Saturday, June 22, 2013

Gandolfini vs Pitt in Tarentino's True Romance

Xfinity on demand had a tribute to the late James Gandolfini available, so I clicked on one of my favorite films, True Romance. About halfway through, Gandolfini's mob enforcer, Virgil, confronts a stoner named Floyd, played by a young Brad Pitt. In those few lines of dialogue, two stars are born.

The twenty year old film is special to me for many reasons. I wrote an article called Walken vs. Hopper, about the scene involving Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper and that article  was published in Creative Screenwriting. I think I made sixty bucks. The article was then put into a book called Quentin Tarentino the Film Geek Files which was published in 2000.

The plot is fairly simple. Christian Slater's Clarence has stolen the mob's cocaine and is hiding in LA with his friend. Floyd is the friend's roommate. Virgil asks Floyd where Clarence is.

Take a moment and find the scene on youtube.

To be honest, there's nothing brilliant in Tarentino's writing in the scene, but we see flashes of Tony Soprano's dark side with Gandolfini's smile. As for Pitt, he is so committed to the character, that we don't know if he is really stoned or acting. That character was voted one of the best stoner characters of all time. He would probably be Brad Pitt's second best character after Tyler Durden.

Twenty years later the film still holds up in parts but there is a sadness associated with it. Tony Scott, the director committed suicide. Chris Penn, Dennis Hopper and now Gandolfini are dead. Christian Slater's career is dead, but that's another story.

RIP James Gandolfini.


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