How Quentin Tarantino Steals From Other Movies


♪ Smoking cigarettes and
watching “Captain Kangaroo” ♪ ♪ Tell me I’ve nothing to do ♪ ♪ It’s good to see you I must
go I know I look a fright ♪ – Mother f- Narrator: You don’t
have to be a movie buff. Maybe you don’t even
like movies that much. But everyone has heard of
the name Quentin Tarantino. He is, without a doubt, one of the most celebrated
directors of our time, with each of his eight iconic works making a profound impact
on the history of cinema and inspiring generations of filmmakers with a vastly new style
and approach to filmmaking that can only be described
as Tarantino-esque, which, by the way, is
now an official entry in the Oxford English Dictionary. So, what makes the films of
Quentin Tarantino so special? Many often cite his razor-sharp dialogue. – You gonna bark all day, little doggy? Or are you gonna bite? Narrator: The often graphic,
yet stylized, violence. Or his use of nonlinear
narrative structure. But what truly sets him apart
from every other filmmaker is the way in which he
steals from other movies. And that’s not just a figure of speech. In a 1994 interview with Empire magazine, Tarantino said, “I steal from
every single movie ever made.” Tarantino’s visual references to movies have become his trademark. Some of these references
are merely hinted at. – The D is silent. – I know. Narrator: While others are
almost identical replications. For this reason, he’s been the center of
controversy for many years. For example, in 1997, his
debut film, “Reservoir Dogs,” was under heavy scrutiny after a critic accused Tarantino of plagiarizing the 1987 Hong Kong crime
film “City on Fire.” The final 20 minutes of “City on Fire” is essentially identical to
the plot of “Reservoir Dogs,” and there are shots and
moments scattered throughout that directly resemble each other. Including this famous
Mexican-standoff sequence. (shouting in a foreign language) But it’s not just in this film. Almost all of Tarantino’s eight films have a main source of inspiration. For “Jackie Brown,” it was
the 1974 film “Foxy Brown.” For “Kill Bill,” the 1973
Japanese film “Lady Snowblood.” And his “Inglourious Basterds”
is, in a lot of ways, similar to the 1967 war
film “The Dirty Dozen.” And on top of that, each film
has more visual references to at least another dozen movies. Many consider these similarities homages, a practice as long as the
history of cinema itself, a way for Tarantino to pay respect to the movies he loves. But Tarantino explicitly denies this. In the same interview, he goes on to say, “Great artists steal. They don’t do homages.” It’s a quote that closely
resembles words attributed to another famous artist: Pablo Picasso, who’s often quoted as having said, “Good artists copy, and great artists steal.” To understand why and
how Tarantino steals, it’s important to
understand his background. Tarantino’s career in film
didn’t start in a classroom or even a movie set, but a video store, where he worked as a clerk
and gained a reputation for his almost encyclopedic
knowledge of cinema. In other words, Tarantino was never
taught how to make a film. Instead, he learned how to
make films by watching them, which makes it natural that imitation became his main source
of inspiration and style. In fact, if you take a look at most of Tarantino’s screenplays, they begin with a list of filmmakers whom the stories were
inspired by and dedicated to. I think the reason why
Tarantino is so proud to admit that he is stealing is because he accomplishes
something with it that no other filmmaker
is quite capable of: creating something new. And as paradoxical as it may sound, Tarantino’s movies have a
sense of originality to them, despite their many sources of inspiration. This is why Tarantino is often hailed as one of the quintessential
filmmakers of postmodernism. Postmodernism in film describes an era when filmmakers began questioning the ways in which mainstream
movies are made and told and began making movies that
went directly against it. One of the central tenets of postmodernism is the idea that nothing is new in art; everything is recycled and
reused over and over again. “Reservoir Dogs” might have
stolen the Mexican standoff from “City on Fire,” but
“City on Fire” also stole it from the 1966 film “The
Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” And “Pulp Fiction” is no exception; it’s chock-full of references
to classical movies, especially movies from the
French New Wave movement, one of the most influential movements in the history of cinema, in which young filmmakers
also tried to challenge the traditional method of filmmaking. Its famous dancing sequence
was inspired by this sequence from the 1964 film “Band of Outsiders.” And the choreography
closely resembles this scene from the 1963 film “8 1/2.” But that’s not the only
source it steals from. John Travolta’s dance was inspired by this scene from 1966
adaptation of “Batman,” while Uma Thurman’s dancing resembles that of a cat in the 1970 animated
film “The Aristocats.” And throughout the rest
of the film as well. The mysterious suitcase that
carries the plot of the film is a replication from
the 1955 American film “Kiss Me Deadly.” And, of course, this scene was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” What makes Tarantino so special is that he never steals from one source. He rather steals from multiple
sources spanning decades and then stitches them together
to create something new. It’s a technique known as pastiche, a vital element in postmodernism. Most people are more
familiar with this technique through another medium: music, and especially in the hip-hop genre, where artists use sampling to take part of an existing song to create something new. ♪ You said you’d care for care for me ♪ ♪ Said you’d be there for me ♪ ♪ Care for me ♪ ♪ I know you care for me ♪ ♪ There for me there for me ♪ ♪ Said you’d be there for me ♪ And just like Tarantino, it’s been the subject of
controversy many times. Tarantino’s pastiche works so
well because of two reasons. One is his understanding of
the subject he’s stealing from. More often than not, homages in movies are a shallow and vain attempt at imitating an iconic moment, and they rarely serve a purpose. But Tarantino’s references
are often seamless and easy to miss because
they enhance the scenes and the genre he experiments with. And if you take a look
at Tarantino’s career, each of his eight films is a tribute to a specific genre
and movement in cinema. “Reservoir Dogs” is a pastiche of the gritty Hong Kong crime
films, and “Pulp Fiction” is based on the unconventional
French New Wave movement. “Jackie Brown” basis itself off the ’70s’ controversial
blaxploitation films, while “Kill Bill” is
reminiscent of the classical Japanese samurai and
Chinese kung fu movies. “Death Proof” pays tribute to low-budget exploitation movies, while “Inglourious Basterds”
references World War II cinema. And his two most recent
films, “Django Unchained” and “The Hateful Eight,” are modern takes of the Italian spaghetti Westerns. Tarantino seamlessly
blends all these genres and inspirations through his
unique vision and writing. This is where his razor-sharp
dialogue comes in. – Gentlemen. You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention. Narrator: It’s not an exaggeration to say that Tarantino’s films are essentially readaptations of
classical films and genres that take place in a world of Tarantino, where violence, injustice, sex, and satirical cynicism flourish. Quentin Tarantino perhaps
knows better than anyone that you don’t have to
look far for inspiration. Most of the time, it might be somewhere close and familiar to us. My guess is that, for Tarantino, it’s in the aisles of VHS tapes that he grew up watching as a child. Tarantino proudly plays the role of a masterful thief of cinema. And as long as he continues to make a masterpiece out of them, it’s the kind of thievery I’d
be more than happy to accept. – You know something, Utivich? I think this just might be my masterpiece.

100 thoughts on “How Quentin Tarantino Steals From Other Movies

  1. BEFORE YOU COMMENT: Insider uses the word steal as it is the word Tarantino uses in an interview they reference. So CHILL

  2. Why is Tarantino supposed to have made only eight films (and not nine) before "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"? Kill Bill volume 1 and Kill Bill 2 are two separate films both released in two different years!

  3. The true geniuses are rare.
    Coppy cats and successful forgers make theire mark.
    Terentino comes under the last two above.
    He secretly would have loved to have been a magician.
    In the same vein is his work.
    Flash.
    How amazing.
    And here's the rabbit dressed up in a nice little suit.
    He's one of the good one's
    Because we believe what he has done is original.
    Or you could say he is a great conman that knows not many have sniffed out his scam- and he's enjoying every moment of his success.

  4. This video was very kind. Some of his films are remixes. Some of them are straight covers. 20 minutes shot-for-shot here… the exact central plot of a film there. If he can get away with it, fine, but if he really loves the originals, he should give credit to them in the film. Stealing from foreign films to make money off an American audience is exploitation.

  5. I always thought his films were homages to other films regardless of what is said. Ideas can become other ideas for others that further the original source. An important point is that people may not have seen those original films. What about the John Woo films…always the same story just a different look. So I say, so what. But what the hell I like them.

  6. That quotes form picasso is the most misunderstand quote of all time.

    In the world of painting steal a technique doesn't mean your potray will look one bit similiar to other potray.

    You can steal the best techniques from the best painters and steel so something very original.
    Picasso and Dali did it.

    However.. Is a big diference steal a technique than completly rip off a piace of art like a copy and paste a book you didn't wrote.

  7. You're an idiot !!! He never denied he's inspired by old movies !! You sound more more a jealous prick than anything else !!!!

  8. Amazing director and writer
    The best one in stealing from old movies so far

  9. Most of these are like when someone looks at a cloud and says “do you see, it looks like a bear!” He follows traditional filmmaking. It’s like music. Every style follows a structure.

  10. Led Zeppelin should be on this video too because those mother fuckers also stole a lot of material (especially from old Blues songs).

  11. You forget kill bill volume 2. Is the Spanish novela and spaghetti western.

  12. Eight and a half doesn’t belong to the French new wave mouvement. It’s not even a French movie ahaha

  13. The Animated scene from kill bill was INSPIRED From Indian Movie Aalavandan!

  14. QT is such an over-hyped fraud ! His films are 'sophisticated' to the simple-minded.

  15. In graphic design the same thing happens, there are designers who see something and get an idea for their projects causing a trend. If Tarantino took inspiration from movies that we may not have seen, it is because they caused an impact and he wants to share that idea with his viewers.

  16. he aint kubrick.But i dont think stealing is the right word.He takes this unknown scene from some unheard underrated movie and polishes it with his own sense of humour,music,dialogue to perfection.That makes his movies timeless like a diamond.

  17. Tarantino ах ты ,я разочаровался бляя это пиздец

  18. Can you not put the word "stealing" in the title? That's accusing him of actually stealing exact details and placing them in his works. Stop the defamation! Illegal!

  19. There's a reason why cliches are cliches. They're freaking good, so if you take them and make them your own in a way that it doesn't seem unoriginal or stolen… then kudos to you dude!

  20. Quentin Tarantino once talked about how heavily influenced he was by Australian cinema and the way we shot things like car chases from movies like mad max while making death proof, as an Australian I'm more then happy to know he enjoy's our work and uses that influence in his own films….

  21. That is called evolution! …..and it is a natural way to change art over time. Nothing new can exist without the old stuff.

  22. Never been a fan… style over substance is an apt description for him, I'm sure most would agree. Not that its a bad thing. He does style over substance better than Michael Bay for sure, I'll give him that. It all comes down to if the director's style clicks with you or not. I mean, there are great moments in his films but they're usually taken from classic movies (Pulp Fiction probably still has the best moments, imo, and Jackie Brown is still his best movie… maybe because I watched them first when I was younger so I hadnt seen all the movies they copied yet). Maybe its because of all the TCM and foreign films I've watched for years, but I notice the copying in his newer films. The fact that he usually copies from great sources is the only thing that makes his movies watchable.

    There's this trend nowadays, I'd say, where a lot of creators of modern art and entertainment (in movies, games, and even books) are actually just glorified fanboys and fanfiction writers. Rather than be inspired by the classic and the legends of the past to make something new in the same spirit, they just take something old, preferably something niche or forgotten by the masses, and regurgitate it. It happens in books too, not just movies. Take the vampire genre for instance – Anne Rice took the concept started by Dracula and did something entirely new with it… Twilight was regurgitated fanfiction (which lead to even more fanfiction). Its happening a lot more with video games too.

    I think part of my problem is that I'm probably in the minority that believes that actual originality is still possible. There's a lot of untapped ideas out there. Saying you have to copy and imitate to be succesful is BS and just an excuse. Its easier than trying to come up with something fresh. I'd rather someone try and fail to make something new than unashamedly steal. But at least Tatantino gives credit in his actual scripts (does he put their names in the credits too?). I do appreciate that, having grown up with Bollywood that constantly and literally PLAGARIZES other films without giving any credit.

    Do you know how many times I've heard/read someone say something like 'Akira Kurosawa was so great, he took his Camera and pointed it at the sun! No one ever did that before!'.

  23. In pulp fiction and jackie brown there are also hommages to italian gangster movies of Ferdinando di Leo.

  24. You want to see something hilarious? Go up to any random white guy and tell him Tarantino is a hack.😂

  25. He is using what history is offering him. It is still his genius ability to use past experiences, develop them and make them fit in his movies so fine. Yes, I am generalizing, but can be applied to anything in our lives from science, medicine, how our civilization developed etc. you get the point. Newton, Einstein wouldn't have made the known breakthroughs if not for the previous ground works that were laid down in front of them. So yes I am beyond happy he steals from other movies.

  26. They're thieves! They're thieves! They're filthy little thieves!

    This is an original comment.

  27. The Hunger Games movies stole from the Japanese cult classic BATTLE ROYALE.

  28. Rappers copied THE GODFATHER & SCARFACE back in the ‘80’s & ‘90’s to create Gangsta Rap.
    True story, bro.

  29. This explains why he hasn`t been able to match Pulp or Reservoir of Dogs in any of the movies he has made after those two classics.

  30. Duh. He grew up working in a video store. Like a kid who grew up in a record store, then was in a huge rock band(see nikki sixx or Peter buck) For another musical reference, see Led Zeppelin.
    Rich kids go to film school. The rest just hustle and grind

  31. tbh im kinda disappointed that the shinnig briefcase wasnt his original idea

  32. People have said this for years. I remember a radio critic reading a passage from QT's True Romance and it closely resembled the same voice over passage from another film.

  33. Are you really an artist if you steal?

    If you can't come up with your own idea, then Idk i don't quite understand what makes you creative or unique which I believe an artist would have these traits. Nothing wrong with receiving inspirations or giving homage to another idea.

  34. Tarantino plans every tiny little detail. That’s really impressive.

  35. there is no recycle in art. someone did it first and the others cannot create a new material because they are not creative. real gods were inventors.

  36. You missed one thing that is kill bill animated scenes inspired from Indian film "abhay"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *