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Quentin Tarantino Jokes About Quitting While He’s Ahead: ‘Most Directors Have Horrible Last Movies’

Quentin Tarantino Jokes About Quitting While He’s Ahead: ‘Most Directors Have Horrible Last Movies’

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Quentin Tarantino has long promised that his tenth movie will be his last, and he said in a podcast released Tuesday that he hopes to avoid the common director curse of going out with a “horrible” film.

In an interview on Tuesday’s episode of the Pure Cinema Podcast with Elric Kane and Brian Saur, the esteemed director joked that he might quit while he’s ahead and go out with a bang instead of with a whimper.

“Most directors have horrible last movies,” Tarantino said. “Usually their worst movies are their last movies. That’s the case for most of the Golden Age directors that ended up making their last movies in the late ’60s and the ’70s, then that ended up being the case for most of the New Hollywood directors who made their last movies in the late ’80s and the ’90s.”

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He pointed to Bonnie & Clyde director Arthur Penn as a prime example.

“I’m not a super huge fan of this director, but the fact that Arthur Penn’s last movie is Penn & Teller Get Killed is a metaphor for how crummy most of the New Hollywood directors’ last, last films were,” he said. “So to actually end your career on a decent movie is rare. To end it with, like, a good movie is kind of phenomenal.”

Then Tarantino took a moment to look back at his own career. With 2019’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood clocking in as No. 9 (he counts Kill Bill: Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 as one film), that leaves just one movie left — his swan song.

“I mean, most directors’ last films are fucking lousy,” he said, before joking that perhaps he should just end with Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

“Maybe I should not make another movie because I could be really happy with dropping the mic,” he said. “That’s the frustrating part, is a lot of the really terrific directors, it’s like their third-to-the-last movie would have been an amazing, amazing one to end on, which goes back to what I was saying about myself. Or you know, if Don Siegel had stopped with Escape from Alcatraz, oh my fucking God. What a career… he really said it all. The other two were just jobs.”

Tarantino, Kane and Saur then ran down their top 5 final films, with Tarantino kicking things off by praising Tony Scott — who directed his script, True Romance — for Scott’s top-notch work on the 2010 Denzel Washington runaway train film Unstoppable. (Tarantino has talked at length before about his admiration for Unstoppable, as he notes on the podcast.)

He also talks about the ice cream meeting that led to his directorial debut, Reservoir Dogs.

You can listen to the rest of Tarantino’s interview on the Pure Cinema Podcast here.

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  1. Lewis Cannon says:

    I’ve watched OUATIH at least ten times and I always have a different response ranging from exuberance to ‘meh’ to disappointment.

  2. RT says:

    If that’s the case, then Tarantino should have stopped after Pulp Fiction. What he’s produced since then is juvenile, foulmouthed, bigoted dreck.

  3. Namnar says:

    I have news for him… Once Upon a Time in Hollywood wasn’t all that great.

  4. I have the hots for Britt Ekland says:

    Stanley Kubrick certainly directed a terrible last movie. Did he even write a script for Tom Cruise Has Sex Fantasies for Two Hours (aka Eyes Wide Shut)?

  5. Bob Dang Dole says:

    Didn’t know that was a Kurick film.. I only watched it a couple times when I was 16.. and never watched it again since.

  6. Morty says:

    If QT quits in a dream, he better wake up and apologize!

  7. Jose Bowsher says:

    Star Trek fans are thrilled he may not carry through his threats to produce a ST movie.

  8. RT says:

    Eyes Wide Shut is a fantastic, haunting movie–a journey at midnight, the same journey in daylight. With a devastating final line by Nicole Kidman.

  9. Roy says:

    ONLY a couple of times? LOL.

  10. While i wouldn’t call Orson Welles’ final film THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND a terrible film,it certainly was less than stellar for a film from a high profile(and high calibre)filmmaker like Welles(with the film’s finishing director Peter Bogdonovich taking the blame as he changed the course of the film[and Welles’ anti-Hollywood message and modern culture commentary that he originally intended for …WIND]).

  11. David says:

    FWIW QT,

    Step #1: Find something to say that is actually worth listening to for 90-pages.

    Step #2: Write/shoot something that makes our world a little better of for having seen it.

    I challenge you to write a script that does not have 1 word of profanity.

    Can you do it? Good comedians can do a routine that you wouldn’t mind letting your 5yr old watch,
    and yet, can make everyone in the family laugh. You’re old enough to remember those guys.

    DD – LACC Theater Academy – ’75-’77

  12. Wilson Marmelade says:

    The “dreck” opinion aside, you must be blind if you didn’t catch anything “foul mouthed” or “bigoted” in Pulp Fiction.

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