Twenty-seven years ago today, the film Reservoir Dogs premiered in U.S. theaters. I love a heist movie, I love a Tarantino movie, adding in Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, and Steve Buscemi seems like overkill, but I love it all.
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Produced by: Lawrence Bender
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Starring: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Chris Penn, Steve Buscemi, Lawrence Tierney, Michael Madsen
Cinematography: Andrzej Sekuła
Edited by: Sally Menke
Production company: PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, Live America Inc., Dog Eat Dog Productions
Distributed by: Miramax Films
Release date: January 21, 1992 (Sundance), October 9, 1992 (United States)
Running time: 99 minutes
Budget: $1.2–1.5 million
Box office: $2.8 million
Somewhere in Los Angeles, eight men eat breakfast at a diner before carrying out a diamond heist. Mob boss Joe Cabot and his son and underboss “Nice Guy” Eddie Cabot are responsible for planning the job. The rest of the men use aliases issued by Joe Cabot: Mr. Brown, Mr. White, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Blue, Mr. Orange and Mr. Pink.The crew complains about Mr. Pink not giving tip to waitresses. The men then exit the diner in a slow-motion scene where the title card appears.
After the heist, White flees with Orange, who was shot during the escape and is bleeding severely in the back of White’s car. At Joe’s warehouse, White and Orange rendezvous with Pink, who believes that the job was a setup, and that the police were waiting for them. Orange passes out from blood loss.
The story then flashes to White’s story (real name Larry Dimmick) on how he got involved in the robbery.Joe received a telegram from a friend about the heist and White is recruited.
Back in the present, White informs Pink that Brown is dead, Blue and Blonde are missing, and Blonde murdered several civilians during the heist; White is furious that Joe would employ Blonde, whom he describes as a psychopath. Pink has hidden the diamonds nearby. He argues with White over whether or not they should get medical attention for Orange, then because White told Orange his real name and hometown. The pair end up having a fight and draw guns at each other. They stand down when Blonde arrives drinking a soft drink with a kidnapped policeman, Marvin Nash, in the trunk of his car. The men then bring Marvin in the warehouse and beat him.
The story then cuts to Blonde (real name Vic Vega) on how he got involved with the robbery. Blonde, after serving a 4 year sentence, meets with the Cabots. To reward him for not having given Joe’s name to the authorities for a lighter sentence, they offer him a no-show job. Blonde insists that he wants to get back to “real work,” and they recruit him for the heist.
In the present, Eddie arrives and orders the thieves to retrieve the diamonds and ditch the getaway vehicles, leaving Blonde in charge of Nash and Orange. Nash denies knowledge, but Blonde ignores him and tortures Nash while dancing to “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealers Wheel. Blonde then cuts off the police officer’s ear with a razor before going to his car to get a gas can. He is about to set the cop ablaze, but Orange wakes up and shoots Blonde dead. Orange then reveals to Nash that he is an undercover police officer, and that the police are waiting for Joe Cabot to enter the warehouse. Nash says that he knows Orange from before the robbery and that they met a few months ago, and Orange doesn’t remember this event at all.
The story now flashes to Orange (real name Freddy Newandyke) and his infiltration into the crew of thieves. The story follows him as he uses an elaborate tale of a drug delivery to gain acceptance and befriends Mr. White, who takes Orange under his wing as the veteran thief.
In the middle of the heist, Brown, White and Orange attempt to escape. As they are fleeing in the car, Brown gets shot in the head and crashes the car. He dies soon after, White kills two police officers and the duo flees the scene. Shortly after, they attempt to hijack a car, but the driver shoots Orange in the gut, who in response, shoots the driver to death. Then, Orange is shown bleeding and screaming in the back of the car that White is driving.
Back to the present, Eddie, Pink, and White return, and Orange tries to convince them that Blonde planned to kill them all and steal the diamonds for himself. Eddie shoots Nash to death and accuses Orange of lying, since Blonde was loyal to his father. Then, an infuriated Joe arrives at the warehouse. He is about to execute Orange, whom he suspects is the traitor behind the setup, but White intervenes and holds Joe at gunpoint, saying that Orange is not an undercover officer. Eddie aims at White, creating a Mexican standoff. All three fire; both Cabots are killed, and White and Orange are hit. Pink, who was hiding during the standoff, takes the diamonds and flees, but the police are waiting outside, and Pink’s fate remains unknown. As White cradles the dying Orange in his arms, Orange confesses that he is an undercover officer; White sobs and presses his gun to Orange’s head. The police storm the warehouse and order White to drop his gun. White shoots Orange, and then the police shoot White dead.