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The 8 best Tarantino scenes: the greatest Tarantino moments revealed

From Reservoir Dogs to The Hateful Eight - these are the best moments.

The 8 best Tarantino scenes: the greatest Tarantino moments revealed

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It’s been a long wait but Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is finally in cinemas in the UK this week. This is Tarantino at his finest. Mining the near past for stories that fit his want for movie nostalgia, and a little bit of ultra-violence. The result is a fantastic reinterpretation of the Manson murders, that's a heady mix of violence, comedy and nostalgia.

The 8 best Tarantino scenes: the greatest Tarantino moments revealed

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Tarantino’s ninth (and possibly penultimate) movie. In celebration, we take a look at Tarantino’s last eight movies and pick the best moment from each.

This isn’t always the moment you think of. Don’t go into this list thinking you are going to read all about that ear scene. Instead, we've chosen the part of the movie that is perfect Tarantino, whether it’s the dialogue or something else entirely.
We are the first to admit could have made this list five times over with different moments - we still can’t believe that the Kill Bill eye pluck didn’t make the list - but the following is true Tarantino.
*Warning: there are some mild spoilers ahead

The best Tarantino scenes

The best Tarantino scenes

1. What do you mean you don’t tip?

Before Reservoir Dogs’ iconic title sequence, where the merry band of robbers walk slow-mo to Little Green Bag looking like the coolest cats on the planet in their black suits and ties (okay, and Nice Guy Eddie in his shell suit), there's a brilliant sequence that manages to sum of the personalities of all the crew in a matter of minutes, and shine a light on just how incredible Tarantino’s dialogue is.

Hot off the back of a conversation about how Madonna’s Like A Virgin is about something else entirely, Mr Pink (Steve Buscemi) goes on a polemic about why he refuses to tip waiting-staff. The whole scene precariously balances between hilarity and potential mayhem - which is pretty much the whole movie in a nutshell.

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The best Tarantino scenes

2. You never can tell...

If you are going to cast John Travolta in your movie, then you better get him to dance. And that’s exactly what Tarantino did in Pulp Fiction, hands down his ultimate masterpiece. The scene between Uma Thurman’s Mia Wallace and Travolta’s Vincent Vega is pure pop culture bliss.

The whole thing is set in a diner called Jack Rabbit Slims, a barely recognisable Steve Buscemi serves them as a two-bit Buddy Holly (edit: we originally said Elvis and have scorned ourselves because of this), and a five-dollar shake is ordered. Then, You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry comes on and they both dance, and it’s fantastic. In a movie (literally) punctured with violence and vicious moments, this is a wonderful respite before all hell breaks loose.

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The best Tarantino scenes

3. Jackie Brown

The title sequence to Jackie Brown is perhaps the best thing Tarantino has ever shot. Seriously. The nine-cut sequence manages to, once again, explain the main character’s motives and personality without even muttering a word. From the music used (Bobby Womack’s fantastic soul tune about someone striving for a better life), to the font (the same as Foxy Brown, which also stars Pam Grier), to the close-ups, the confidence, the hurried running that Grier does near the end… all of these are winks to her character, and the situation she will eventually find herself in - and it’s simply perfect.

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The best Tarantino scenes

4. Leonardo unchained

A glass smashes. Leonardo Di Caprio looks at the cut in anger and carries on berating Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz. The blood trickling from his hand was real, the impish look in his eyes acting. He even makes sure the camera gets a good look at his bloodied palm.

This is part of the best scene in Django Unchained - that of the Candyman showing his true, rotten teeth andcolours, trying to control two characters whose modus operandi is eventual freedom.

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The best Tarantino scenes

5. We all go a little Crazy sometimes

Kill Bill is a movie that has been hacked and sliced more times than The Bride has in the movie. Originally split into two movies, by disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s Katana blade, Tarantino now classes both films as one Whole Bloody Affair. The moment that sticks out from the kung-fu classic is The Bride versus the Crazy 88 gang. It’s such a ludicrous set piece that it’s jaw-dropping.

What makes it really special, is a bunch of knowing nods to Asian cinema old and young. The yellow jumpsuit homaging Bruce Lee, the Gogo Yubari character that plays tribute to Battle Royale, the vertical slice from Ichi The Killer - it’s all there in blood red and (because of some last-minute censorship) black and white.

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The best Tarantino scenes

6. Inglourious Basterd

As you’ll find out with Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Tarantino loves a bit of revisionist history with some of his movies acting like an alternate timeline packed with cool tunes and snappy dialogue. Inglourious Basterds sees World War II ending early thanks to the power of movies. Key to this is a scene that will stay with you for a long time: the killing of Adolph Hitler. There’s no bunker and pill job here, but Eli Roth and another putting on gloves with guns and gearing themselves up for the ultimate showdown with the truest of evil. The result is a visceral onslaught set in a cinema pumping out propaganda to the masses; it’s pure pulp fiction at its best.

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The best Tarantino scenes

7. Was it something I Eight?

What begins as an intriguing whodunnit concludes in a shlock and sick tinged final act. The scene starts with some people drinking coffee. The coffee, though, is poisoned, and boy does Mr Russell put up a fight, flailing and puking over co-star Jennifer Jason-Leigh. This scene is a big flip away from what you think the Hateful Eight is going to be, with the fantastic Walter Goggins the reason behind the ensuing carnage.

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The best Tarantino scenes

8. Car crash cinema

Originally the second half of the schlocky Grindhouse experiment (the first part belonging to Robert Rodriguez’ 80s sci-fi action fest Planet Terror), Death Proof was eventually given a full release with additional scenes, and it’s all the better for it. It’s not perfect, but nobody can fault the car crash scene in the first half of the movie.

It’s graphic, slowing down so you can see flailing limbs and crunching bones, but necessary - before this, Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russel) was just a guy in a bar chatting to some girls he’s just met. After this, he’s a savage serial killer, pummeling into his prey as if they were crash test dummies.

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