Song of the Day #4,085: ‘Little Green Bag’ – The George Baker Selection

Continuing my countdown of the films of Quentin Tarantino:

#4 – Reservoir Dogs

The movie that started it all. 1992’s Reservoir Dogs is one of the most exciting and assured cinematic debuts in history, a brutal but clever bit of cool-guy showmanship.

I remember seeing this movie in a theater where they had posted a note in the box office window saying the film contained intense scenes of violence and refunds would not be granted to people who walked out. That was an eye-opener.

Of course, it wasn’t the violence that sent people for the doors. It was the unbearable tension. It wasn’t the ear-slicing — which Tarantino pans away from as it actually happens — but the dead-eyed dance Michael Madsen’s Mr. Blonde does while toying with the kidnapped cop.

This whiz kid auteur was capable of that level of sickening suspense but also hilarious extended conversations about the meaning of Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ and the ethics of tipping. What a strange and exciting new voice to discover at, in my case, 20 years old!

Reservoir Dogs unfolds like a stage play, its color-coded criminals bouncing off of each other in the confined space of an empty warehouse. But it also jumps back in time to fill in their backstories, and in the case of Mr. Orange, solve the underlying mystery at the heart of the film’s first half.

This is Tarantino’s leanest film (and his shortest by about a half hour). Maybe it’s because he didn’t yet have the budget or the studio buy-in to go big, but it definitely suits the movie. As grand and impressive as the rest of his work has been, I’d kind of like to see him work in this mode again.

[Verse 1]
Lookin’ back on the track for a little greenback
Got to find just the kind or losin’ my mind
Out of sight in the night, out of sight in the day
Lookin’ back on the track, gonna do it my way
Out of sight in the night, out of sight in the day
Lookin’ back on the track, gonna do it my way
Lookin’ back

[Hook]
Lookin’ for some happiness
But there is only loneliness to find
Jump to the left, turn to the right
Lookin’ upstairs, lookin’ behind

Lookin’ for some happiness
But there is only loneliness to find
Jump to the left, turn to the right
Lookin’ upstairs, lookin’ behind

[Verse 2]
Lookin’ back on the track for a little greenback
Got to find just the kind or losin’ my mind
Out of sight in the night, out of sight in the day
Lookin’ back on the track, gonna do it my way
Lookin’ back on the track for a little, little greenback
Got to find just the kind or losin’ my mind

{Hook}
Lookin’ for some happiness
But there is only loneliness to find
Jump to the left, turn to the right
Lookin’ upstairs, lookin’ behind
Lookin’ for some happiness
But there is only loneliness to find
Turn to the left, turn to the right
Lookin’ upstairs, lookin’ behind

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,085: ‘Little Green Bag’ – The George Baker Selection

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I assume this is the film to which your mom was referring yesterday.😂

    I have not revisited this movie since it came out. It is all the things you say, but just not necessarily an experience I want to repeat.

  2. Peg says:

    Yes this was the movie I was referring to. I will never watch it again 😩

  3. Amy says:

    Watching the sequence where Mr. Orange rehearses his story felt akin to what I imagine it must feel like when the cocaine first hits your bloodstream. Such a powerful rush, such joy and confusion and exhilaration. That Tarantino so often inspires his viewers to liken the experience of watching his films to this or that overwhelming sensory experience is a testament to his powers as a filmmaker. I bet papers have been written about this tendency. I may have to do some research.

    I am surprised to see this film ranked 4th for all the reasons you list above, especially it being his first film and your entry point into his works. Don’t we have a whole “entry point theory” somewhere in the archives of this here blog. 😜

    While the ear slicing scene is the one most talked about, it was, of course, the later casual, almost offhand killing of the police officer that truly announced to the audience that we could take nothing for granted in a Tarantino film. I also love the story of how the movie got made, with Bender knowing an acting teacher who knew (taught?) Keitel. Once the script got to him, he helped get the film made. I feel like it’s been a while since I’ve heard a story like that, as one sequel after another populates the theaters. I’m eager to meet the next Tarantino (though I’m happy to meet a very different iteration of him!)

    • Clay says:

      I think we’re getting a lot of next Tarantinos, in the sense of young talents with distinctive vision. But fewer of them are getting the commercial success or opportunities that he had due to the shift of the theatrical experience to almost exclusively favor big-budget movies. A lot of these people’s films can be found in the Browse lists of NetFlix, Hulu and Amazon Prime, which is both good and bad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.