Whoa! 'Inglourious Basterds' Also Fits into Tarantino's Film Universe?!

May 30, 2012
Source: Reddit

Inglourious Basterds

It's common knowledge among film geeks that the films of Quentin Tarantino share certain elements and have connections between them. Harvey Keitel's Mr. White from Reservoir Dogs worked with Alabama from True Romance (which Tarantino wrote). Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta in Pulp Fiction, and Vic Vega, played by Michael Madsen in Reservoir Dogs, are brothers, and years ago there was even talk of a Vega Brothers prequel movie being made. Now a Reddit user (via Collider) has made a cool connection between Inglourious Basterds that proves almost all of Tarantino's films inhabit the same movie universe.

Are you wearing a helmet? Because your mind is about to be blown. Spoilers for Inglourious Basterds, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, and True Romance ahead:

As it turns out, Donny Donowitz, ‘The Bear Jew’, is the father of movie producer Lee Donowitz from True Romance – which means that, in Tarantino’s universe, everybody grew up learning about how a bunch of commando Jews machine gunned Hitler to death in a burning movie theater, as opposed to quietly killing himself in a bunker.

Because World War 2 ended in a movie theater, everybody lends greater significance to pop culture, hence why seemingly everybody has Abed-level knowledge of movies and TV. Likewise, because America won World War 2 in one concentrated act of hyperviolent slaughter, Americans as a whole are more desensitized to that sort of thing. Hence why Butch is unfazed by killing two people, Mr. White and Mr. Pink take a pragmatic approach to killing in their line of work, Esmerelda the cab driver is obsessed with death, etc.

You can extrapolate this further when you realize that Tarantino’s movies are technically two universes – he’s gone on record as saying that Kill Bill and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn take place in a ‘movie movie universe’; that is, they’re movies that characters from the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, True Romance, and Death Proof universe would go to see in theaters. (Kill Bill, after all, is basically Fox Force Five, right on down to Mia Wallace playing the title role.)

What immediately springs to mind about Kill Bill and From Dusk ‘Til Dawn? That they’re crazy violent, even by Tarantino standards. These are the movies produced in a world where America’s crowning victory was locking a bunch of people in a movie theater and blowing it to bits – and keep in mind, Lee Donowitz, son of one of the people on the suicide mission to kill Hitler, is a very successful movie producer.

Basically, it turns every Tarantino movie into alternate reality sci fi. I love it so hard.

This theory makes a lot of sense, especially providing insight as to why most of Tarantino's characters speak with a heightened dialogue tinged with pop culture references. That writing style has been one of the writer/director's greatest criticisms during his career (haters will often say "people don't talk like that!"), and by connecting his characters and subsequently his film universe with a seminal event held in a movie theater, it's a great way to retroactively explain why all of these characters are so pop culture savvy.

Now the question becomes how does Django Unchained fit into all of this? Will we see another relative stretch the timeline even further back in time, or will Django be so hyper-violent that it exists in the "movie movie universe"? We'll have to wait until Christmas to find out, but sound off in the comments if you have any theories you'd like to share. For more information about the specifics of Tarantino's movie universes, visit here and get a quick education on being a real Tarantino fan. Thoughts?

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  • I thought this was already known? I heard about this around the time Basterds was coming out on DVD on IMDB trivia. And where does Jackie Brown fit?
    •  The Donowitz connection has been around for awhile, but it's how this guy ties the other films together that's really interesting too.
      • I didn't know about the "movie-movie" universe though. Any ideas on which universe Jackie Brown could be in?
        • Jericho
          i believe Jackie Brown is in the Pulpiverse with all the other movies..
          • Chris_G
            I think QT went on record kind of saying that Jackie Brown is in the 'Elmore Leonard' universe with his works. Michael Keaton does reprise his role of Ray Niccolette in 'Out of Sight', another Elmore Leonard novel.
          • The Loon
            Jackie Brown is not a Tarantino story so it does not exist in the dual universe of his original films. It is Tarantino's take on an adaptation.
    • gooooood question!
  • Ahhh that sounds like a huge stretch to me. Seems far more likely that Tarantino writes like that because he likes to. Not because he constructed this plan to make his universe about a desensitized society that loves pop culture.
    • Chris_G
      Of course it wasn't his plan...but in hindsight, this sort of thing being justified retroactively is actually really damn cool.
  • axalon
    The Donowitz lineage makes sense, everything else seems like he was reading into it way too much. I'm sure if we try we could connections between any set of movies.
  • eru
    Read the title and I was like "hey i just read this on reddit a few hours ago " lol
  • Quentin adapted Jackie Brown so that doesn't really count.
  • Al
    Then why are people hypeviolent in basterds to begin with? Sorry but there is no way Butch was supposed to represent the norm. If it was the norm even in his universives, it wouldn't be as funny.  No, the reason why people act the way they do in Tarantino movies is because his characters act just like movie characters. Thats how he writes them, because he loves movies. 
    • Al
      Also, so many of the Basterds characters also have crazy movie knowledge...
      • David Banner what happend in their past then, that made all movie buffs?
  • Moutchy
    Although it is an interesting theory, I don't think that Tarantino wrote all of his movies with that in mind, especially that Basterds is his 6th movie (and even more if you consider From Dusk till Dawn and True Romance). But it's still a pretty cool concept. :-)
  • Jericho
  • "Now the question becomes how does Django Unchained fit into all of this?" Maybe we'll find out that "Dr. King Schultz" is a time-travelling Hans Landa?  They're both German bounty hunters of sorts.
  • Bobo_Vision
    Here's what I learned from that analysis: The guy who wrote it is a virgin.
    • And yet here we are reading his analysis. So what does that make us? Use some logic next time you try to insult someone random on the internet. Rofl.
      • Bobo_Vision
        That makes you a virgin by your own admission, Daniel. It doesn't really say anything about any of the rest of us other than we read movie news at this website from time to time. Tell your right hand hello for me after you make love to it tonight.
        • you are on a movie news website, you are a dork like everyone else. Everyone is a dork who just chooses different things to be dorky about.
          • Al
            But not all dorks are virgins.
  • Burn113
    Yeah, the Donowitz thing is old. Already knew this awhile back. His theory is interesting, but I'd rather it'd just be one massive universe. Robert Rodriquez does the same thing.
  • srsly
    Quentin should make a movie about dinosaurs...or better yet about godzilla...
  • WhatsUpBraaah
    Death Proof anyone?
    • Chris_G's best to just forget about that little incident. That film should have ended after the first group of girls with Mike getting away with it...would have been a lot more compelling, that last half just killed the whole thing.
      • Akirakorn
        True he did ruin a good starring vehicle (pun intented) for Kurt Russell. Prequel petition perhaps?
      • I felt the opposite. I hated the first half of Death Proof and thoroughly enjoyed the second half.
    • I think Death Proof would be "movie movie"
    • It always seemed to me that Death Proof was filmed backwards. I think the second half of the movie happened first. Stuntman Mike was out, saw the girls and had some fun, until one of them killed him. After that he came back in his demon skull car and started cruising the roads to take his revenge on young women. You know, some sort of murder ghoul with a death car.
  • Terry Craig
    That's a really awesome theory, and may be an explanation for why Tarantino threw in the Donowitz connection into Inglourious Basterds, but we can be pretty damn sure that Tarantino didn't write all of his previous screenplays with the "desenstized, pop culture-dominated" American society in mind. Quentin just loves movies and pop culture which is why he incorporates it into his work. He also said that he started writing 'Basterds' after 'Jackie Brown', and came up with the idea to kill Hitler off when coming back to the script in 2008. And yeah, the knowledge of the Donowitz connection has already been out there before Basterds even came out. As well as that the movie is in the "real Tarantino universe"; actors said that there were even old fashioned Red Apple cigarette pack props on set (but I guess they didn't appear in the final cut). Nevertheless it's an exciting theory, similar to the theory I've read somewhere that the nazis laughing in the theatre at the murdered allies are a metaphor for the viewers in the theatre laughing at the murdered nazis later on. Interesting to think about, but ultimately too much read into.
  • SD
    'Jackie Brown' is in the Elmore Leonard universe, see 'Out of Sight'
  • Terrible Reactor
    "Tarantino Universe"?! All this is very very stupid
  • Ehsan Davodi
    Cant Wait For : KILL BILL Vol-3
  • H Stiglitz
    The only way I could see how Django Unchained can connect with the "Tarantino Universe" is if Django and Dr. King Schultz come across the mountain man Jim Bridger, who Lt. Aldo Raine is a direct descendant of.
    • Akirakorn
      Both played by Brad Pitt. PLEASE!!!!!!!
    • grimjob
      Well shit, that would be just freakin' awesome!! Good call Hugo. I sincerely hope that happens!
    • Al
      I suggested the same thing on some other site, especially when Weinstein suggested surprise guest stars. I would seriously love this. Especially with Brad Pitt. 
  • Cool.
  • Interesting post. The reddit-poster really seems to know what he is talking about. Though I have to agree with some of the comments, it does seem a bit far-fetched. Then again, Tarantino must have a pretty wicked mind to come up with the movies came up with, so it is definitely plausible. Good stuff. Yvan Bister Nuggett Reviews
  • Django is Jules great, great grandfather...
  • Stephen W
  • They should have a tag at the end where a VERY old Django is reading the bible quote Jules loves to a little boy.
  • guest
    I've heard this before and i still think the link between the Basterds killing Hitler and Co. in a movie theatre resulting in an America which places more importance on movies and pop culture is laughable. How would that connection be made in the mindset of an entire country? Would they teach it in schools?  Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in a theatre (an event which sparked the Civil War and changed the nation forever) and that didn't make the country suddenly fall in love with the theatre or any such rubbish. Further, the real WW2 (our non-Tarentino world) ended in hyper-violent slaughter as well (i.e the nuclear bombings of Japan) and that hasn't made the real America any more desensitized to violence in the way that the theory supposes they are in the Tarention world. In fact that slaughter was way more grand and violent than the end of Basterds, if the theory was to be believed our world would be a hyper-hyper desensitized world, far beyond that of the world the Basterds inhabit.  Am i alone here? This shit is crazy
    • Mehd
      Hitler being shredded by bullets along with a ton of important nazis and immortalized by a campily violent flick would absolutely shape American mentality to be more accepting of brutality.
    • MuffinW
      The bombs dropped on Japan did have an effect on the imagination of the American public, as demonstrated by all the nuclear and atomic powered toys and tools and such of the 1950s.
  • J Bridger
    Well, you are alone because of this comment buddy: "Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in a theatre (an event which sparked the Civil War and changed the nation forever)" Now, if by "sparked" you mean it STARTED the Civil War, then you would be a little off by the fact that Lincoln was shot five days before the war ended.
  • Problem with the "movie movie universe" theory: Sheriff McGraw and his son exist both inside and outside it, given the movies you cite. One or the other or both appear in From Dusk Til Dawn 1 and 2, Kill Bill 1, Planet Terror, and Death Proof. In addition, Jasper, the skeezy owner of the Challenger the girls "test drive" in Death Proof is supposed to be the same guy who was buying a "good time" with the comatose Bride from Kill Bill. Moreover, Death Proof and Planet Terror occur in the same universe--there are references to the former in the latter--but Planet Terror also occurs in the same universe as From Dusk Til Dawn. El Rey is established as a community in the former, and is Seth Gecko's destination in the latter.
  • Mehd
    Death proof would definitely be a movie in that universe. You're thinking in some interesting loops though.




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