Reservoir Dogs movie references guide

From The Quentin Tarantino Archives


  • Marlon Brando - Name mentioned by Holdaway
  • Charles Bronson - Name mentioned several times by Mr. Brown and Mr. White.
  • Doris Day - Name mentioned by Joe.
  • Anne Francis - aka Honey West. Name mentioned during the 'Get Christie Love!' discussion.
  • Pam Grier - Name mentioned during the 'Get Christie Love!' discussion.
  • John Holmes - Name mentioned during Mr. Brown's 'Like a Virgin' speech.
  • Anna Karina - Karina's Fine Jewelery is named for French New Wave queen Anna Karina.
  • Lee Marvin - Mr. Blonde correctly bets Mr. White is "a big Lee Marvin fan".
  • Donald Trump - Name mentioned by Joe.


  • The French film Au Revoir Les Enfants(1987) was one of the inspirations for the movie's title. Straw Dogs by Sam Peckinpah as well.
  • The Ringo Lam movie City On Fire (1987) was the main inspiration for the plot.

RD dvd04.jpg City On Fire-01.jpg

  • The concept of color names as aliases (Mr Pink etc) given to the gang by Joe Cabot was originally used by the robbers in the 1974 heist film The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3. (1974)
  • The black suits worn by the Dogs are a tribute to the John Woo action vehicle "A Better Tomorrow II". (1987)

Dogs2.jpg A Better Tomorrow II-01.jpg

  • Mr. Brown mentions Charles Bronson and The Great Escape (1963) during his Like a Virgin speech in the opening sequence.
  • During the opening diner sequence, Mr. White jokingly says - "You shoot me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize." - to Mr. Blonde. A similar line was uttered in the Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing, which came out just three years earlier. Both quotes come from Muhammad Ali who said: "If you even dream of beating me you'd better wake up and apologize".
  • Mr. Orange mentions the Joel Schumacher film The Lost Boys (1987) during a scene in which he is speaking to his fellow cop. This could be an allusion to the main villain in the film who owns a California coastal video store. QT worked at the Manhattan Beach Video Archives.

Pop Culture References

  • Comic Books: Tarantino makes more than one reference to comic books in this film. Mr. Orange describes Joe Cabot as looking like the Marvel comic book character, The Thing. Also, we see a poster for another Marvel comics character, The Silver Surfer on Mr Orange's apartment wall. The Silver Surfer coincidentally also betrayed the trust of his master, Galactus. This is most likely a reference to the remake of Jean Luc Godard's film Breathless (1983) where the main character Jesse played by Richard Gere was obsessed with the Silver Surfer. That film was one of Tarantino's early cinematic influences that inspired the script for True Romance.
  • TV Shows: Get Christie Love, Honey West, Tops Of The Pops.
  • Music: Tony DeFranco and The DeFranco Family (Heartbeat Its A Love Beat), Madonna (Like A Virgin, Lucky Star, True Blue), Vicki Lawrence (The Night The Lights Went Down In Georgia), Edison Lighthouse (Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes), War (The World Is A Ghetto).
  • Historical references: John Dillinger: The Depression era bank robber (played in a film by Lawrence Tierney).
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