ByTom Chapman, writer at
tweet: tomtomchap Warden of the North - bearded, tattooed and square eyed 'til the end
Tom Chapman

It was clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right as acclaimed director reunited the cast of some 25 years after the film hit cinemas. While the cast may have swapped their black suits and sunglasses for more relaxed attire, Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, and Michael Madsen were all in attendance alongside Tarantino. Together, the cast made a veritable rainbow in their roles as Mr. Pink, Mr. Orange, Mr. White, Mr. Blonde, and Mr. Brown.

Those in attendance were in for a treat when the film got a special Tribeca Film Festival screening to commemorate its 25-year anniversary. Playing a special 35mm print of the film from Tarantino’s personal archive, the cast then took part in a panel which brought the house down with nostalgia-inducing gory stories.

Every Dog Has Its Day

While Reservoir Dogs may have got off to a rocky start when it premiered at Sundance, it has since gone on to celebrate cinematic greatness. Making breakout stars of its cast and cementing Tarantino as one to watch, there is no denying that Dogs is a (now) typically sharp script from Tarantino that relies on the development of its cast rather than flash action. While the film still holds a 90 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, Tarantino is not afraid to reveal that it started its cinematic run as a "f*cking disaster."

Speaking to the panel, Tarantino told the audience that even he didn't go to the premiere, fearing it would be bad luck. Buscemi was the only one who did and the director then joked, "It's all your fault!" to a laughing Buscemi.

Luckily, fate was on Tarantino's side and a second screening (including Faye Dunaway in the audience) went much better:

"That screening went fantastic. Faye Dunaway even asked me a question, which I thought was cool. She asked me about how I put together the compositions with the actors."

Happy Days

'Reservoir Dogs' [Credit: Miramax]
'Reservoir Dogs' [Credit: Miramax]

While the cast may have all seemed near-perfect in their roles, it seems that the actors involved weren't necessarily always so content with their given parts. In fact, everyone apart from Tim Roth wanted to play someone different. Speaking at the panel, Roth revealed:

About 20 pages in I thought, 'I’ve got to do this.' I plowed on through and then the liar emerged, the 'bad guy' — the good guy."

He was then interrupted by Madsen who reminded him, "the rat," while Keitel said he wanted to play Mr. Blonde until he realized he wasn't right. No matter what their preferences, everything worked out for the best in the end.

Thankfully, it wasn't all shootouts and ear removals, Tarantino clearly still has an affinity to his earlier work and said that it was the happiest time of his life:

"I’m sitting there at Harvey's [Keitel] and I realized almost all the pressure was off my shoulders, cinematically. These guys were so perfect in their parts. They were so vibe-ing with each other and I thought, 'My God, if I just keep the movie in focus, I’ve got a movie. I remember that night getting in my car and just taking that drive all the way from Malibu to Glendale on Sunset Boulevard and that was the happiest time of my life. It was this thing I had thought about for so long, making movies in general, and I thought, 'This might just work out.'"

See also:

Blondes Have More Fun

'Reservoir Dogs' [Credit: Miramax]
'Reservoir Dogs' [Credit: Miramax]

Perhaps the best acting goes to Madsen as Mr. Blonde, a.k.a. Vic Vega, the brother of John Travolta's Vincent Vega from Tarantino's later work on Pulp Fiction. Blonde's part was as the unrelenting psychopath who also owned the cringeworthy "ear scene," and Madsen also recalled his own experience on set:

"I did all the big scenes and Quentin just stood there watching me. At the end I was all done and thought I did a really great job and Quentin looks at me and says, 'You’re not Mr. Pink. You’re Mr. Blonde or you’re not in the movie.'"

It is now hard to imagine anyone other than Madsen strutting around to "Stuck in the Middle With You." Although he said it has now typecast him as the bad guy, he is also grateful for getting a career from Dogs. As for his now infamous dancing, it all seems that it was a bit off the cuff:

"In the script it said, 'Mr. Blonde maniacally dances around.' And I kept thinking, 'What the f— does that mean? Mick Jagger?"

"I started thinking about this weird little thing Jimmy Cagney did in a movie that I saw, that’s where it came from."

The panel certainly brought back some fond memories, but with the likes of Chris Penn, Lawrence Tierney, and Edward Bunker having all passed away, it is the closest we will ever get to a full reunion. Reservoir Dogs went on to make $2.8 million on a $1.2 million budget and was named as Empire's "Greatest Independent Film of All Time."

While there were once rumors that Madsen would team up alongside Travolta for a Vega Brothers film, unless Tarantino decides to use some CGI de-aging for one of his final two films, we have left the "colorful" cast in that Los Angeles warehouse. Time to pick up a copy and relive Tarantino's bloodiest venture — good luck getting the soundtrack out of your head though!

Check out the trailer for Reservoir Dogs and don't forget the poll below!


Which is your favorite Tarantino film?

(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)

[Poll Image Credit: Miramax]


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