Quentin Tarantino Shares a Spicy Old Interview He Conducted with John Milius

     April 13, 2020

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Did you know Quentin Tarantino likes movies? Like, a whole lot? Like, so much so that his most recent film, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, is a love letter to the entire industry? So much so that he owns a theater called the New Beverly in Los Angeles that plays classics and underseen gems? So much so that when he was but 20 years old he finangled his way into interviewing legendary filmmaker John Milius (Conan the BarbarianApocalypse Now)? Now, Tarantino has posted this chestnut from long ago on the New Beverly’s official website — and based on how fun this thing is to read, I’m sincerely hoping he posts more soon.

First of all, no matter how much you think you love film, Tarantino loves it more than you. He straight up lied to Milius’ assistant, telling them he was writing a book, to get the chance to chat all things film — and even when given the opportunity to chat, Tarantino spent much of the time rattling off facts, favorite actors, and bygone exploitation films to Milius (“I was twenty years old (and boy does it show),” writes Tarantino). However, it’s clear that Milius is charmed by the young whippersnapper in his presence, taking the opportunity to spill some wonderful film tea to his young acolyte.

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Image via Universal Pictures

Some highlights: If you’ve ever directed a film with Milius’ help as a writer or producer, Milius does not like you. He spent much of his time dishing on the director-centered failures on such Milius screenplays and productions as The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (directed by John Huston; of which Milius says “has a lack of commitment – totally. It doesn’t really look like one thing or another”) and Hardcore (directed by Paul Schrader; of which Milius says is “a wonderful script that turned out to be a lousy movie. I blame Paul’s direction for that”). Milius also reveals that a random exploitation film Tarantino brought up (The Losers) was an inspiration on his screenplay for Apocalypse Now (“Really? The Losers?” asks Tarantino in disbelief). And Tarantino, ever the stealer, at one point comments on the thing Milius said in his interview that he stole whole cloth for Pulp Fiction: “Loyalty is always a quality that I admire in people. If people are loyal to each other that’s very meaningful.”

Check out the full interview between Tarantino and Milius here. And for more Tarantino/New Beverly joys, allow me to regale you with the star-studded story of a Once Upon a Time screening at that very theater.

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