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November 07, 2022


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Interesting to read your review, after I read another editor's take. David Jenkins over at Little White Lies had the same reservations as you do, re. Quentin plainly needing an editor to make the book more readable, but he really didn't like the book at all. I've enjoyed some of Tarantino and Avary's Video Archives Podcast, but it's one thing to listen to nerds go into depth about obscure grindhouse fare and another one to read one telling his readers how he could have made Taxi Driver better.


Well, he's talking about how he thought De Palma would have made "Taxi Driver" differently, and his speculation isn't entirely without interest. And it's a relatively short chapter.

Andrew Del Monte

When I read Once Upon a Time in Hollywood I wondered if there was some kind of stipulation in place that Tarantino could not be edited. There were some mind-boggling grammatical errors. The dedication to his wife and child at the very front of the book goes something like "thank you for creating a great environment in which to write in." Still, the book was a lot of fun.


Andrew said: "When I read Once Upon a Time in Hollywood I wondered if there was some kind of stipulation in place that Tarantino could not be edited."

Maybe he has final cut on his books.

Glenn said: "Tarantino’s appreciation for the minutiae of underappreciated cinema ..."

Tarantino is the only person I've come across who praises the 1976 sniper-in-a-stadium movie Two Minute Warning, which I've always thought was pretty good. The fact that the sniper is given no back story or motivation makes it creepy. (Motivation was added to the clunky expanded version Universal put together for TV.)


I enjoyed reading the book. QT's personality certainly comes across. But I disagree with a lot of what he says, especially his dismissal of Point Blank. I found it odd that his enthusiasm did not make me want to rewatch the films I've seen or see the ones I haven't. There's no way I, as a cranky old fart, could sit through Paradise Alley or Hardcore again. The chapter on Hardcore is especially weak, serving only as a supplement to what he says about Taxi Driver and the influence of The Searchers on pal Paul. I most enjoyed the accounts of his childhood moviegoing experiences, his background info about the making of some of the films, and the chapter about his friend Floyd. I loved Floyd's defense of Willie Best and was pleasantly shocked that Pandora and the Flying Dutchman is one of his top five. QT's writing style seems to alternate between conversational and a surprisingly formal style, suggesting that editors were on duty at times. Your readers may be interested in this chap's list of all the films mentioned in the book: https://letterboxd.com/samuryan/list/every-film-referenced-in-quentin-tarantinos-2/


I've disagreed with various QT opinions over the years, as expressed in interviews. I don't think North by Northwest is a "bad movie," and I don't think De Palma is a greater director than Hitchcock. I don't think John Ford was a KKK sympathizer because he supposedly played a Klansman in Birth of a Nation.

But I'll read this book, because Tarantino's opinions are always interesting/entertaining, even I disagree with them. I'll wait for the book to show up at the public library, though. Not spending money on it.

pat kay


Pedro Canhenha

Great review. I'll definitely add this to my list, though I believe his film references may be a bit more obscure than what I'm familiar with. But definitely worth investigating.

Martin Schneider

It's difficult not to think of Quentin's podcast while reading this. That podcast is much more successful/enjoyable than I would have expected, given that Quentin talking is not always the best Quentin. However, teaming up with an old pal reduces the worship factor all around and he is surprisingly un-self-conscious about the things he says. It was fascinating to hear him compare the complex plotting of The Private life of Sherlock Holmes to his own Pulp Fiction and then a few moments later liken Robert Stephens to the well-known actor Christoph Waltz. Also he can do things that other podcasters can't, like give Elaine May a call to get the straight poop on Mikey and Nicky. He defends his positions and doesn't mind if people disagree, etc. Good on him.

Martin Schneider

Oh yeah! Forgot to mention that he picks Five Graves to Cairo as the best Billy Wilder, which was a comment only he would make.


The long, nuanced examination of Star 80 on the Video Archives podcast is must listening. It's a movie that I've struggled with -- I find it both impressive and repulsive -- for more than 30 years.

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