A sassy, foul-mouthed, but smart and smart aleck script from Quentin Tarantino and typically twitchy, frenetic directing by Tony Scott give True Romance an identity quite unlike any other film, even those which tried hard to emulate how seemingly simple it appears to be, and the film’s incredible cast – including small supporting turns by Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, James Gandolfini, and many others – elevate this to almost legendary status.
A comic book clerk and a call girl fall in love, and go on the lam with a huge stash of cocaine.
On his birthday, cocky, but not so self-sure comic book clerk Clarence (Christian Slater in the role he will likely be best remembered for) goes to the movies to see a triple feature of three Sonny Chiba karate movies and meets a cute and likable blonde bombshell named Alabama (Patricia Arquette). They go out for pie afterwards, go back to his place, make love, and fall in love, despite how impossible it seems. The next morning they get married, and that’s when Clarence comes to terms with the fact that Alabama is a call girl, and he can’t get past the fact that she has a pimp. He does what he thinks a man should do: He grabs his gun, goes to the pimp’s headquarters and gets himself in a hell of a lot of trouble. The pimp is a slime cretin (played by Gary Oldman, lost in some make-up and dreadlocks) who recently scored a shit ton of cocaine, and after a scuffle with Clarence, the pimp and his associates finds themselves real dead at Clarence’s mighty hand of righteous rage, and thinking he’s grabbing Alabama’s suitcase, he grabs the entire load of cocaine, for which there will be a reckoning from the mafia. Clarence and Alabama begin their honeymoon, and their first stop is Clarence’s pop (Dennis Hopper), an ex-cop who helps him out with some info on the scuzz Clarence killed, and believing he’s escaped all sort of justice, Clarence and his gal hightail it to California where they hope to sell the drugs to some Hollywood socialites for a quick buck so that they can retire to Mexico. Obviously, Clarence and Alabama aren’t immune to being stupid or naiveté, and all they end up doing is incurring the wrath of the mafia who come after them with a bug up their butts to get their drugs back. As they inch closer to making a deal in selling their stash to a big time Hollywood jerk (played by Saul Rubinek), a reckoning is just on the horizon where every gun will be locked, loaded, and ready for a bloodbath …
A sassy, foul-mouthed, but smart and smart aleck script from Quentin Tarantino and typically twitchy, frenetic directing by Tony Scott give True Romance an identity quite unlike any other film, even those which tried hard to emulate how seemingly simple it appears to be, and the film’s incredible cast – including small supporting turns by Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer, Christopher Walken, James Gandolfini, and many others – elevate this to almost legendary status. The sweet, romantic score by Hans Zimmer is incredibly disarming and with a theme that sounds like it came straight from Badlands, the movie resonates beyond a mere crime caper to something else altogether. Part art house crime thriller, and part mass appeal studio picture, this (and Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs) really set the stage for a future of crime films in the ’90s featuring casts to die for. This is one of the best of its ilk, no fooling.
Arrow Video recently released several different Blu-ray editions of True Romance: There’s a standard limited edition Blu-ray release, a 4L Ultra HD version (also limited), and one that comes in a steelbook case with a different cover. The new 4K restoration is stellar and vivid, and the sheer amount of special features is staggering.
New 4K restorations of both the Theatrical Cut and the Director’s Cut from the original camera negatives by Arrow Films
Limited Edition packaging with reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck
60-page perfect-bound collectors’ booklet featuring new writing on the film by Kim Morgan and Nicholas Clement, a 2008 Maxim oral history featuring interviews with cast and crew, and Edgar Wright’s 2012 eulogy for Tony Scott
Double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Sara Deck
Six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproductions
High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray presentation of both cuts
Original uncompressed stereo audio and DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround audio
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
Audio commentary by director Tony Scott
Audio commentary by writer Quentin Tarantino
Audio commentary by stars Christian Slater & Patricia Arquette
Audio commentary by critic Tim Lucas
Select scene commentaries by stars Dennis Hopper, Val Kilmer, Brad Pitt and Michael Rapaport
Brand new select scene commentaries by stars Bronson Pinchot and Saul Rubinek
New interview with costume designer Susan Becker
New interview with co-editor Michael Tronick
New interview with co-composers Mark Mancina and John Van Tongeren
New interview with Larry Taylor, author of Tony Scott: A Filmmaker on Fire
Deleted scenes with optional commentary by Tony Scott
Alternate ending with optional commentaries by Tony Scott and Quentin Tarantino
Electronic press kit featurettes, behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with Tony Scott, Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper and Gary Oldman