[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/true_romance_1993_poster.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Tired of relationships? Try a romance.]]

''True Romance'' is a 1993 movie written by Creator/QuentinTarantino (based on a script by Creator/RogerAvary) and directed by Creator/TonyScott. It stars Creator/ChristianSlater and Patricia Arquette, with a supporting cast that includes Creator/DennisHopper, Creator/ValKilmer, Creator/GaryOldman, Creator/BradPitt, and Creator/ChristopherWalken.

It tells the story of outlaw lovers Clarence Worley (Slater) and Alabama Whitman (Arquette), who accidentally steal a suitcase full of cocaine and then go on the run from the mob. The couple make their way to Hollywood to sell the drugs -- but it's there that the mob catches up with them.

The movie is notable, beyond its star-launching casting, for being the film that put Tarantino's writing on the Hollywood map. Additionally, it is fairly well-known (and well-liked) within the movie industry, given [[AllStarCast all the stars in it]]; but it isn't widely known, except among Tarantino fans.

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!!This film provides examples of:

* AcceptableTargets[=/=]AssholeVictim: Invoked by Clarence's SpiritAdvisor after Clarence kills Drexl.
-->"You think a cop gives a fuck about a pimp? Listen. Every pimp in the world gets shot. Two in the back of the fuckin' head. Cops'd throw a party, man."
* ActuallyPrettyFunny: Don Vincenzo appears to have this reaction to Clifford's jibes about Sicilians being descended from black people. [[spoiler: Not that it stops him from shooting him]].
* AerosolFlamethrower: Alabama uses one on Virgil.
* AndADietCoke: Clarence goes to buy "the two biggest, fattest burgers" a burger stand has, two chili fries... and a Diet Coke.
* AndThisIsFor: When Nicky shoots Boris:
--> "This is for Cody" (bang).
* ArchEnemy: Drexl Spivey, Vincenzo Coccotti, and Virgil to Clarence Worley and Alabama Whitman.
* AtomicFBomb: In the director's cut ending, before when Alabama shoots at [[spoiler: Nicki]], she shouts an loud "FUCK YOU!".
* AxCrazy: Drexl and to a ''slightly'' lesser extent, Virgil.
* BabiesEverAfter: [[spoiler:Aww, Elvis.]]
* BadassBoast: "I am the Anti-Christ. You get me in a vendetta-kind-of mood, you tell the angels in heaven you never saw evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you."
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: Averted in the fight between Alabama and Virgil.
* BerserkButton: Vincenzo Coccotti is called in to find Clarence Worley, who killed a pimp in his employ and unwittingly took off with the mob's drugs. Vincenzo pays a visit to Clarence's father Clifford. Knowing that Vincenzo is going to kill him no matter what, Clifford endeavors to piss him off so that he'll die without giving up the location of his son, which he does by going into one hell of a speech about how "Sicilians were spawned from niggers." And it works.
* BigBad: Vincenzo Coccotti.
* BlackAndGreyMorality
* BlastOut: A bloody shootout occurs between The Mafia, the LAPD and two HiredGuns and the protagonists, all in the same room.
* BloodierAndGorier: The NC-17 version is bloodier, gorier, and way more graphically violent than the theatrical release.
* BondVillainStupidity: When Virgil is about to shoot Alabama, she proves she is [[DefiantToTheEnd willing to fight back]]. This impresses him enough to put his gun away and instead [[JustHitHim start a brawl]] in which Alabama gets the upper hand and finishes Virgil off in [[RasputinianDeath spectacular fashion]].
* BottomlessMagazines: Mostly averted. Clarence fires his revolver five times in one scene and police can be seen reloading their guns during the shootout. The Gangsters can also be seen taking a massive amount of magazines and shotgun shells with them in a briefcase. However, Clarence does manage to kill Drexl and his bodyguard by firing seven shots out of a six shot revolver, although this is less overkill than most films.
* CallBack: On their date, Alabama says her favorite music is "Music/PhilSpector girl-group stuff." When she gets back to the motel room to find Virgil, if you listen closely, you can hear the Crystals' recording of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" in the background.
* CelebrityParadox: Clarence mentions ''Film/TheDeerHunter'', a film starring Christopher Walken, who plays Vicenzo Conccotti.
* ClusterFBomb: When Clarence shoots [[spoiler: Drexl.]]
--> "Fuck you! Fuck you, you piece of shit!"
** And another before the final shootout and when Elliot as he realizes he has been betrayed to the cops. Lee uses the drink on Elliot.
--> "Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!"
* CombatPragmatist: Alabama averts the usual SheFu trope ''hard'' by using anything and everything she can get her hands on as a weapon to fight back against and kill [[spoiler:Virgil]].
* TheConsigliere: Vincenzo Coccotti serves as this to the unseen Blue Lou Doyle.
* DisneyDeath: [[spoiler:Clarence, after getting [[EyeScream shot in the eye]].]] The film certainly isn't a Disney film, though. Originally, [[spoiler:Clarence was supposed to die, and Alabama gives a grief-stricken monologue cursing him before riding off with the money.]]
* DisproportionateRetribution: Lee is shot to death after he throws coffee on Elliot.
* EyePatchOfPower: Clarence, in the epilogue. Though, seeing as how he's only seen smiling and [[spoiler:playing with his infant son]], it's not all that scary.
* EyeScream: An offscreen one by Clarence to Drexl, who already has a blind eye. Later, Clarence also loses an eye in the shootout (ironically the same one).
* FaceDeathWithDignity: [[spoiler:Clifford on realizing he won't make it out alive.]]
* {{Fanservice}}: The make-out session in the phone booth, in particular.
* FourthDateMarriage: More like [[spoiler:the-very-next-day marriage.]]
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Drexl has a ''very'' evil scar.
* TheGhost: Blue Lou Boyle is the mafia kingpin who owns the dope. He's referred to a number of times, but the closest we get to him is his consigliere, Vincenzo Coccotti, who is terrifying enough on his own. A scene was written for Blue Lou, but it was never filmed.
* GroinAttack: Clarence shoots Drexyl in the groin, from on the floor beneath Drexyl's spread legs. It looks even worse than it sounds.
* HeroicSacrifice: During the face-off between Vincenzo and Clifford, Clifford knows full well if he gives up his son they'll ''both'' be killed. So he taunts Vincenzo with the infamous Sicilian monologue, [[spoiler:provoking Vincenzo into shooting him dead without any further torture. The {{Mook}}s still find clues that lead them to Clarence and Alabama.]]
* HiddenWire: The battery pack for the wire worn by Elliot drops down into his underpants, and he keeps trying to push it back up again. Fortunately no-one notices.
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Alabama.
* IfItsYouItsOkay: Clarence has a monologue explaining why he would have sex with Elvis.
* IgnoreTheFanservice: The scene in which Clarence confronts Drexl has a pretty nifty example. Drexl informs Clarence he has taken no notice of the pair o' titties on the tv screen next to him, to which Clarence responds with a neat retort that among other things explains both yes he has noticed, and no he does not care. Of course as a Quentin Tarantino hero he's already seen the movie and can rattle off its title and release date.
* InsistentTerminology: Alabama is a call girl, ''not'' a whore.
* IShallTauntYou: Clifford taunts Vincenzo with some demographic facts about Sicilians. The result is that Vincenzo and his mooks stop torturing him and go straight to killing him, which plays out as a victory.
* ItGetsEasier: The hitman Virgil explaining to Alabama -- in the process of beating her into a bloody mess -- how hard it is at first to kill someone. He notes that he threw up after his first kill but by the third one he had "leveled off." He now kills people [[OhCrap just to see their expressions change]].
* KarmaHoudini: [[spoiler:Vincenzo]], and also the mob boss Blue Lou Boyle, who remains unseen.
* KarmicDeath:
** Drexl is shot in the groin.
** [[spoiler:Virgil is killed by a woman.]]
* LivingLieDetector: Vincenzo Coccotti claims that he is a master liar and therefore a master at spotting lies. It seems likely that the reason he reacts the way he does when Clifford starts to tell him about Sicilians' black heritage is because he can tell that Clifford really is telling the truth rather than simply making stuff up to insult him.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: The film has an impressively large and star-studded ensemble.
* {{MacGuffin}}: The suitcase full of cocaine.
* TheMafia: Frightening and dangerous and led by Christopher Walken.
* MakingLoveInAllTheWrongPlaces: The phone booth? HOT.
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: Alabama drops into Clarence's life and takes an earnest liking to all of his weird, geeky tastes and interests. [[SubvertedTrope Except]] ThePartridgeFamily. That's where she draws the line.
* MenAreTheExpendableGender: 21 people die in the film, all of them men.
* MeetCute: Subverted. Clarence thinks he's having one of these, but Alabama has been paid to be there. Of course, then she ''does'' fall in love with him.
* MexicanStandoff: Tarantino's trademark.
* MoeGreeneSpecial: How Clarence gets his {{eyepatch of power}}.
* MoreDakka: The reason Boris doesn't obey the cops is that he and his buddy are armed with a hell of a lot more firepower than the LAPD -- also, he just hates cops.
* MusicalPastiche: The theme "You're so Cool" by Music/HansZimmer) is near identical to "Gassenhauer" by Music/CarlOrff.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Lee Donawitz was probably written as a is a take on Creator/OliverStone, as a major Hollywood player and a bit of a coke-lover best known for directing a movie about the Vietnam War. The rushes playing in his home are actually from ''Film/{{Platoon}}''. However, director Tony Scott stated that the character is based on producer Joel Silver in response to his negative experience directing ''Film/TheLastBoyScout''. According to him, he went out of his way to make sure the character looked, sounded, and acted exactly like Silver as an extended TakeThat
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: Virgil to Alabama. But then...
* NoKillLikeOverkill: The way [[spoiler:Alabama kills Virgil. She uses a cork screw, a toilet lid, a bust of [[ElvisPresley Elvis]], an Aerosol Flamethrower, and a shotgun]]. BAD. ASS.
* NumberedSequels: Discussed InUniverse. Hollywood producer Lee Donowitz is most famous for his 80s Vietnam action movie ''Coming Home in a Bodybag''. When he asks his assistant Elliot (who's an informant for the cops by that point) about ideas for a sequel title, the latter just replies "''Coming Home in a Bodybag 2''". Donowitz snarks that his member is more creative than that.
* OneLastSmoke: Although he quit smoking, Clifford indulges in one last smoke when he [[spoiler:decides to commit suicide by gangster]].
* OrchestraHitTechnoBattle: [[spoiler:The fight scene between Clarence and Drexl has "I Want Your Body" by Music/{{Nymphomania}} playing in the background]].
* OutlawCouple: Although they don't actually commit very much crime.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: Vincenzo underscores getting his own hands dirty after offing Clifford.
-->''(three headshots)'' '''Vincenzo:''' I haven't killed anybody ''(three more shots)'' since 1984.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: TheMafia. Clifford knows this, and uses it to provoke them into killing him immediately, before they can torture him to death.
* PrettyFlyForAWhiteGuy: Drexl thinks he's black, but he's mostly white, with maybe some Native American.
* PsychoForHire: Virgil, the hitman who seems to delight in torturing his victims first.
* RasputinianDeath: After Alabama is beaten enough by Virgil, she stabs him in the foot with a cork screw, sets him on fire with an AerosolFlamethrower, hits his head with both a toilet lid and a bust of Elvis, and then grabs a shotgun to finish him off. And even after Virgil's dead, Alabama hits the corpse with the unloaded weapon for good measure!
* RedShirt: Despite the fact that Creator/SamuelLJackson is billed in the opening credits, his character Big Don only gets a little over a minute of screentime before getting gunned down by Drexl.
* RevisedEnding: An alternate ending, which was Creator/QuentinTarantino's original ending to the script. Clarence dies, and Alabama leaves alone with the money. She is then shown driving to Mexico alone, and she delivers a narrative monologue where she claims that she never really cared about Clarence, but used him to get away from Drexl and get money from the drugs. In the original script, she considers suicide after this, but ultimately doesn't.
* RelativeButton: In addition to insulting the infamous ethnic pride of Sicilian mobsters, the Sicilian Monologue also makes it personal when Clifford starts insinuating that some female ancestor of Vincenzo's slept with a black man.
* ShaggySearchTechnique: After beating Alabama bloody without finding out where the drugs are hidden, Virgi is bemused when he accidentally finds the suitcase hidden under the bed.
-->"I can't believe you hid it under the bed. I can't believe I didn't look under the bed!"
* ShoutOut: The use of "Gassenhauser" in the score could be seen as a reference to ''Film/{{Badlands}}''. That or HansZimmer ripping off CarlOrff.
* ShoutOutToShakespeare: Both Clarence and Nicky at some point in the movie say they [[Theatre/{{Hamlet}} knew something was rotten in Denmark]].
* SilentOffer: Clarence makes an offer in an envelope for his "peace of mind." The envelope is empty.
* TheSnackIsMoreInteresting: Discussed. Drexl offers Clarence some of his Chinese food, but Clarence is more interested in looking hard to intimidate him. Drexl says that Clarence would have been more effective if he'd started chowing down as if he hadn't a care in the world.
* SoundtrackDissonance: The upbeat techno music during the scene with Drexl, the calm soothing piece during the Virgil scene and the Sicilian scene.
* SpiritAdvisor: Clarence occasionally gets advice from an apparition that behaves like Music/ElvisPresley, whom Clarence is obsessed with.
* TheSlacker: Floyd, Dick's roommate who never leaves the couch, played by Creator/BradPitt.
* TheStoner: Floyd is seen puffing on a honey bear bong.
* StupidSexyFlanders: According to Clarence, "Elvis looked good. I mean, I ain't no fag, but Elvis was prettier than most women, you know? [...] You know, I always said if I had to fuck a guy [...] if my life depended on it, I'd fuck Elvis."
* StylisticSuck: Lee Donowitz's film within a film, ''Comin' Home in a Body Bag'', appears to be an archetypal brain-dead 80s action movie, though Clarence talks about it like it's ''Film/ApocalypseNow''.
* SuicideByCop: Clifford intentionally enrages the mafia gangsters so that they'll kill him outright before they can torture his son's location out of him.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Virgil's death by interrogation: Virgil beats up Alabama, trying to find out where Clarence and the drugs he stole from Drexl Spivey are. Throwing her into the shower, she blinds him with shampoo, hits him over the head with the toilet cover, then sprays him with hairspray, stabs him once, and blasts him to hell with a shotgun, and once she's used up all the shells, strikes him with the shotgun barrel for good measure.
* TriggerHappy: The entire last shootout, but the bodyguard Boris and his buddy are very gunhappy.
* TooKinkyToTorture[=/=]IShallTauntYou: Alabama goes out of her way to mock Virgil after using a Bust of Elvis on him.
* WouldHitAGirl: [[spoiler:Virgil]] ruthlessly and unscrupulously beats and tortures [[spoiler:Alabama]]. Despite expressing admiration for her 'heart', he is also shown prepared to shoot her, but she eventually manages to kill him.
* WorthyOpponent: Open to interpretation, but the hearty laugh and the kiss on the cheek that Vincenzo gives Clifford before he [[spoiler:shoots him]] indicates a sizable amount of respect for the balls the other man shows.

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