True Romance movie references guide

From The Quentin Tarantino Archives

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Pop Culture References

  • The film focuses on a character named Clarence Worley. The name "Clarence" was also used for the character Quentin Tarantino played in his incomplete short film My Best Friend's Birthday. There were many other elements culled from the film for the script of True Romance.
  • Tarantino reveals on the commentary for the Unrated Director's Cut DVD that he was inspired by Woody Allen's Play It Again, Sam for the Elvis (Mentor) appearances. In Play It Again Sam, Woody Allen is coached by the spirit of Humphrey Bogart.
  • In some scenes early on in the film, Clarence's army fatigue style jacket is reminiscent of those worn by characters from 70's romance films. Woody Allen and Richard Dreyfus in particular wear similar Army style jackets in Annie Hall and The Goodbye Girl respectively. It should also be of note, that in the scene where Clarence confronts Alabama's pimp, Drexl Spivey, he's wearing that same exact jacket yet here it seems to be an allusion to the film Taxi Driver and Travis Bickle's rescue of Iris from the pimps' apartment building.
  • The title of True Romance is also related to Pulp Fiction as there were romance teen magazines and comic books for young girls in the Fifties with that title.
  • Clarence goes to see a Sonny Chiba Triple Feature at the movies on his birthday. Consisting of The Streetfighter, Return of the Streetfighter and Sister Streetfighter.
  • In one scene, mafia soldier Marvin (Kevin Corrigan) looks in the mirror and recites the famous line from Taxi Driver: "You talkin to me?".
  • Floyd is watching the film Freejack on TV.
  • Clarence and Alabama watch John Woo's HK gun opera film A Better Tomorrow II on TV before Clarence goes to get Alabama's things from Drexl.
  • When Clarence goes to get Alabama's clothes, the film playing on Drexl's TV is the 1973 Blaxploitation classic The Mack
  • Other Movies referenced: Jailhouse Rock, Mr. Majestyk, Mad Max, The Good The Bad and the Ugly, The Deer Hunter, Dr Zhivago, Bullitt.
  • Music: Elvis Presley, The Big Bopper (Hello Baaaaby), Janis Joplin
  • TV Shows referenced: The Partridge Family, TJ Hooker.
  • Comic books referenced: Spider Man #1.
  • Actors referenced: Sonny Chiba, Elvis Presley, Charles Bronson, Burt Reynolds, Mickey Rourke, William Shatner.
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