)
True Romance (DVD)
True Romance (Blu-ray)