Tarantino: Which Movies Influenced Him–and Why

Several movies influenced me–albeit in different ways.

Rocky was a very important movie to me when I saw it at 12 or 13. It didn’t make me want to be a filmmaker but it made me want to be involved in film. Stallone’s whole story of writing the screenplay of Rocky was very influential to me and he was like a people’s champion as far as I was concerned and I remember rooting for him at the Academy Awards like somebody had snuck into Hollywood.

In a way when I did Pulp Fiction I kind of felt a similar way, like I had somehow gotten across the wall or something. But in particularly, the movies that got me thinking cinematically was Sergio Leone’s Once Upon A Time in The West, and Mario Bava’s movie Black Sabbath. Black Sabbath I think is the title in America. But both of those got me thinking cinematically for the first time and in particularly, if you look at something like Once Upon A Time in the West, it’s so well directed and it’s so orchestrated that if you are now thinking about how cinema is put together, you can see how Leone did it and you can see how he use the frame and you can see how people exit from the left and enter from the right. And the cinema is just kind of right there. And so that gave me more of a tangible idea of what a director did.