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INTO THE NIGHT / BILL HIGGINS

'True Romance': Bloody Good Love Story

September 10, 1993|BILL HIGGINS

The Scene: Wednesday's premiere of Warner Bros. and Morgan Creek's "True Romance" at Mann's Chinese Theater. The movie has been dubbed "a '90s 'Bonnie and Clyde.' " To call the film violent would be an understatement. Agents attacking each other over a deal point would be tame compared to this. "It's a film that's full of surprises," said director Tony Scott. "And the real surprise, considering how much violence there is, is how much humor it has."

The Philosophic Split: Is the film's violence "good" ruthless, blood-soaked savagery from which we learn it is wrong to whack the occasional friend and stranger? Or is it "bad" ruthless, blood-soaked savagery that incites the whacking of friends and strangers? The crowd divided along these lines.

The Buzz: Love it or hate it, this film breaks new ground. The performances alone should ensure it cult status.

Who Was There: The film's stars, Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette; co-stars Dennis Hopper, Chris Penn, Bronson Pinchot, and Brad Pitt; screenwriter Quentin Tarantino (of "Reservoir Dogs" fame); plus 2,200 guests at the screening and 1,000 at the after-party, including John Travolta, Sean Penn, Joe Pesci, James Cameron, David Permut, Shane Black, Randy McCormick, Rosanna Arquette, Jennie Garth, Uma Thurman, Morgan Creek's James Robinson, Warner's Bob Daly, Bruce Berman and Terry Semel, and Tim Leary, who said the film "was like a Homeric epic."

The Party: It was held at the nearby Hollywood Colonnade, a former Masonic lodge that's been a notorious venue for hot, sweaty rock 'n' roll parties. This was no exception. The main room was packed and there was thunderous techno-house music. "It's amazing how these parties turn into a club you never want to go to," said a studio exec.

Chow: Had this been a theme party, the hosts would have passed out guns and let the guests shoot their own meat. As it was, there were buffets from Rococo of pizza, hot dogs and Chinese food.

Best Production Story: In one scene, there was so much fake blood flying "they held riot shields over the whole crew so we wouldn't splatter them with our blood," said Pinchot. He was unsure how far fake blood flies. "I didn't really look," he said. "I was busy dying."

Quoted: "It's a love story set in the scum of the gutter, but love triumphs in the end," said Pinchot. "Much like in my life. Except love hasn't triumphed yet. But the scum is there."

The Hollywood Ending: Eight years ago, Tarantino applied for an usher job at the Chinese theater but was rejected. "Apparently there were other people more qualified," said the screenwriter.

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