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Pulping It Up

Quentin Tarantino's revised classics -- We speculate how the legendary director's touch might have influenced ''Casablanca'' and ''Psycho''

Viewers of the new-to-video Crimson Tide may be bemused by the young sailors' discussions about actor Hardy Kruger and comics artist Jack Kirby. It's a sure bet these arcane references were the work of uncredited dialogue doctor Quentin Tarantino, which had us wondering how the Pulp Fiction auteur would pump up scenes from a couple of other classics on the video shelves.

CASABLANCA: Rick sits at the table of his closed café, agonizing over the reappearance of lost love Ilsa.
Rick: Of all the Hemingwayesque gin joints in all the Graham Greene-ish towns in all the world, she walks into mine. [Looks at Sam, his piano player.] What are you playing?
Sam: Just a little something of my own.
Rick: Well, stop it. You know what I want to hear.
Sam: You prefer the original Herman Hupfeld arrangement or the Rudy Vallee version?
Rick: I don't care.
Sam: Well, anyone who's hip to anything knows that Vallee's has got that sweet, crooning quality...
Rick: To hell with Vallee!
Sam: To hell with Vallee, huh? [Begins playing. After a few bars, stops and glares at Rick.] Boss, I ever tell you about the time I gave Ilsa a foot massage?

PSYCHO: Norman Bates and Marion Crane are having supper. Marion asks him if he goes out with friends.
Norman: Well, a boy's best friend is his mother...
Marion: Oh, I can't say I agree. What about...Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy? Yogi Bear and Boo Boo? Race Bannon and Haji?
Norman: [Reaching inside a nearby drawer] Well, with all due respect, Miss Crane, those Hanna-Barbera cartoons were lame. [Removes a butcher knife from drawer.] I was going to wait until you were in the shower, but some things are too hard to forgive...

Originally posted Nov 24, 1995 Published in issue #302 Nov 24, 1995 Order article reprints
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