It has been 25 years since Reservoir Dogs exploded into theaters and immediately changed the cinematic landscape thanks to its rough-and-tumble aesthetic, chic style, pop culture literate dialogue, rollicking violence, and non-linear plotting and approach to the crime genre. But while it is impossible to imagine a world where Reservoir Dogs isn't regarded as a seminal piece of cinema, Quentin Tarantino has now revealed that things were almost very, very different. That's because the first ever screening for Reservoir Dogs at the Sundance Film Festival, which took place on January 21, 1992, was an unmitigated disaster. Quentin Tarantino made this admission himself, recalling:
Quentin Tarantino went into such detail about Reservoir Dogs' debut at the 25th anniversary screening for the iconic crime thriller held in accordance with the Tribeca Film Festival. Luckily I was able to attend the celebration, which was followed by a question and answer panel with Quentin Tarantino, Michael Madsen, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, and Tim Roth, each of whom took glee in recollecting the film.
It was the opening question of this discussion that provoked Quentin Tarantino to recall Reservoir Dogs' disastrous debut, with Steve Buscemi chiming in and admitting he was in attendance at the debacle, too. After Buscemi revealed his presence, as well as the fact that Quentin Tarantino had warned him it was bad luck for an actor to attend a film's first screening, the director then joked that it was all Mr. Pink's fault.
Fortunately for Quentin Tarantino, Reservoir Dogs had a second screening just a week later at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival, which was held for the Creative Artists Agency, arguably the leading talent agency company in Hollywood. This huge industry screening saw all of the film's cast in attendance, as well as some of the industry's most prestigious agents and executives, while Tarantino revealed that even Faye Dunaway was present, who asked him a question in the subsequent Q-and-A. That was obviously just the beginning. Because while Reservoir Dogs introduced Quentin Tarantino to the cinematic world, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, and The Hateful Eight have since secured his place in the cinematic pantheon.
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