Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Jackie Brown


Quentin Tarantino made this after his success with Pulp Fiction, from the novel Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard. The story is that he was very worried that Dutch Leonard would hate what he did with the screenplay, so he gave it to him with much trepidation. Not only did Leonard like it, he said it was the best adaptation of any of the twenty-six screenplays written from his novels, and in fact one of the best scripts he had ever read. I read the novel but it was long, long ago. From the evidence of the film, though, I can agree with him. It is full of Leonard situations, and Tarantino touches, and the result is a total delight. Somewhere near the end there is a real shocker of a scene that I won’t describe lest it spoil your own surprise. One of those moments when you gasp, and say “I didn’t see that coming!” Just right out of nowhere. Pam Grier is terrific as Jackie, and Samuel L. Jackson turns in yet another of his patented, brilliant portrayals of a very, very dangerous man. Robert Forster, one of the most under-valued actors working in the movies, is also brilliant. These three are backed up well by Bridget Fonda (Peter’s daughter, Jane’s niece, Henry’s grand-daughter) and Michael Keaton.