When a simple jewelry heist goes horribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.


Quentin Tarantino


Quentin Tarantino, Quentin Tarantino (background radio dialogue written by) | 1 more credit »
552 ( 4)
Top Rated Movies #90 | 12 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Harvey Keitel ... Mr. White / Larry
Tim Roth ... Mr. Orange / Freddy
Michael Madsen ... Mr. Blonde / Vic Vega
Chris Penn ... Nice Guy Eddie
Steve Buscemi ... Mr. Pink
Lawrence Tierney ... Joe Cabot
Randy Brooks ... Holdaway
Kirk Baltz ... Marvin Nash
Edward Bunker ... Mr. Blue (as Eddie Bunker)
Quentin Tarantino ... Mr. Brown
Rich Turner Rich Turner ... Sheriff #1
David Steen ... Sheriff #2
Tony Cosmo Tony Cosmo ... Sheriff #3
Stevo Polyi Stevo Polyi ... Sheriff #4 (as Stevo Poliy)
Michael Sottile Michael Sottile ... Teddy


Six criminals, who are strangers to each other, are hired by a crime boss, Joe Cabot, to carry out a diamond robbery. Right at the outset, they are given false names with the intention that they won't get too close and will concentrate on the job instead. They are completely sure that the robbery is going to be a success. But, when the police show up right at the time and the site of the robbery, panic spreads amongst the group members, and two of them are killed in the subsequent shootout, along with a few policemen and civilians. When the remaining people assemble at the premeditated rendezvous point (a warehouse), they begin to suspect that one of them is an undercover cop. Written by Soumitra

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Four perfect killers. One perfect crime. Now all they have to fear is each other. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Monte Hellman was originally tapped to direct the film, as Quentin Tarantino was completely unknown. However, when Tarantino sold the screenplay for True Romance (1993) for $50,000, he lobbied hard to direct the film himself. Hellman took on an executive producer role instead. See more »


(at around 18 mins) When Mr. White and Mr. Pink are talking in the room about what happened, Mr. White gives Mr. Pink a cigarette and takes one for himself. He then lights Mr. Pink's but then he only holds the lighter up to the end of his own cigarette without actually lighting it. See more »


[first lines]
Mr. Brown: Let me tell you what 'Like a Virgin' is about. It's all about a girl who digs a guy with a big dick. The entire song. It's a metaphor for big dicks.
Mr. Blonde: No, no. It's about a girl who is very vulnerable. She's been fucked over a few times. Then she meets some guy who's really sensitive...
Mr. Brown: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa... Time out Greenbay. Tell that fucking bullshit to the tourists.
Joe: Toby... Who the fuck is Toby? Toby...
Mr. Brown: 'Like a Virgin' is not about this sensitive girl who meets a nice fella....
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Crazy Credits

The opening credits leave out Writing and Directing credits. They are then shown first during the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

Reportedly, in the Italian version the main titles sequence where the guys walk down the street outside the diner is not shown in slow motion. See more »


Wes Turned Country
Written by Dwight Mikkelsen (as Nikki Bernard) (ASCAP)
Produced by Ole Georg (BMI)
Published by Ole Georg Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Ole Georg/Capitol Production Music
See more »

User Reviews

It's not the pieces, it's the drive
25 March 2016 | by chaos-rampantSee all my reviews

A great creative insight is to take things that we think of as separate and contained (like 'art', 'genius', or 'ideas') and realize how they are fluid and inter-dependent, conditioned by factors. This is not to expose anything as little, deconstruction for its sake; it's to show them to be doable, that a road leads up to them. (It's also one of the three main areas of Buddhist practice)

One obvious way to do this would be to take this and note the many influences. This has been done to death already, every bit that Tarantino hoped to keep packed or wanted us to find out has been laid out in the open. But this just gives us someone, genius or not, who stole from the right places.

Another way would be to see that it doesn't work the same way as it did when new because it has all been made ordinary by slavish followers, gobbled up by familiarity. The moments of simple banter away from plot, the fooling round with edges of story without showing the main center-piece, bleeding on a floor, following Mr. Blonde outside to pick up a can of gasoline; Tarantino was probably proud that he was being "real", making a radical break from Bruckheimer's Hollywood.

It's bits and pieces of Godard, Cassavetes, Altman, and others. To see it now shows how theatric it is, not "real" at all. (The least theatric acting is by the bound cop. Roth is just woeful.) It's The Killers, with the violence and gum pop visuals as typical to see as The Killers was typical without them in its own time.

Me, I'd like to settle for something else that brings us to real influence of a more elusive kind.

Everything you see here is coming from a young guy who was at the best possible time in his life, lifted from obscurity and everything was beginning to click into place beyond expectation. Can you imagine how giddy he must have been to hear yes from Keitel and here's a check?

It's Tarantino coming in from the outside as someone young and eager to make a dream come true; it's bursting with energy but disciplined, kept in check by not having everything at your disposal, being the new kid on set. It would be nothing without this energy.

And it's Tarantino being rooted in his own world as he brings the dream alive, suburban LA. None of the story has any outlet into real lives, it's all bounced around movie cutouts. Gangsters showing up before a heist for breakfast in tuxedos? But it's the video clerk's imagination cruising through his own world. He has guys exchange banter about a stripper from Palos Verdes, Roth improvise a story about buying weed the summer of '86.

So this is the most vibrant sense I get; someone making it, not having to prove himself because he's there, making a movie with name actors around town, relaxed and fired up at the same time. See if you can feel this off his screen presence (and what a stark difference from his surly presence now).

His next one would be the apogee of this path. It can also be traced to the 30 year old who had flown himself to Amsterdam to write away from home like a Hemingway, living the dream.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

2 September 1992 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Reservoir Dogs See more »


Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$147,839, 25 October 1992

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo


Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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