Directors Hall of Fame movie moments #1: The dangerous allure of Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles

In honor of the new class of fine filmmakers selected by the film writers of our mothership site, we start with a scene from the movie my colleague, Jason Zingale, accurately selected as Quentin Tarantino‘s most underrated.

Be forewarned that, typically enough for Mr. Tarantino, this scene — which features a brief appearance by the late Tony Curtis via TV — contains lots of NSFW language. In particular, Samuel L. Jackson as murderous arms dealer Ordell Robbie uses enough n-words here that some took umbrage — perhaps because it showed he hadn’t been dissuaded when Denzel Washington gave him a talking to about using the word on the set of 1995’s “Crimson Tide.” One difference: in Tarantino’s earlier films, he has low-life white criminals using the word, possibly accurate but definitely on the edge of acceptability in mainstream films, here he has low-life African-American crooks using the word, more or less de rigeur in the nineties.  Personally, I doubt I could justify changing a single word here in any case.

Come to think of it, I don’t think there’s been a single n-word in a Tarantino film since 97’s “Jackie Brown.” Denzel Washington, however, did use the word repeatedly (though with an “a” instead of an “er” on the end) as an unsavory copper, and won an Oscar for it, in 2001’s “Training Day.”

  

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Happy birthday, Mr. Hackman

The acting great, who retired recently to write historical novels full time, turns eighty today. I ran a salute to him some time ago, but it’s time for a bit of a reprise. I don’t think there’s any doubt the Gene Hackman is one of the very best we’ve seen. Few have done as good a job of keeping things simple, and that’s about as difficult a trick as there is for any artist.

  

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