Jackie Brown (1997) Poster



Actress Mira Sorvino, who at the time was dating director Quentin Tarantino, can be seen out-of-focus in the back of the courtroom at Jackie's arraignment.
Jump to: Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (4) | Spoilers (3)
Quentin Tarantino met Robert Forster in a restaurant and handed him the script, saying "You're going to do this, and that's all there is to it". Forster was naturally thrilled, having had a major career slump. This film saw him come back in a big way, even landing an Oscar nomination.
Pam Grier had tested for the part in Pulp Fiction (1994) that eventually went to Rosanna Arquette. Quentin Tarantino didn't forget her however, crafting the part of Jackie Brown specifically for the actress.
When Robert De Niro first got a hold of the script he wanted to play the role of Max Cherry. Quentin Tarantino wanted to work with De Niro but had his heart set on Robert Forster as Cherry, so he gave the role of Louis to De Niro.
It was Samuel L. Jackson's idea to give his character the long hair and the braided goatee.
Quentin Tarantino's first and only film (as of 2016) to be adapted from preexisting material, rather than his own.
Robert Forster didn't even have an agent when Quentin Tarantino handed him the script. Forster had auditioned for the Lawrence Tierney part in Reservoir Dogs (1992) so Tarantino had written the part of Max Cherry specifically for him.
In the first mall scene, Max Cherry is seen exiting a movie theater while the music for the ending credits is playing. This is, in fact, the closing music for the film itself.
Michael Keaton reprises his role as Ray Nicolette in Out of Sight (1998), also based on a novel by Elmore Leonard.
The white 1980 Honda Civic which Jackie drives, is the same car Butch was driving when he knocked down Marsellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction (1994).
The movie Melanie's watching while Ordel's on the phone with Jackie talking about Simone, is Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974) which stars Peter Fonda, Bridget Fonda's father.
In the novel, Jackie Brown (originally Jackie Burke) is white. Quentin Tarantino changed her race solely for the purpose of getting to work with Pam Grier.
In the novel Jackie's last name is Burke. Quentin Tarantino changed her last name to Brown as an obvious nod to Pam Grier's most notable character Foxy Brown (1974) from the film of the same name.
Pam Grier didn't expect her long-time friend Sid Haig to play the judge. She started to burst out laughing as she was surprised by Haig because they both starred together in a number of exploitation films, by which this film's style was influenced.
The money that's shown in the bag is genuine currency.
Sylvester Stallone originally wanted to play Louis, while John Travolta was the first choice to play Ray Nicollete.
Spike Lee publicly criticized Tarantino for the frequent use of the word "nigger" in the film. Samuel L. Jackson, previously a frequent Lee collaborator, defended Tarantino in the press. Miramax chairman Harvey Weinstein called Lee in an attempt to mediate between him and Tarantino but Lee refused to speak with Tarantino.
As of 2014 most of the areas shot at the Del Amo Mall have now been demolished for a renovation to be finished in 2015.
Samuel L. Jackson shot his scenes on weekends as he was concurrently working on Sphere (1998) at the time.
The casting director's name is Jaki Brown
On the Special Edition features, Prop Master Steve Joyner reveals what $500k in cash actually looks like. Joyner goes on to say that Quentin Tarantino insisted on authenticity, hence the actual sum of money.
Louis and Ordell first appeared in the Elmore Leonard novel The Switch. At age 15 Quentin Tarantino was arrested for shoplifting this book, his one brush with "real" crime. In The Switch, Louis and Ordell kidnap a millionaire's wife only to discover he doesn't want her back, a plot that was used in Ruthless People (1986). In the novel's sequel, Rum Punch, Louis and Ordell complain that the movie producers stole their idea (without mentioning the movie by name).
The Max Cherry Bail Bonds was a real bail bonds office in Carson, Los Angeles and was demolished in 2008.
Tarantino's list for Max Cherry was Paul Newman, Gene Hackman, John Saxon and Robert Forster.
The character played by Bridget Fonda, Melanie Ralston, is based on an actual actress, Candice Rialson.
When Ordell Robbie first goes to Max Cherry's office and is asked if he has the cash for the bond, he responds "I got it right here in my brand new raptor bag." Although the logo is partially obscured, it is clearly that of the Toronto Raptors. Actor Samuel L. Jackson was frequently courtside at Toronto Raptor games the season before filming Jackie Brown.
Christina Applegate was considered for the role of Melanie Ralston, but she was under contract for Married with Children (1987).
The music used in the scene in the mall where Jackie comes out of the dressing room "frantically" looking around for the undercover cops is the same as was used in the chase scene in Coffy (1973), where Pam Grier's title character is running away from the cops.
In the closing credits, Tarantino gives special thanks to "Bert D'Angelo's Daughter" (among others). In the late 70's, Paul Sorvino starred in a TV detective show, Bert D'Angelo/Superstar (1976). Thus "Bert D'Angelo's Daughter" is Paul's daughter and Tarantino's girlfriend, Mira Sorvino.
When Pam Grier walked in to audition for Quentin Tarantino, "there were all my posters from 20 years ago, when I was just a piss and vinegar kid," she recalled. "And I said, 'Did you put these up because I was coming over?' And he said, 'No. I was gonna take them down because you were coming over!'"
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The "N" word is said 38 times throughout the film.
When Ordell first meets Max Cherry in his office, clearly visible beyond Max's desk is a large poster for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for which Robert Forster's father, Robert Wallace Foster, Sr., once worked as an elephant trainer.
Samuel L. Jackson named this as his favourite Quentin Tarantino film.
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Robert Forster's father, whom he loved dearly, got the good news of his son's return to acting in a feature film and spent a short time on set. Sadly, he passed away before Robert received his Oscars nomination.
The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Robert De Niro and Quentin Tarantino; and three Oscar nominees: Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster and Michael Keaton.
Quentin Tarantino was upset that Pam Grier didn't receive an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
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The inn where Ordell and Louis have a drink is called The Cockatoo Inn. The neon light letters t-o-o are out, so it spells The Cocka Inn: cocaine, a hint to the bags of cocaine found in Jackie's bag in the beginning of the movie.
Another name on the tenant list for Melanie's apartment is "J. Hill", which is a clear nod to director Jack Hill. Hill directed/wrote some of Pam Grier's major roles.
Quentin Tarantino compares the film to Rio Bravo (1959). "It's a hangout movie," he explained. "Jackie Brown is better the second time. And I think it's even better the third. And the fourth time ... Maybe even the first time we see it we go, 'Why are we doing all this hanging out? Why can't we get to more of the plot?' But now the second time you see it, and the third time you see it, you're not thinking about the plot anymore. You're waiting for the hangout scenes ... To me, [that's] the thing that Rio Bravo (1959) did. I remember the first time I saw Rio Bravo (1959), but I remember more the fifteenth time I saw Rio Bravo (1959). It's about hanging out with the characters."
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One name on the tenant list for Melanie's apartment building is "S. Haig", a reference to Sid Haig, who plays the judge that presides at Jackie's arraignment.
According to Quentin Tarantino, 70's actress Carol Speed originally helped out in making this film and was willing to play a small cameo part in the film. At the last minute, Tarantino decided not to use her in the film.
Jackie and Max have a conversation about getting old and growing tired. Their actors, Pam Grier and Robert Forster, had been big stars in the seventies but their stars had waned by the time they took this movie. Coincidentally, this movie revitalized their careers.
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Quentin Tarantino wanted to gauge the audience reaction to key moments in the film, so he spent the first several weeks following the film's release watching it in theaters. "I saw that movie ... like 13 times at the Magic Johnson Theatre," said Tarantino. "The whole first four weeks it was there, I just lived there."
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According to Quentin Tarantino, Michael Keaton desperately tried to talk the director out of hiring him for the role of Ray Nicolette. "His whole process was to convince me that he's not right for the role," recalled Tarantino. "But he never quite convinced me ... Michael's whole thing is to deny himself and to say he's not right."
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During a scene wherein Max Cherry is searching for a Delfonic's cassette tape in a record store, the song "Letter to the Firm" by hip-hop artist Foxy Brown can be heard blaring loudly on the store's PA system. Pam Grier (who portrayed the lead character Jackie Brown) is most known for her roles in several low budget "blacksploitation" films from the '70s, particularly her starring role in Foxy Brown (1974).
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Melanie watches a movie called The Mad Dog Killer (1977), starring Helmut Berger. She also mentions the actor by name. Bridget Fonda and Berger had previously started together in The Godfather: Part III (1990).
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After completing Pulp Fiction (1994), Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary acquired the film rights to Elmore Leonard's novels Rum Punch, Freaky Deaky, and Killshot. Tarantino initially planned to film either Freaky Deaky or Killshot and have another director make Rum Punch, but changed his mind after re-reading Rum Punch, stating that he "fell in love" with the novel all over again.
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The book Max Cherry is reading when Jackie comes out of jail is "Berlin Game" by Len Deighton
Quentin Tarantino was afraid that Elmore Leonard would hate the film. He and Roger Avary hesitated to discuss the changes with Leonard, finally speaking with Leonard as the film was about to start shooting. Leonard loved the screenplay, considering it not only the best of the twenty-six screen adaptations of his novels and short stories, but also stating that it was possibly the best screenplay he had ever read.
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During the interrogation scene where Jackie is taken into custody - Det. Dargas stated that anyone in possession of over $10,000 should declare it to U.S. Customs - this is based on the regulations coded by the Internal Revenue Service under Title 26 (tax code, enacted August 16, 1954 known as the Internal Revenue Code Act later amended in 1986 under the Tax Reform Act) and under Title 31 USC 5311 of the United States Code. It is against IRS regulations for an individual to carry over $10,000 in currency (in this case, a cash transaction) without reporting it to U.S. Customs when entering the United States. This is further codified under Federal Law under 31 U.S.C. 5316 and Treasury Department regulations (31 CFR Chapter X) - individuals who enter the United States with over $10,000 in cash (or other monetary instruments e.g. stocks, bonds) must file (after April 25,1990) a FinCEN 105 document. FinCEN is the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which is a division of the Department of the Treasury.
This is the first and so far only film to star both Robert De Niro and Samuel L. Jackson together. They both appear in Goodfellas (1990), but never shared a scene.
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Hugh Dillon auditioned for the part of Ray Nicolette.
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When Louis and Melanie have the bag, and Melanie's verbally needling Louis, she says 'no wonder you went to jail.' What she meant to say was 'prison.' People go to jail when they're arrested. After they're sentenced, they go to prison (unless it's for a short period - under a year).
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Director Cameo 

Quentin Tarantino: electronic voice on Jackie's answering machine.

Director Trademark 

Quentin Tarantino: [trunk] The scene where Ordell is trying to convince Beaumont to get in the trunk of the car is shot entirely from a camera in the trunk looking up at them.
Quentin Tarantino: [corpse view] After the last villain is shot and killed, the camera points up from his "head" and we see the heroes looking down at his body.
Quentin Tarantino: [long takes] When Jackie leaves the dressing room after making the switch and when Louis and Ordell are at the bar.
Quentin Tarantino: [singing along to music] Melanie, Jackie, and Max all sing along in the car.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Body Count: 4. The lowest of any of Quentin Tarantino's films. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) has only 3 onscreen deaths however it has several characters killed during a flashback scene.
Four characters die in the film, and all four are introduced during the film's first scene (after the opening credits).
Despite being the title character Jackie doesn't have any lines until half an hour into the film.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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