Behind The Scenes Saturday: Reservoir Dogs

Welcome back to Behind The Scenes Saturday! Reservoir Dogs was the film that shot legendary filmmaker Quentin Tarantino to stardom. I absolutely love this film for its killer soundtrack, legendary cast, and its unique take on the typical heist film.

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Reservoir 1

  • The actors had to wear their own clothes for the films due to a very low budget. The designer of the suits worn by the actors provided them for free because she loved American crime films.
  • As you know, the film starts out with Mr. Brown (Quentin Tarantino) discussing the meaning of Madonna’s song, Like A Virgin. When Madonna watched the film, she really enjoyed it, but disproved Tarantino’s interpretation of her song. She ended up giving him a copy of her “Erotica” album with a little note that said, “To Quentin. It’s not about dick, it’s about love. Madonna.”
  • Quentin Tarantino intended to play Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) himself. He wanted to give other actors a chance to audition though. When Steve Buscemi came in to audition, Tarantino told him that he had to have a killer audition in order to steal the part away from him. That’s exactly what Buscemi gave him.
  • In order to truly feel the experience, Kirk Baltz (Marvin Nash) asked Michael Madsen (Mr. Blonde) to drive around with him in the trunk. As Baltz was in the trunk, Madsen took the opportunity for his own character development by driving down an alley with potholes, then going to a Taco Bell drive-thru.
  • Tim Roth (Mr. Orange) initially refused to read for the film. However, he changed his mind when he got drunk with Tarantino and Harvey Keitel (Mr. White).

Reservoir 2





  • Mr. Orange’s apartment was actually above the warehouse where most of Reservoir Dogs was filmed. It was cheaper to make the space above look like an apartment than to look for a real one.
  • Tarantino wanted James Woods for a role, but Woods’ agent turned him down 5 times and didn’t even bother to tell Woods about the offers. After meeting Woods for the first time much later, Tarantino told him that he wanted him for the film. Woods got so annoyed, he fired his agent and got a new one.
  • During a day off from shooting, Lawrence Tierney (Joe) pulled a gun on his nephew and was arrested. He was apparently taken to the set straight from his bail arraignment.
  • That’s not the only problem the cast and crew had with Tierney. He was easily distracted and repeatedly forgot his lines. Things got so heated between Tierney and Tarantino that Tarantino fired him on only the third day of filming.
  • Originally, Mr. Blue (Edward Bunker) didn’t have any lines. In order to fix this, Tarantino added the beginning diner scene.

Reservoir Dogs - 1993





  • During Joe and Mr. White’s conversation, Joe asks him about Alabama. They’re referring to Patricia Arquette’s character in True Romance (1993). At the end of that film, Alabama was supposed to meat up with Mr. White and become partners in crime. However, the ending was changed and the backstory no longer made sense.
  • David Duchovny auditioned for the film. Tarantino told him, “I like what you do, I just don’t know if I want you to do it in my movie.”
  • Tom Sizemore was one of the final choices for Mr. Pink before it went to Steve Buscemi.
  • Michael Madsen actually had a hard time filming the famous torture scene. He was strong-willed against violence and was reluctant to hit Kirk Baltz for the scene. Then, Kirk decided to ad-lib that his character has a child. Madsen had just become a father at the time and thinking about leaving a child fatherless, although fiction, almost prevented him from completing the scene.
  • For Mr. Orange’s gunshot wound, a real paramedic was kept on set to make sure the amount of the character’s blood loss was as realistic as possible.






  • During filming, the pool of fake blood Tim Roth had to lay in kept drying up and peeling him off of the floor supposedly took several minutes each time.
  • During the film there were hints that pointed out who the “rat” or “snitch” was. In the diner scene, when Joe asked who didn’t throw in for the tip, Mr. Orange was quick to say it was Mr. Pink. Also, when Nice Guy Eddie (Chris Penn) is driving to the warehouse, an orange balloon is seen bouncing behind his car. Though the balloon wasn’t intended to be in the shot, it still makes for nice subtle foreshadowing.
  • Suzanne Celeste, the actress who plays the woman Mr. Orange kills was Tim Roth’s dialect coach. She was apparently very hard on him, so he insisted that she take the role.
  • Quentin Tarantino confirmed that Mr. Pink survived in the film and got arrested as soon as he ran out of the warehouse. You can actually hear him getting arrested very faintly in the background at the end of the film.
  • One of the biggest questions asked about the film, is who killed Nice Guy Eddie? Mr. White was the one who shot Eddie after shooting Joe. However, Chris Penn’s blood squibs went off too early so he had to drop dead before Mr. White pointed his gun at him. So, it made fans believe a mystery gun killed Eddie off-screen.






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