TOP 5 CHARACTERS: QUENTIN TARANTINO

I have to admit that this is one of the hardest lists I’ve ever tried to throw together. If there’s one thing Quentin Tarantino does well, it’s write great characters. However, if there’s one thing I love, it’s challenging myself. So, here’s my Top 5 Quentin Tarantino characters. Enjoy:

5. THE BRIDE (aka: BEATRIX KIDDO).

FILM: KILL BILL VOL. 1, 2 & 3 (announced)

While many will say that QT made Kill Bill because of his infatuation for Uma Thurman’s feet, I believe there’s a lot more going on here that gets ignored. Kill Bill is an interesting take on storytelling, even from a guy who prides himself on trashing traditional methods of storytelling. I think QT used it as an attempt to do what James Cameron did with the character of Ellen Ripley in the Aliens franchise. That is, to create a strong female protagonist in a male dominated landscape. Ultimately he succeeds and deserves recognition for his efforts.

4. SETH GECKO.

FILM: FROM DUSK TIL DAWN

I believe deep down that Seth Gecko is one of QT’s favorite characters. While this thoroughly enjoyable film can be easily dismissed as a low-brow genre flick, I think Gecko is a complex character. He has to deal with evading law enforcement, detaining his hostages, his dim-witted brother and, well, vampires! I also think that Gecko might be the badassest of all of QT’s characters. A character that completely encapsulates what Tarantino does best. Also, it’s a character that made Clooney’s career. A fact that is typically overshadowed by John Travolta.

3. MR. PINK.

FILM: RESERVOIR DOGS

I know that the sexy pick from this film is easily Mr. Blonde. He says cool things, dances to old songs and cuts a dude’s ear off after all. Still, Mr. Pink is not only cool as well but he’s pretty much the glue that binds these characters together. While the likes of Mr. White and Mr. Blonde are fueled by emotion as the events of the film unfold, Mr. Pink remains the voice of reason. The consummate working criminal with a cool head and his sights on finishing the job. He also provides the films comic relief at times.

2. COLONEL HANS LANDA (aka: THE JEW HUNTER).

FILM: INGLORIOUS BASTERDS

Hans Landa is probably the most mature character QT has ever written. While he may be a vicious killer, he also manages to come across as intelligent and charming. Dare I say likeable? Christoph Waltz gets mad props for giving this character its full form but QT crafted one hell of a character for him to work with.

1. JULES WINFIELD.

FILM: PULP FICTION

While Vincent Vega is probably QT’s most famous and most likeable character, I think Jules Winfield is easily his greatest. In fact, while Pulp Fiction is a series of interrelated, intertwining stories, I like the theory that the protagonist of the film is actually Jules. That he is, in fact, the Hero at the center of this Hero’s Journey. If you look at it, he’s the only one in the story that learns from the events transpiring around him and walks away clean because of it. Everyone else falls or suffers hardship. But Jules walks away like Caine from Kung Fu after delivering some of the most memorable lines ever delivered in the history of cinema!

So, what are some of your favs?

12 Responses to “TOP 5 CHARACTERS: QUENTIN TARANTINO”

  1. Kai, you are my hero. There is absolutely no way I could ever narrow down a list of favorite QT characters, let alone rank them in order. I would say so-and-so is missing, but that would be an excercise in futility because I love them all.

  2. Jules Winfield at #1 is like the sky is blue! Also love Colonel Landa so it’s great to see him at #2. I would probably put Sonny Chiba (Kill Bill 1) somewhere in there. Great list Kai 🙂

  3. In no particular order…

    Lt. Col. Aldo Raine (“…and cuh-sin, bizniss is a-boomin.”)
    Missus Mia Wallace (“Something”)
    Jackie Brown (“If I wasn’t so buddy-buddy with that motherfucker, none of this would work”)
    Ordell Robbie (“I got some ‘for-your-eyes-only’ shit to show you)
    Budd aka “Sidewinder” (“That woman deserves her revenge, and well all deserve to die”)

  4. Good call on Mr Pink. He’s always been my favourite character in Res Dogs. And not just because Steve Buscemi is truly awesome. He’s a different kind of criminal to everyone else in that room, and at the end, I was really rooting for him!

  5. Amazing list. Great work and awesome topic.

  6. Editor In Chief Says:

    wow, tough list! I seriously thought you’d stretch this one to a sixer at least…although my only argument would be mr. pink, i still totally see your reasoning…great read!

  7. No Jackie Brown characters? I think that film might actually be the best batch of QT characters ever.

    • James… I like you… and know you have eccentric tastes. But that is, hands down, the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. If we’re going batch of characters, Pulp, RDogs and Kill Bill are far superior. Honestly, most of them are pretty forgettable to me… J. Brown characters, I mean. Probably cuz they’/re not really his characters.

      • Shit, no one’s even MENTIONED True Romance yet! Fucking Vincent Coccoti. Floyd! DREXL!!!

        That said, I can’t argue your top two – those would likely be mine as well.

  8. Tough list to put together indeed, but I think Shosanna might be my favorite character. Hans Landa is badass, but the journey that Shosanna takes deserves a movie on it’s own without the Basterds backdrop.

  9. …I liked QT’s character in Pulp Fiction…a huge improvement on the awfully unlikeable guy he plays in From Dust Till Dawn.

    …I’d also give Bridget Fonda some credit…maybe not “Top 5 credit” but Top something! 🙂

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