Trivia / Reservoir Dogs

  • Actor Allusion: Eddie Bunker appears as Mr. Blue. Bunker was a former criminal who wrote a semi-autobiographical crime book titled Little Boy Blue. After the film, he wrote a follow-up titled Mr. Blue: Memoirs of a Renegade.
    • Joe, played by veteran actor Lawrence Tierney, says at one point that Mr. Blue is "as dead as Dillinger". Tierney's first major film role was playing John Dillinger in the titular 1945 film.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: The woman Mr. Orange shoots is Tim Roth's dialect coach Suzanne Celeste. Roth insisted that she take the role, as she was very hard on him.
  • Banned in China: It's illegal to own a copy and/or import the video game in New Zealand. Australia also banned it.
  • Breakthrough Hit: For Quentin Tarantino.
  • Cast the Expert: Mr. Blue, a member of the gang who only shows up in two scenes is played by Eddie Bunker, a real life former criminal and convicted felon before he went into acting and writing crime fiction.
  • Fake American: The very British Tim Roth plays an American.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The film was released in America with almost no promotion, so it did not do that well at the box office. In England, however, it was such a huge hit that Quentin Tarantino would be mobbed as he walked down the street in London. British filmmakers have been "influenced" by it since.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor:
    • Michael Madsen had difficulty filming the torture scene, but when the actor playing the cop ad-libbed the line about having a child, he flat-out refused to continue until the next day. This moment actually crosses over into the film itself; on some DVD releases, after the line is spoken, Madsen can clearly be heard breaking character and murmuring "Oh no, no," from off-screen.
    • Steve Buscemi requested that the Mr. Pink "Reservoir Dogs" doll not be carrying a gun because he thought about kids playing with it.
  • No Budget: Originally planned to be shot for just $30,000 until Harvey Keitel saw the script and came on as Mr. White & the executive producer, which increased the budget to $1.2 million.
    • The film's budget was so low that many of the actors simply used their own clothing as wardrobe; most notably Chris Penn's track jacket. The signature black suits were provided for free by the designer, based on her love for the American crime film genre. Steve Buscemi wore his own black jeans instead of suit pants.
    • The budget didn't stretch to obtaining police assistance for traffic control so in the scene where Mr. Pink forces a woman out of her car and drives off in it, he could only do so when the traffic lights were green.
    • Mr. Blonde's Cadillac Coupe de Ville actually belonged to Michael Madsen because the budget wasn't big enough to buy a car for the character.
  • Reality Subtext: Note in the opening scene when the gang are discussing Madonna, Nice Guy Eddie keeps out of the discussion. His actor, Chris Penn, deferred from saying anything on screen about his former sister-in-law.
  • Star-Making Role: Steve Buscemi had some good performances under his belt, but this was the point where most people learned who he was. Ditto for Tim Roth and Michael Madsen.
  • Throw It In: Everything after Mr. Blonde cuts off the ear was ad-libbed by Michael Madsen.
    • In his Hot Fuzz commentary with Edgar Wright, Tarantino reveals the gesture Mr. Brown makes at the end of the opening scene is not from the character at all, but Tarantino the director, telling everyone to just leave after finally getting a good take out of Lawrence Tierney.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Quentin Tarantino was originally just going to write and act in the film — the person he actually wanted to direct was Monte Hellman, who had directed some cult films way back in the '60s and '70s, but was way past the best of his career by that stage - his last film had been the abysmally poor Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out!, for perspective. A Hellman-directed version of Reservoir Dogs might not have been a total disaster, but it's hard to see it being anywhere near as good as what we ended up with. Fortunately, Tarantino eventually summoned up the courage to direct the film himself.
    • Samuel L. Jackson auditioned for the role of Mr. White, and then for Freddy's contact/handler — being cast as Jules Winfield was a favor for not getting either part. One would expect that the naming scene would have included some objections over a black man getting the name Mr. White.
    • Tarantino wanted James Woods to act in the film, but Woods' agent turned it down... without consulting Woods himself, for which he was fired. It's not clear which role Tarantino had in mind, though most fans suspect it was Mr. Orange.
    • Timothy Carey was considered for the role of Joe, and evidently liked the script a great deal. Reasons vary as to why he was not cast. On one DVD extra, Tarantino (who dedicated the Dogs script to Carey, among others) claimed that he felt the famously difficult to direct Carey would have been more trouble than he was worth, before admitting that "Timothy Carey at his worst could not possibly have been more difficult than Lawrence Tierney." Another story holds that Carey auditioned, but was vetoed by Keitel, acting in his capacity as producer.
    • Robert Forster auditioned for the role of Joe.
    • David Duchovny auditioned as well. According to Duchovny, Tarantino told him "I like what you do, I just don't know if I want you to do it in my movie."
    • George Clooney read for the role of Mr. Blonde/Vic Vega but was turned down, and Christopher Walken refused the same role.
    • Tarantino was considering using "Ballroom Blitz" by Sweet as an alternate song for the "ear" scene.
    • The first draft script called for Pink Floyd's "Money" where "Little Green Bag" is now. It was later changed because Tarantino heard "Little Green Bag" over the radio and became extremely nostalgic.
    • In the script, it was Mr. White who doesn't tip, not Mr. Pink. Also, it was Mr. Pink who had the first lines about "Like a Virgin." This was when Tarantino still intended to play Mr. Pink himself.
    • Viggo Mortensen auditioned for a role. He read the part as a hispanic character for a take where he was performed against Harvey Keitel. More than twenty years later Quentin offered him a role in The Hateful 8, but Viggo couldn't commit due to scheduling conflicts.
    • Dennis Hopper was offered the role of Mr Pink by Tarantino and Keitel, but he was unavailable.
    • Ving Rhames was considered for Holdaway.
    • In the script, the wounded Mr. Orange is laid down on a mattress, instead of on the wooden ramp in the warehouse.
  • Word of God: Quentin Tarantino says that the briefcase from Pulp Fiction was originally supposed to have contained a cache of diamonds before Tarantino decided that keeping the contents of the briefcase ambiguous made it more interesting. Since Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs take place in the same universe (Vic and Vincent Vega, major characters in both films, are brothers), it's been theorized that the briefcases in both films are actually the same briefcase, which would mean that someone in the criminal underworld sold the diamonds to Brett and his gang before the police could return them to their rightful owners.

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