If ever there was a screenwriter that was fun to read, but really shouldn't be emulated, that screenwriter would be Quentin Tarantino. Of course, that hasn't stopped several screenwriters from trying, but it's a fool's errand (for that matter, it's a fool's errand to emulate any screenwriter). On the heels of several awards nominations, The Weinstein Company is revving up its tried-and-true awards machine and has recently churned out the screenplay of Django Unchained as an early holiday gift for your consideration.
Here's the trailer for Django Unchained, opening wide Dec. 25 in the U.S.
Video is no longer available: youtu.be/0Bm38cQOTEg
Tarantino and the Weinsteins are certainly no strangers to controversy. In fact, I'm pretty sure they welcome it, and I imagine Django Unchained will stir up its fair share while simultaneously raising the public's awareness of the film and ultimately driving its box office. If you want to hear directly from Quentin Tarantino about this film and his current thoughts on the film industry as a whole, check out The Hollywood Reporter's Director Roundtable video.
Here's a link to the screenplay:
- Django Unchained, written by Quentin Tarantino
As always, please use this screenplay for your educational purposes only, and don't wait to download it as we never know when it will be taken offline.
If you have missed any of our previous posts about current screenplays available for free, legal download, you can find them here:
- Flight, Wreck-It-Ralph, Promised Land and Hyde Park on Hudson
- Silver Linings Playbook, The Master and Quartet
- Middle of Nowhere, Lincoln, Les Misérables and Frankenweenie
- Rust and Bone and Anna Karenina
- Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Sessions, Hitchcock and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (links updated, screenplays available)
- Arbitrage and Perks of Being a Wallflower
- Smashed and Celeste and Jesse Forever
- Moonrise Kingdom, Paranorman, The Lorax, Snow White and the Huntsman, Ted and This is 40
How do you approach a Quentin Tarantino screenplay? Do you find elements that help you with your own writing or do you feel Tarantino's scripts stand alone to be appreciated or critiqued but not to be used as a guide for screenwriting? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments.
Hopefully this adds up better than any of the open storylines in inglourious basterds.
What exactly is Tarantinos style besides dialogue?
Can nobody do a dialogue driven crime film without being labeled a tarantino emulator?
What should be avoided?
December 13, 2012 at 12:41PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
I thought kevin smith did a great job in Red State. A Cohen's brothers movie by way of Quentin Tarantino he put it.
December 13, 2012 at 12:44PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Yes..Tarantino didn't invent crime films.
Just avoid pop referenced diaglogue...No..
Trix are for kids..or Fonzie cool stuff.
Leave that alone and your good.
December 13, 2012 at 1:58PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
I would be interested in hearing about the open storylines, as you put it, although I think you mean unresolved storylines. That would make the most sense as I assume you are talking about leaving a story or plotline without closure in the negative sense. Myself I don't think that this is a bad thing neccessarily. But I digress when I really would like to answer your questions.
What exactly is Tarantino's style besides dialogue?
Well I think that depends on whether you are talking about QT as a director or as a writer. Some characteristics of QT's style as a writer in my opinion are, of course the trademark dialogue, characters that are mythic or larger than life ( I have heard the use of the word comic book which I think is somewhat appropriate), a nonlinear plot structure, and a novelistic act structure. His style as a director while intertwined with his writing is another story.
Can nobody do a dialogue driven crime film without being labeled a Tarantino emulator? What should be avoided (I am assuming this is a two part question)
I think there are some writers and/or directors who make dialogue driven crime films without being considered Tarantino emulators. Of course that depends on who you ask. David Mamet, I find, is pretty well regarded as someone who makes or has made dialogue driven crime films that are original or at least don't ape Tarantino. Guy Ritchie, regardless of how successful you find him, is another filmmaker who has carved out his own niche even though he still draws the inevitable Tarantino comparison. I think that is due mostly to him finding a specific milieu in the British underworld. Finally someone who springs to mind recently is Martin McDonagh who has made both In Bruges and this year's Seven Psychopaths.
In regards to what should be avoided in order to not be compared to Tarantino, I tihnk the best lesson is a video essay by film critic Matt Zoller Seitz titled On the QT: Resevoir Dogs. It highlights the common pitfalls of Tarantino's imitators while showing why his films are so unique. You can find it here: http://blogs.indiewire.com/pressplay/on-the-qt-1-reservoir-dogs
December 13, 2012 at 2:09PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Thank you for the detailed answer!
December 13, 2012 at 2:25PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Thank you for taking the time to read it. This is another good resource on QT's style if you're interested : http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2009/09/12/50-days-of-summer-movies-pa...
December 13, 2012 at 2:54PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
David Mamet has a Pulizer Prize and 2 Tony nominations and
Martin McDonagh has 4 Tony nominations for Best Play so
I hope no-one calls their film efforts Tarantino knock-offs.
They've also both had multiple Academy Award nominations too.
Tarantino is clever writer but those two are least one notch above him.
December 13, 2012 at 2:52PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
I agree for the most part. Both are accomplished playwrights and should be considered on their own merits. That being said I don't think that awards are always a reflection of quality but rather of a consensus of the people who make up the awards committee.
I do think that Tarantino may owe some of his style to writers like Mamet if not Mamet himself. Of course that does not mean that Tarantino could not have influenced their work either. I don't think influence is a straight line as much as circle.
I can't speak to who is on top or bottom. Heh. I think they all can be considered on their own as individual artists. If I were to rank them though, I would give some strong thought to Tarantino's stylistic strengths. I think a strong argument can be made that he is the strongest among them on a shot by shot basis even if he is "stealing" a lot of those shots.
December 13, 2012 at 3:07PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
I really lost interest in Tarantino''s work with the Kill Bill series, but there is absolutely no way I would watch anti-white revenge fantasies like Django Unchained for the same reason I will not watch Inglorious Basterds or Robert Rodriguez' Machete.
December 13, 2012 at 1:55PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
The films have moments and scenes that score.
But correct....overall...they are so far off of genuine
characters and emotions. Q: Why the films are so
cartoony ?...A: It makes hard to take offense...or to take
December 13, 2012 at 2:06PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
every film is not to be taken seriously, everybody knows Hitler didnt die the way the movie supposes therefore, that not a movie to be taken seriously...the tone of inglorious basterds sets the mood for his style in that particular movie
December 13, 2012 at 2:25PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
god I hope u r not a filmmaker/writer/director but on the technical side of things, cos ignorant comments like that would shield u from dope sources of inspiration. inglorious basterds opening scene is one of the best if not the best of films 2009 or maybe in the past 10 years and thats a bold statement. many revered writers in various round table discussions agree with that remark....regardless of your opinions about the events, what u should be watching as a filmmaker (every filmmaker watches movies differently than regular consumer) are inspirations or things u could pick or just admire a particular style, I think inglorious basterds is easily his best work (if u r not justin-bibiere'd about sales, critical reception etc)
with that said I doubt Django unchained can live up to the expectations i have since inglorious basterds
December 13, 2012 at 2:23PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
But tarantino always has scenes like the opening of Basterds.
My favorite was christopher walking getting the info on christian slater's character and his missing drugs in True Romance.
Or jules and Vincent pumping info out of the guys in the apartment over the location of the brief case.
This time it was: where are the jews.
His films are starting to feel like copy and paste.
December 13, 2012 at 2:33PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
Agreed. The opening scene of "Bastards" is mesmerizing in every phase of film making. Writing, Directing, Cinematography, Acting, Editing, Score, Sound Design. It's exhilarating and yet it's...a dialogue scene. Sounds like Django Unchained includes some of these same elements!
December 13, 2012 at 2:37PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
To me basters was flawed because the two storyline dont meet or compliment one another.
You could take out the basterds and call the movie: revenge of the giant face. Hitler would still die. Nazis still dead. Then you could do the opposite and get same results.
Also. His scenes of dialogue just ran painfully long.
It took place of exposition and setup.
I enjoyed the deterioration of well layed plans in this movie... but the next one requires another long conversation in order to wind up. Then conversation to execute. We already know someones going to shoot a gun just like in the tavern scene.
Then after that a lengthy conversation about what happened.
December 13, 2012 at 2:46PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
But it was the tension of the tavern scene that led up to the heavily stylized gun fight that made it interesting. IT wasn't a case of when it would happen but how.
December 13, 2012 at 9:17PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
I can understand the argument for Django Unchained being an "anti-white" revenge fantasy. I don't agree with it but I understand it. But how in the hell is Inglorious Basterds included in that category? How. In. The. Hell?
December 13, 2012 at 2:29PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
He does have a way with words though:) It's a ripping Yarn and a good read in a graphic novel way. Personally I'm glad someone is doing it.
December 14, 2012 at 4:43AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM
August 19, 2013 at 2:42AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM
June 20, 2014 at 10:20AM, Edited September 4, 8:56AM