Reservoir Dogs

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Quentin Tarantino immortalized himself as a true auteur from the moment his first film, Reservoir Dogs, opens on a group of men chatting in a diner about the meaning of Madonna’s Like a Virgin. Mr. Blonde, played by Michael Madsen, asserts that the song is about an incredibly vulnerable girl who finally meets a nice fella, while Mr. Brown, played by Tarantino himself, maintains that it’s “a metaphor for big dicks.” When it comes time to cough up some green for the tip, Mr. Pink, played by Steve Buscemi, refuses on principle, sparking a heated debate about the ethics of not tipping automatically This seminal scene was filmed at Pat and Lorraine’s at 4270 Eagle Rock Boulevard in Los Angeles, which is still open today. Later on in the film, Freddy, played by Tim Roth, meets up with L.A.P.D chief Holdaway (Randy Brooks) to discuss his plans to go undercover and infiltrate the crime gang as Mr. Orange. This scene was filmed at Johnie’s Coffee Shop and Restaurant, which is used occasionally for movie shoots but is closed to the public. Cue the world’s tiniest violin. You can catch another glimpse of Johnie’s in movies like Big Lebowski and American History X, also mentioned in this blog. Tarantino would choose to open his second film, Pulp Fiction, in a diner as well, with Tim Roth returning as one-half of the thieving couple nicknamed Pumpkin and Honey Bunny.

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