Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard

From The Quentin Tarantino Archives

Rum Punch is a novel written by Elmore Leonard. This novel was adapted for Tarantino's fourth film, Jackie Brown.

Key differences between Jackie Brown and Rum Punch

  • Jackie's character was known as Jackie Burke in the novel, but Jackie Brown in the film.
  • Jackie was originally white, not black, as is the case with the film.
  • Various characters underwent minor changes in the adaptation. For example, Melanie (portrayed in the film by the slim Bridget Fonda was originally not as thin and was described as having unnaturally large breasts. (See below).
  • As is the case with most adaptations, key events in the novel were overlooked. This includes a Ordell stealing guns with Louis Gara from a neo-Nazi's house.
  • In the novel, Louis originally worked for Max Cherry.
  • The film moves the setting from Florida to Los Angeles and Ordell's money from Jamaica to Mexico.

Tarantino's screenplay versus Leonard's novel

  • Jackie Brown / Jackie Burke
    • Leonard: ...her neat rear end in the tan skirt...she surely didn't look forty-four, at least not from here...
    • Tarantino: Jackie Brown is a very attractive black woman in her mid forties, though she looks like she's in her mid thirties.
  • Ordell Robbie
    • Leonard: ...a light-skinned black guy...Ordell ran his hand carefully over his hair, feeling the hard set, ran it back to his pigtail braid and curled it between his fingers...
    • Tarantino: Ordell likes wearing clothes nice and likes wearing nice clothes.
    • ...appeared much like the novel, though Tarantino droppped the "light-skinned black guy" part of the character.
  • Louis Gara
    • Leonard: ...dark-skinned white guy...
    • Tarantino: ...who looks like he does his shopping at the Salvation Army...white, also in his mid-forties...
  • Max Cherry
    • Leonard: ...appeared neat and clean-shaved, had his blue shirt open, no tie, good size shoulders on him. That dark, tough-looking type of guy like Louis, dark hair, only Max Cherry was losing his on top...
    • Tarantino: ..a regular-Joe-type white guy in his fifties...
  • Melanie
    • Leonard: The fine big girl had in thirteen years become bigger, show tits grown to circus tits but still okay, tan...
    • Tarantino: ...thirty-three, is a tanned, blonde, California beach bunny...
Tarantino XX BluRay
Bad Mother Fucker Pulp Fiction Wallet