Quentin Tarantino is one of the most notorious directors of his generation. He’ll live forever in cinema thanks to films like Inglorious Bastards and Reservoir Dogs. There are some lesser-known and far less beloved projects in his backlog, however. Here are a few projects you didn’t know Tarantino worked on.
A Script Doctor
Tarantino burst into public consciousness with 1992’s Reservoir Dogs, but he’d already been working in the industry for years. He was already an actor for years and… wasn’t successful. The most high-profile role he landed was as an Elvis impersonator on The Golden Girls. Amongst a sea of impersonators, Tarantino sticks out.
In an interview with Jimmy Fallon, Tarantino explained how his brief appearance led to Reservoir Dogs getting made. His single appearance turned into a 2-parter, then got the best of treatment, so his residual check grew to about $3000. That money became vital years later when Tarantino was editing his first film. Were it not for The Golden Girls, perhaps we’d never have Kill Bill Volume 2.
Tarantino has won screenwriting Oscars for both Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained. It should come as no surprise then that he worked as a script doctor for quite a few years. He worked anonymously on many huge projects. He did some work, along with Aaron Sorkin, on Sean Connery’s legendary The Rock, and helped his friend Tony Scott on Crimson Tide. A visit to that set even resulted in a spat with Denzel Washington over Tarantino’s love of racist language. They later reconciled.
Among the most obscure projects, however, is the largely reviled SNL film It’s Pat. The movie starring Julia Sweeney was panned at the time and has only gotten a worse reputation with each passing year. It’s earned a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Tarantino was brought on to do some touch-ups. He told Playboy that he loved the androgynous character for how obnoxious they are. As for the character’s gender, he said: “To tell the truth, I don’t know what Pat is. But I know what I want Pat to be: I want Pat to be a girl.” Sweeney got a bit role in Pulp Fiction, so you can’t say nothing came of this.
While many fans can rattle off every Tarantino project, less is said of his television career. He directed an episode of CSI in 2005 and directed a continuous single take episode of ER in 1995. Tarantino would go on to work with its star George Clooney in From Dusk Til Dawn the following year. Time will tell if Tarantino ever goes back to television.