1. Quentin Tarantino wrote the part of Jules in Pulp Fiction specifically for Samuel L. Jackson after seeing him audition for Reservoir Dogs.
Jackson had auditioned for the role of the man who trains Mr. Orange, but the part eventually went to Randy Brooks.
2. Inglourious Basterds star Eli Roth has claimed he was able to get into the mindset of the violent “Bear Jew” character because of the costumes.
He’s admitted that “wool underwear will make you want to kill anything” and also the music of Hannah Montana, which his girlfriend added to his iPod. It somehow filled him with the rage he needed to wield his baseball bat.
3. While filming Django Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio had to stop filming at one point as he struggled using so many racial slurs.
Samuel L. Jackson responded by pulling him aside and saying, “Motherf**ker, this is just another Tuesday for us.”
4. Daryl Hannah’s Kill Bill character, Elle Driver, has the code name “California Mountain Kingsnake.” In fact, hers is the only Deadly Viper Assassination Squad code name that isn’t a venomous snake.
The name is fitting since she also isn’t able to poison The Bride when she’s in the hospital because Bill calls her before she can.
5. The iconic dance scene featuring Uma Thurman and John Travolta at Jack Rabbit Slim’s is copied as an homage to Federico Fellini’s 8½.
6. According to Tarantino, German-born actor Til Schweiger (Sgt. Stiglitz) had always refused film roles that required him to don a Nazi uniform; he only agreed for Inglourious Basterds because he would be [“doin’ one thing and one thing only,] killin’ Nazis.”
7. At the very beginning of Kill Bill‘s O-Ren Ishii fight scene, Lucy Liu, in Japanese, says, “I hope you’ve saved your energy. If you haven’t, you may not last 5 minutes.”
It is then exactly 4 minutes and 59 seconds until the fatal blow of the scene.
8. The cops who appear at the hospital in Death Proof after Stuntman Mike’s first crash are played by real life father-son duo Michael Parks and James Parks.
They’re also the officers who respond to the wedding day massacre in Kill Bill. Michael Parks was first introduced as police officer Earl McGraw in the Tarantino-penned From Dusk Till Dawn; his son, James, was introduced as Deputy Edgar McGraw in From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money. Neither of their characters survive in the From Dusk Till Dawn films.
9. The real name of the Mr. Blonde character from Reservoir Dogs, played by Michael Madsen, is Vic Vega. Vega is also the last name of John Travolta’s character Vince in Pulp Fiction.
Tarantino has stated that the characters are brothers whom he intended to make a prequel about. The film, Double V Vega, has been abandoned since both Madsen and Travolta aged too much to do a prequel.
10. The closing credits of Jackie Brown gives special thanks to “Bert D’Angelo’s Daughter,” which is a reference to Tarantino’s then-girlfriend, Mira Sorvino.
In the 1970s, Paul Sorvino starred in the detective TV show Bert D’Angelo, Superstar, which makes Mira “Bert D’Angelo’s Daughter.” Mira herself can be spotted, out of focus, in the back of the courtroom during Jackie’s arraignment.
11. Jamie Foxx and Kerry Washington’s characters in Django Unchained are intended to be descendants of John Shaft from the Shaft films, which would explain Washington’s character’s name: Broomhilda Von Schaft.
12. In Pulp Fiction, Samuel L. Jackson’s character, Jules, has a “Bad Mother F**ker” wallet that belongs to Tarantino in real life.
The inscription is an earlier reference to Shaft and its theme song. Jackson would go on to star as Shaft in the 2000 remake.
13. Kill Bill was Quentin Tarantino’s first feature-length film to have fewer than 100 instances of the word “f*ck.”
It pops up in the film a mere 17 times. Reservoir Dogs has 272, Pulp Fiction has 265 instances, and the later-released Death Proof boasts 148 in its extended cut.
14. We’ll never find out why Inglourious Basterds is spelled the way it is.
Tarantino has said, “Here’s the thing. I’m never going to explain that. You do an artistic flourish like that, and to explain it would just take the piss out of it and invalidate the whole stroke in the first place.”
15. The scene in Pulp Fiction when Vince plunges the adrenalin shot into Mia’s chest was filmed by having John Travolta remove the needle, which was already in place, from Uma Thurman’s chest and then running the film in reverse.
If you watch very closely, you can see a mark disappear from Mia’s chest.
16. Death Proof has a stronger relationship to Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich than you realized.
In the first crash scene of Death Proof, the four girls discuss and listen to the music of Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich. Musician Eddie Cochran died in 1960 after being thrown through the windshield of his taxi. David Harman, a young police cadet overseeing the investigation surrounding the crash, ended up teaching himself guitar on Cochran’s impounded Gretsch from the wreck. Harman would later be known by a different name: Dave Dee, of Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick and Tich.
17. Even though The Bride’s name isn’t revealed to audiences until Kill Bill Vol. 2, ‘Beatrix Kiddo’ is visible on her plane ticket to Okinawa in the first film.
This is one of the movie’s little Easter eggs, along with the sole of her shoe saying “F*CK U.“
18. Reservoir Dogs star Kirk Baltz asked to ride in Michael Madsen’s trunk to understand what the experience would really be like. Madsen agreed, but, while driving, he decided it was an ideal opportunity to get into character himself.
He subsequently drove down a long alley plagued with potholes and through a Taco Bell drive-thru before returning to the lot and releasing his co-star. The soda his character is drinking in his first appearance in the warehouse is the same one he bought himself at the drive-thru.
19. That’s really Leonardo DiCaprio’s blood in Django Unchained!
When Calvin Candie smashes his hand down on the dinner table in Django Unchained, actor Leonardo DiCaprio really broke a glass under his hand and began to bleed. He stayed in character, however, and continued with the scene, eventually smearing his blood all over Kerry Washington’s face. When the scene ended, Leo received a standing ovation from everyone on set, and this was the take that ended up in the final cut.
20. In Inglourious Basterds, Shosanna Dreyfus’ father, who was briefly seen hiding beneath the floorboards, was played by Swiss actor Patrick Elias.
Elias’ father, Buddy, is a first cousin of Anne Frank.
21. Pam Grier had tested for the part of Jody in Pulp Fiction, but it eventually went to Rosanna Arquette. Tarantino never forgot her though, and he eventually crafted the role of Jackie Brown specifically for her.
In fact, the titular character was initially a white woman named Jackie Burke.
22. Every character killed onscreen, with the exception of the anime scene, in the Kill Bill movies met their fate at the hands of a woman.
Elle killed Budd and Pai Mei; O-Ren Ishii killed Boss Tanaka; Gogo killed that Tokyo businessman; The Bride, of course, killed Vernita Green, Buck, Gogo, the Crazy 88s, O-Ren Ishii, and, yes, Bill.
23. Even though she liked the movie, Madonna sent Tarantino a copy of her Erotica album with a note that read, “To Quentin, it’s not about dick. It’s about love. Madonna.”
The note is a reference to the opening conversation of Reservoir Dogs where the characters discuss the meaning of “Like A Virgin.”
24. Tarantino came up with the idea for Death Proof afer buying a Volvo because he “didn’t want to die in some auto accident like the one in Pulp Fiction.”
His friend joked in response to Quentin’s preference for the safe vehicle by saying, “you could take any car and give it to a stunt team, and for $10,000 or $15,000, they can death-proof it for you,” and the phrase stuck with Tarantino ever since.
25. Initially, Tarantino couldn’t decide which character he wanted to play in Pulp Fiction.
He was between Jimmie and Lance, but opted for Jimmie once he realized he wanted to be behind the camera during Mia’s overdose.
26. Chiaki Kuriyama, the actress who plays Gogo in Kill Bill, accidentally hit Quentin Tarantino in the head with her meteor hammer while he was filming that scene.
27. Jules’ iconic Bible passage was mostly made up by Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson.
“And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger. And you will know My name is the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon thee” is the only part that’s even similar to what’s in the scriptures. The righteous man and the shepherd? Not real.
28. At the end of Inglourious Basterds, Brad Pitt’s character pretends to be an Italian actor named “Enzo Girolami,” which sounds a little familiar…
Enzo Girolami is the birth name of the director of the 1978 film, The Inglorious Bastards (Enzo G. Castellari).
29. As part of John Travolta’s “research” into heroin addiction for the role of Vincent Vega, he (and his wife, happy to help) lined tequila shots along the edge of his hotel hot tub and drank them all while soaking in the hot water.
Tarantino had referred Travolta to a recovering addict, who gave this piece of advice: “If you want to get the ‘bottom envelope’ feeling of that, get plastered on Tequila, and lie down in a hot pool. Then you will have barely touched the feeling of what it might be like to be on heroin.”
30. Uma Thurman initially rejected the role of Mia Wallace.
In order to get her to sign on to Pulp Fiction, a desperate Tarantino read her the script over the phone and convinced her. It was during the filming of the 1994 classic that the pair began to develop the concept of Kill Bill. Uma was given the script, along with the offer for the role of “The Bride,” as a 30th birthday present from Tarantino.