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True Romance

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Tony Scott
Produced by Gary Barber
Harvey Weinstein
Bob Weinstein
Samuel Hadida
James G. Robinson
Written by Quentin Tarantino
Roger Avary (uncredited)
Starring Christian Slater
Patricia Arquette
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Jeffery L. Kimball
Editing by Michael Tronick
Christian Wagner
Studio Morgan Creek
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) September 10, 1993 (1993-09-10)
Running time 121 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12.5 million[citation needed]
Gross revenue $12,281,551

True Romance is a 1993 American romantic crime film written by Quentin Tarantino and directed by Tony Scott. It stars Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette with an ensemble cast.

The title and plot is a play on the titles of romance comic books with their overwrought love stories—very popular in earlier decades—such as "True Life Secrets," "True Stories of Romance", "Romance Tales," "Untamed Love" and "Strange Love."

True Romance was a breakthrough of sorts for Tarantino. It was his first screenplay for a major motion picture. He had hoped to direct the film himself, but ended up selling the script.

Also notable is the film's score by Hans Zimmer; its leitmotif is based on a familiar piece by Carl Orff.



Comic book store clerk and film buff Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) watches a Sonny Chiba triple feature at a Detroit movie theater for his birthday. Here he meets Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette), an attractive young woman. Afterward, they go for coffee and pie and he shows her his workplace. Later that night they have sex, after which she tearfully confesses that she is a call girl hired by Clarence's boss as a birthday present. She also confesses that she has fallen in love with him and he falls in love with her. The next day the two marry. Clarence soon learns about Alabama's volatile pimp, Drexl Spivey (Gary Oldman), which makes Clarence uneasy. He is later visited by an apparition of his idol, Elvis Presley (Val Kilmer), who tells him that killing Drexl will make the world a better place. Clarence assures Alabama he is only going to Drexl's to get her things. When he is there, Clarence stands up to the intimidating Drexl and tells him to leave Alabama alone from now on. Insulted, Drexl and his right hand man Marty assault and subdue Clarence and take his wallet to find out where he and Alabama live, threatening her life. With this Clarence draws his gun and kills them both. He grabs a bag which he assumes belongs to Alabama and leaves. When he returns he tells Alabama he killed Drexl which she tearfully finds "So romantic!" Opening the suitcase, the two find it is full of stolen cocaine.

Planning to leave town for Los Angeles, Clarence and Alabama first visit Clarence's father Clifford Worley (Dennis Hopper). Clarence asks Clifford, an ex-cop, to use his police connections to find out if he is in the clear regarding Drexl's murder. Clifford tells him that the police assume the murder was a drug-related killing. With this Clarence and Alabama depart. In Los Angeles, Clarence and Alabama plan to meet Clarence's old friend Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport), an aspiring actor. Clifford is later ambushed in his home by a gangster named Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken) and his men who claim the drugs Clarence took from Drexl, their underling, belonged to them originally and wants Clarence and Alabama's location. Clifford stalls for as long as he can before accepting that he is going to die anyway and insults Coccotti and his Sicilian descent. Coccotti angrily shoots Clifford dead before finding a note on the fridge giving Clarence's whereabouts at Dick's address. In Los Angeles, Clarence informs Dick of the drugs and plans to use Dick's contacts with an actor named Elliot (Bronson Pinchot) to sell the drugs to a film producer, Lee Donowitz (Saul Rubinek). Elliot is soon arrested by the police for drug possession and uses his knowledge of Clarence's drug deal to escape prison time. Also when Clarence is away getting food, Alabama is found and interrogated by one of Coccotti's henchmen, Virgil (James Gandolfini), who viciously beats her to find the cocaine. When he does, Alabama fights back and manages to kill him. Clarence takes her away, and they talk about moving to Cancun with the money from the drug deal.

On the day of the deal, detectives Nicholson (Tom Sizemore) and Dimes (Chris Penn) plan to stage a sting operation and have Elliot wear a wire. Also, Coccotti's men plan to retrieve the drugs after finding out where the deal is taking place from Dick's roommate Floyd (Brad Pitt). Clarence, Alabama, Dick and Elliot arrive in Lee Donowitz' hotel room and enter into negotiations. Clarence convinces Lee to go through with the risky deal. They are then ambushed by the cops and the gangsters who break into the room. In the middle of the Mexican standoff between the police, the gangsters and Lee's heavily armed bodyguards, Lee realizes that Elliot is an informant and berates him causing a massive shootout. In the aftermath Lee, Elliot, the police, the gangsters and the bodyguards are killed. Dick tosses the bag of drugs in the air as a distraction and flees. Clarence is shot in the eye when he exits the bathroom and seemingly killed, devastating Alabama. A lone remaining Italian makes a final exchange of fire with Dimes and another officer and is killed, but fatally injures the other officer. Dimes then finishes off one of Lee's bodyguards, who is pleading for an ambulance. The Italian just shot by Dimes and the other officer, being on the verge of death, shoots and kills Dimes and then dies himself. In an alternate version, he is in turn shot dead by an enraged Alabama. Clarence revives, only partially blinded, and they escape as the police descend on the hotel. Afterwards, Clarence and Alabama are shown as a happy family on a beach in Cancun, with a son whom they named Elvis.


Many actors in this film starred in other movies written or directed by Quentin Tarantino. Among those are Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Walken, Chris Penn, Tom Sizemore and Brad Pitt.


Reviews for the film were largely positive. Out of the 43 reviews collected on Rotten Tomatoes, 39 are positive, giving it an overall "fresh" rating of 91%.[1]

Phil Villarreal of the Arizona Daily Star called it "one of the most dynamic action films of the 1990s."[2] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave it three stars, saying "it's Tarantino's gutter poetry that detonates True Romance. This movie is dynamite."[3]

Roger Ebert gave the film a somewhat mixed review, but also said that "the energy and style of the movie are exhilarating", and that "the supporting cast is superb, a roll call of actors at home in these violent waters: Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper and Brad Pitt, for example."[4] A negative review by The Washington Post's Richard Harrington claimed the film was "stylistically visceral" yet "aesthetically corrupt".[5]

Film critic Richard Roeper named True Romance one of his all-time favorite films.

See also


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

True Romance is a 1993 film about a man who marries a hooker, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood, while the owners of the coke try to reclaim it.

Directed by Tony Scott. Written by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary.
Stealing, Cheating, Killing. Who said romance is dead?taglines


Alabama Whitman

  • If you gave me a million years to ponder, I would've never guessed that true romance and Detroit would ever go together.
  • Please shut up! I'm trying to come clean, okay? I've been a call-girl for exactly four days and you're my third customer. I want you to know that I'm not damaged goods. I'm not what they call Florida white trash. I'm a really good person and when it comes to relationships, I'm one-hundred percent, I'm one hundred percent... monogamous.
  • Amid the chaos of that day, when all I could hear was the thunder of gunshots, and all I could smell was the violence in the air, I look back and am amazed that my thoughts were so clear and true, that three words went through my mind endlessly, repeating themselves like a broken record: you're so cool, you're so cool, you're so cool. And sometimes Clarence asks me what I would have done if he had died, if that bullet had been two inches more to the left. To this, I always smile, as if I'm not going to satisfy him with a response. But I always do. I tell him of how I would want to die, but that the anguish and the want of death would fade like the stars at dawn, and that things would be much as they are now. Perhaps. Except maybe I wouldn't have named our son Elvis.
  • Okey dokey, doggie daddy.
  • I'm gonna go jump in the tub and get all slippery and soapy and then hop in that waterbed and watch X-rated movies 'till you get your ass back in my lovn' arms.
  • [Whilst being beaten by Virgil] Fuck. You.

Clarence Worley

  • I always said, if I had to fuck a guy... I mean had to, if my life depended on it... I'd fuck Elvis.
  • I mean look at her. It looks like she fell off the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
  • You just said you love me, now if I say I love you and just throw caution to the wind and let the chips fall where they may and you're lying to me I'm gonna fuckin' die.
  • If there's one thing this last week has taught me, it's better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.
  • [About Sonny Chiba] Well, he ain't so much a good guy as he is just a bad motherfucker. I mean, he gets paid by people to fuck guys up, you know?
  • As the sun sets slowly in the west we bid a fond farewell to all the friends we've made... and, with a touch of melancholy, we look forward to the time when we will all be together again.
  • [To Drexl after shooting him and killing Marty] Open your eyes. I said open your FUCKING EYES! You thought it was pretty fucking funny, didn't you, huh? [Clarence kills Drexl] Well fuck you! Fuck you, you piece of shit!
  • Unloading? That's a helluva way to describe the bargain of a lifetime.
  • [about Alabama] I mean, she... she a four alarm fire or what?
  • [Peeling out in reverse into oncoming traffic] We now return to Bullitt already in progress.

Vincenzo Coccotti

  • What I have to offer you. That's as good as it's gonna get and it won't ever get that good again.
  • I'm talking about a massacre. They snatched my narcotics and hightailed it outta there. Would've gotten away with it, but your son, fuck-head that he is, left his driver's license... in a dead guy's hands.
  • I haven't killed anybody... [pause, interrupted by gunfire] since 1984. Goddamn his soul to burn for eternity in fucking hell for making me get my hands dirty. Go over to this comedian's son's apartment, come back with something that tells me where that asshole went, so I can wipe this egg off my face and finish this fucked-up family for good.
  • Now, what we got here is a little game of show and tell. You don't wanna show me nothing but you're telling me everything.
  • [Deleted scene] Find out who this wing and a prayer artist is and take him off at the neck.
  • We're gonna have a little Q&A, and at the risk of sounding redundant, please... make your answers genuine.
  • I'm the anti-christ and you've got me in a vendetta kind of mood.

Drexl Spivey

  • Marty. Y'know what we got here? Motherfuckin' Charlie Bronson. Mr. Majestyk. Looky here, Charlie, none of this bullshit is necessary. I don't got no hold over Alabama. I was just tryin' to lend the girl a helping hand.
  • They got everything here from a diddled-eyed joe to damned if I know.
  • Floyd say he don't be eatin' pussy.
  • Ey' yo, yo why you trippin'? We're just fuckin' with ya. In fact, I'm gonna show you what I mean with a little demonstration. Toss me the burner. [Floyd 'D' tosses Drexl the shotgun] All right, peep this. Pretend this is that fine centerfold bitch, y'know what I'm saying'? And you're you... [cocks the shotgun and shoots Floyd 'D']
  • Now I know I'm pretty, but I ain't as pretty as a couple of titties.
  • Come on! Fuck with me!
  • This is what you get if you fuck with me, white boy! Talkin' that smack in front of my motherfuckin' freaks! Shit, motherfucker! Your ass gotta be crazy!
  • [getting Clarence's driver's license] Well, well, well. Looky what we got here. Clarence Worley? [laughs] It sounds almost like a nigger name. And I know where you live. 4 9 0060 Street, apartment 48. And I make a million-dollar bet that Alabama is at the same address. Marty, take the car. Go get her. Bring her dumb ass back here. I think I'll keep lover boy here entertained.
  • [last words] Look in the fuckin' hamper.


  • Hey! get some beer, and products.
  • Don't condescend to me, man. I'll fuckin' kill ya, man.


  • Now the first time you kill somebody, that's the hardest. I don't give a shit if you're fuckin' Wyatt Earp or Jack the Ripper. Remember that guy in Texas? The guy up in that fuckin' tower that killed all them people? I'll bet you green money that first little black dot he took a bead on, that was the bitch of the bunch. First one is tough, no fuckin' foolin'. The second one... the second one ain't no fuckin' Mardis Gras either, but it's better than the first one 'cause you still feel the same thing, y'know... except it's more diluted, y'know it's... it's better. I threw up on the first one, you believe that? Then the third one... the third one is easy, you level right off. It's no problem. Now... shit... now I do it just to watch their fuckin' expression change.
  • Go ahead stick me right here. Go ahead. Do it!
  • You gotta a lot of heart, kid.
  • All right, no more Mr. Fucking Nice Guy.

Lee Donowitz

  • [to driver that cut him off] Don't give me the finger. I'll fucking have you killed.
  • How do you know his name? Why the fuck does he know your name? You little piece of shit. You can forget about acting for the next twenty years, your fucking career is over. Take your fucking SAG card and burn it. You little cocksucker. I treated you like a son. You fucking stab me in the heart.
  • [to his guards during a standoff] Monty what the fuck are you doing just put your gun down. Boris, Boris shut the fuck up. We're all gonna die here; these are cops.
  • We park our cars in the same garage my friend.
  • That's imaginative. I have more taste in my penis.


  • Cody Nicholson: You're an actor. Act, motherfucker.
  • Elliot Blitzer: Hi. How are you? My name's Elliot, and I'm with the Cub Scouts of America. We're.. we're selling uncut cocaine to get to the jamboree.
  • Clifford Worley: Son of a bitch was right. She tastes like a peach.
  • Big Don: I eat the pussy, I eat the butt, I eat every motherfuckin' thang.
  • Mentor: You think a cop gives a fuck about a pimp? Listen. Every pimp in the world gets shot. Two in the back of the fuckin' head. Cops'd throw a party, man.
  • Dick Ritchie: I don't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out. All I got is fuckin' Floyd.


Lucy: You want to take me to a Kung-Fu movie?
Clarence: Three Kung-Fu movies.

Lee Donowitz: What that take cost me?
Elliot: $357,000.
Lee: Elliot, I swear to god someone is stealing from me.

Clarence: You're a whore?
Alabama: I'm not a whore. I'm a call-girl. There's a difference, you know?

Clarence: [having just gotten married] Well, hello, Mrs. Worley.
Alabama: How do you do, Mr. Worley?
Clarence: Top o' the mornin' to ya, Mrs. Worley.
Alabama: Bottom of the night, Mr. Worley. By the way, have you seen your lovely little wife today?
Clarence: Are you speaking of my beautiful, charming, sexy wife, Mrs. Alabama Worley?
Alabama: Why, are there any others, Mr. Worley?
Clarence: No, none for me. No.
Alabama: Really? [they kiss]

Marty: He's askin' about Alabama.
Drexl: Where the fuck is that bitch?
Clarence: She's with me.
Drexl: Who the fuck are you?
Clarence: I'm her husband.
Drexl: [Laughs] Well, that makes us practically related.

Drexl: [In the Night Club after he has beaten Clarence] He must have thought it was white boy day. It ain't white boy day, is it?
Marty: Nah man, It ain't white boy day.

Dick: Clarence, do you have any idea how much coke you have here?
Clarence: How much?
Dick: I don't know, but it's a fuckin' lot.

Clarence: I can't tell you... that was one of the best times I ever had. It was. But, you know, I knew something must be rotten in Denmark. There was no way you could like me that much. Man, I can't tell you how relieved I was when you took off your dress, you... you didn't have a dick.
Alabama: Stop being so fucking calm about all this. Go inside, there's a note on your TV and all it says is "Dear, Clarence" because I couldn't write anymore!

Drexl: No thanks? What does that mean? Means you ate before you came down here? All full. Is that it? Naw, I don't think so. I think you're too scared to be eatin'. Now, see we're sittin' down here, ready to negotiate, and you've already given up your shit. I'm still a mystery to you. But I know exactly where your white ass is comin' from. See, if I asked you if you wanted some dinner and you grabbed an egg roll and started to chow down, I'd say to myself, "This motherfucker's carryin' on like he ain't got a care in the world. Who know? Maybe he don't. Maybe this fool's such a bad motherfucker, he don't got to worry about nothin', he just sit down, eat my Chinese, watch my TV." See? You ain't even sat down yet. On that TV there, since you been in the room, is a woman with her breasteses hangin' out, and you ain't even bothered to look. You just been clockin' me. Now, I know I'm pretty, but I ain't as pretty as a couple of titties.
Clarence: I'm not eatin' 'cause I'm not hungry. I'm not sittin' 'cause I'm not stayin'. I'm not lookin' at the movie 'cause I saw it seven years ago. It's "The Mack" with Max Julien, Carol Speed, and Richard Pryor. I'm not scared of you. I just don't like you. In that envelope is some payoff money. Alabama's moving on to some greener pastures. We're not negotiatin'. I don't like to barter. I don't like to dicker. I never have fun in Tijuana. That price is non-negotiable. What's in that envelope is for my peace of mind. My peace of mind is worth that much. Not one penny more, not one penny more.

Clarence: Do I look like a beautiful blond with big tits and an ass that tastes like French vanilla ice-cream?
Elliot: What?
Clarence: I said do I look like a beautiful blonde with big big tits and an ass that tastes like French vanilla ice cream?
Elliot: No.
Clarence: No. Okay, then why are you telling me all this bullshit, huh? You wanna fuck me?

Lee: [discussing possible titles for his next film] What does Joe like?
Elliot: Um..."Body Bags 2".
Lee: Ooh, that's imaginative. I've got more taste in my penis.

Coccotti: You know who I am, Mr. Worley?
Clifford: I give up. Who are you?
Coccotti: I'm the Anti-Christ. You got me in a vendetta kind of mood. You tell the angels in heaven you never seen evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you. My name is Vincent Coccotti. I work as counsel for Mr. Blue Lou Boyle, the man your son stole from. I hear you were once a cop so I can assume you've heard of us before. Am I correct?
Clifford: I heard of Blue Lou Boyle.
Coccotti: I'm glad. Hopefully it means we can cut out the part of the conversation where you're wondering how full of shit I am.

Clifford: I haven't seen Clarence.
Coccotti: You see that? [Holding a clenched fist, then striking Clifford] That smarts, doesn't it? Getting slammed in the nose. Fucks you all up. You get that pain shootin' through your brain, your eyes fill up with water. That ain't any kind of fun, but what I have to offer you, that's as good as it's gonna get. And it won't ever get that good again. We talked to your neighbors. They saw a Cadillac. Purple Cadillac. Clarence's purple Cadillac, parked in front of your trailer yesterday. Mr. Worley, you seen your son?
Clifford: Now, wait a minute and listen. I haven't seen Clarence in three years. Yesterday he shows up here with a girl, sayin' he got married. He told me he needed some quick cash for a honeymoon, so he asked if he could borrow five hundred dollars. I wanted to help him out so I wrote out a check. We went to breakfast and that's the last I saw of him. So help me God. They never thought to tell me where they were goin'. And I never thought to ask.
Coccotti: Sicilians are great liars. The best in the world. I'm a Sicilian. And my old man was the world heavyweight champion of Sicilian liars. And from growin' up with him I learned the pantomime. Now there are seventeen different things a guy can do when he lies to give him away. A guy has seventeen pantomimes. A woman's got twenty, but a guy's got seventeen. And if you know 'em like ya know your own face, they beat lie detectors to hell. What we got here is a little game of show and tell. You don't wanna show me nothin'. But you're tellin' me everything. Now I know you know where they are. So tell me, before I do some damage you won't walk away from.
Clifford: Could I have one of those Chesterfields now?
Coccotti: Sure.
Clifford: Got a match? Oh, don't bother. I got one.

Coccotti: ...your son, the cowboy, it's claimed, came in the room blazin', and didn't stop 'till they were pretty sure everybody was dead.
Clifford: What are you talkin' about?
Coccotti: Talkin' about a massacre. They snatched my narcotics, hightailed it outta there. Woulda got away with it, but your son, fuckhead that he is, left his driver's license in a dead guy's hand.

Clifford: You know, I don't believe you.
Coccotti: That's of minor importance. What is of major fucking importance is that I believe you.

Clifford: You're Sicilian, huh?
Coccotti: Yeah, Sicilian.
Clifford: You know, I read a lot. Especially about things that have to do with history. I find that shit fascinating. Here's a fact, I don't know if you know or not, Sicilians were spawned by niggers.
Coccotti: Come again?
Clifford: It's a fact. You see, Sicilians have black blood pumpin' through their hearts. If you don't believe me, you can look it up. Hundreds and hundreds of years ago, you see, the Moors conquered Sicily. And Moors are niggers.
Coccotti: Yes...
Clifford: So you see, way back then, uh, Sicilians were like, uh, wops from Northern Italy. Ah, they all had blonde hair and blue eyes, but, uh, well, then the Moors moved in there, and uh, well, they changed the whole country. They did so much fuckin' with Sicilian women, huh? That they changed the whole bloodline forever. That's why blonde hair and blue eyes became black hair and dark skin. You know, it's absolutely amazing to me to think that to this day, hundreds of years later, that, uh, that Sicilians still carry that nigger gene. Now this...
[Coccotti laughs]
Clifford: No, I'm, no, I'm quoting... history. It's written. It's a fact, it's written.
Coccotti: [laughing] I love this guy.
Clifford: Your ancestors are niggers. Uh-huh. Hey. Yeah. And, and your great-great-great-great grandmother fucked a nigger, ho, ho, yeah, and she had a half-nigger kid... now, if that's a fact, tell me, am I lying? 'Cause you, you're part eggplant.
Coccotti: Ohhh!
Clifford: Huh? Hey! Hey! Hey!
Coccotti: You're a cantaloupe. [shoots Cliff in the face]

Mentor: I gotta hand it to you Clarence.
Clarence: I was cool?
Mentor: Naw man you were cooler than cool.

Alabama: Did I do my part okay?
Clarence: Bamaloo you were perfect.
Alabama: Like a ninja?
Clarence: Like a ninja.

Virgil: Hi.
Alabama: Hi... cigarette?
Virgil: No... that's a very nice outfit.
Alabama: This? I got this in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Virgil: Alabama, where's our coke and where's Clarence, and when's he coming back?
Alabama: I'm sorry, I think you have the wrong room. My name is Sadie. We don't have any coke but there's a Pepsi machine down the hall. I don't know anybody named Clarence but perhaps my husband does. You can ask him because he'll be home any minute. He plays football. He's just at a... practice.

Cody Nicholson: [to Elliot] You just made it big time.
Nicky Dimes: You're no longer an extra...
Cody Nicholson: ...or a bit player...
Nicky Dimes: ...or a supporting actor...
Cody Nicholson:'re a fucking star. You are a fucking star. And you are going to be playing your one-man show for the next two fucking years for a captive audience. And listen to this, you get out in a few years and meet some old lady, get married, and you'll be so understanding to your wife's needs because you'll know what it feels like to be a woman.
Nicky Dimes: Of course, you'll only want to fuck her in the ass because that pussy wont be tight enough anymore.
Cody Nicholson: Good one detective, right you fucking faggot?

Cody Nicholson: All right you're all under arrest put the guns down!
Monty: Fuck you! All of you pigs drop your guns and back away.
Lee: Monty what the fuck are you doing just put your gun down.
Nicky Dimes: Drop your guns now motherfucker!
Boris: Fuck you, we can kill all of you assholes and you know it now get your ass on the floor!
Lee: Boris, shut the fuck up. We're all gonna die here. These are cops.
Boris: So what, they're cops, who gives a shit? Hey Lee, there's something I never told you about me: I hate fuckin' cops.

Boris: Call me an ambulance. Somebody, call me an ambulance.
Nicky Dimes: Shut up.
Boris: Fuck you, I'm bleeding.
Nicky Dimes: I'll call you a hearse... this is for Cody.

Lee Donowitz: Elliot, how do we know this guy?
Elliot: He's a friend of Dick.
Lee: Who the *static* -is dick?
Elliot: You... you want me to suck his dick?
Lee: Who the FUCK is Dick?
Elliot: Oh, oh! Who the fuck is Dick?


  • Stealing, Cheating, Killing. Who said romance is dead?
  • Not since Bonnie and Clyde have two people been so good at being bad.


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