When the small criminal Macklin is released from prison, he learns that shortly before his brother was shot by two killers. They didnt know that the bank they robbed was owned by the syndicate. When hes almost offed by a killer too, he pays the mobster Jack Manner a visit and demands reparation. His friend Cody helps him to gratify his thirst for revenge.
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This review is from: The Outfit [Remaster] (DVD) A hard to find and very enjoyable movie from the 70's crime genre. Great Actors, Action and just damn fun to watch. If you remember the movie or the "tough guy" films from the period, go ahead and watch it!
The 70s were a great decade for American film, possibly the best.However, its unfortunate that many fine films are forgotten in theshuffle because we're all so quick to praise Coppola and Scorcese. "TheOutfit" is one such overlooked film, a tough, taut, and low-key crimeflick. Only in the 70s would a major studio produce such a minimalistand amoral film. The film isn't full of tight editing, explosions, orfive second shots that most recent Hollywood action films are full of.Also, the supposed heroes aren't really good guys, they're just betterthan the bad guys.The film is based on a novel by Donald Westlake, who specializes inthese gritty crime films. The screenplay and direction by John Flynnisn't memorable but it suits the material well. The dialog especiallyis good and hard-boiled. The acting helps this out a lot. Robert Duvalldoes well as the remorseless hero. His portrayal of the character isn'tas good as Lee Marvin's in "Point Blank", but mainly because hes not asinteresting or developed this time around. Karen Black does an equallyfine job (this is before she was mocked) and Joe Don Baker proves to beunderrated (he was always good as slightly unhinged tough guys). Thesupporting cast, including the always dignified Robert Ryan, the sexy(even at age 41) Sheree North, and my personal favorite Timothy Carey(more restrained than usual but still a joy to watch). "The Outfit"isn't as good as "Point Blank", but its still much better than"Payback". (7/10)
Little shown movie I suppose deserves a look but don't get your hopesup thinking you're going to be discovering some long lost gem.Robert Duvall & Joe Don Baker basically spend the movie robbing variousmembers of an organized crime group, i.e. The Outfit.It's a little unbelievable because every heist they get involved inthey pull off with the greatest of ease and apparent lack of planning(it's certainly not shown) yet when watching the crime sprees go down Ibegan to scratch my head and think now where did THAT disguise comefrom & how did they know THAT, and how did they get into THAT buildingso easily etc. Since the movie never really goes into the planningbeforehand your're sort of left to believe that these guys aremasterminds who go from one heist to another with out a care in theworld.And when they do run into some trouble, they very quickly dispatch afew bullets and wham they're on their way again.As for the women characters in this movie...forget it. I don't know whythey even bothered to include any actresses at all, cuz their parts areminimal at best and totally one dimensional.Karen Black barely has any lines though she's in the majority of themovie. She's Duvall's girlfriend but basically sits in the back of thegetaway car and pouts and this after her big roles in Easy Rider, FiveEast Pieces and Portnoy's Complaint so why she chose to take this roleis beyond me.Sheree North has one scene playing some redneck's wife, though shelooks straight out of a Hollywood hotel pool setting. When she comesonto Joe Don Baker & he refuses she quickly gets dressed and tells herredneck husband that Baker tried to rape her. No I'm not kidding.Joanna Cassidy in an early role, plays tough guy Robert Ryan's(in oneof his last film appearances) nubile young wife. Though she too hasabout two lines in the film, one of them being: 'Did you have to killhim?' Jazz legend Anita O'Day is listed in the credits as herself though whythey even bothered I'll never know. Basically she's singing in a barscene yet you never even get a good close-up of her or anything. She'spresented as just some lounge singer in the background, though anincredibly talented lounge singer. I guess Miss O'Day was a friend ofsomeone associated with the film & as a lark was put in the film. Whoknows! Duvall & Baker are good but the roles don't really require them to domuch so all in all, it's a mindless piece of early 70s cinema.Probably the best scene for the actresses is given to Jane Greer,former '40s film noir star. In it she plays a grieving mother refusingmoney from Robert Duvall's character. Though even here, she's not givenmuch screen time.You'd be better served to watch it for half an hour or so just to getthe early 70s period feel and then turn it off because there reallyisn't much plot development or any big payoff ending.Now if you want to watch a really fun guns-n-car chase movie from thesame time period, check out the previous year's The Getaway starringSteve McQueen & Ali MacGraw. You'll get your money's worth of action inthis flick!
I just caught this on Turner Classic Movies, and I have to say I can'tfathom why its so forgotten along with all the other films on JohnFlynn's resume. Duvall gives one of the best performances of his careeras Earl. Its filled to the brim with terrific character actors likeTimothy Carey, Joe Don Baker, Karen Black, Robert Ryan, Bill McKinneyand on and on. The script and dialog use very technical criminalterminology but I found it to be a strong point, and it kept meinterested because every line of dialog seems fresh, and exhibitsDonald Westlake's talent as a novelist. The only reason I'm not givingthis a ten is because of the horrendous musical score, which is arather minimal issue when compared to the strengths of the film. 9/10
Jerry Fielding was a great composer. The edgy sense that follows "TheOutfit" from scene to scene is helped immeasurably by his soundtrack.The music builds up, adding a lot to the tension factor. The music iseconomical, not flashy at all. It has a very close to the bone qualityto it. So why do I start by talking about the music? Because it's justso rare that a soundtrack adds so much, it actually makes a betterfilm.Robert Duvall and Joe Don Baker have a very natural interplay, a sortof grimy half-drunk friendship that feels immediately true to life.Karen Black is very good as well. The plot itself is basic, with shadesof "Point Blank" and various other revenge-oriented films. John Flynnis not the most imaginative director, so it's a little low on the styleend of things visually. Somehow, it all comes together. Good acting,really great soundtrack, and a fast pace. You'll get into this one.
This review is from: The Outfit [Remaster] (DVD) One of my favorite authors is Richard Stark (the wonderful Donald Westlake on a "bad" day).He created perhaps the greatest anti-hero in hardboiled crime fiction: Parker - no first or last name. His first book was THE HUNTER, wherein Stark set Parker against "The Outfit", seekingloot money he felt was owed him. Parker was implacable, unstoppable -and it took him three books - rising through the criminal food chain - to finally get what he felt was unjustly his. Lee Marvin made the perfect "Parker" - "Walker", actually: Westlake would not allow them to use Parker's name, as I understand it. And director John Boorman captured the essence of Parker in the strange, time-fragmented version of THE HUNTER: POINT BLANK.A few years later, John Flynn decided to film THE OUTFIT, the third volume of the series. He did it in a very straight-forward, non-"arty" manner which captured the drive of Stark's prose. Robert Duvall plays "Macklin", still out to get his dough; Joe Don Baker is his buddy Handy. It's not a classic by any means; but, oddly, it does carry you along, wondering if Macklin will be able to bring The Outfit to its knees and its head, Robert Ryan, into a permanently comatose state of non-being.This is a Warner DVD-R. Image is dark and bit soft; but - hey! - it put me back into that shoebox multi-cinema of beloved memory. I had a blast. Stark fans: buy it!
Upon reading the popular novel " The Outfit " by Don Westlake, one canwell imagine how a movie of the same name would look like. That booklater became the foundation for a movie directed by John Flynn. With acast which includes Robert Duvall and Joe Don Baker, the film is agreat adaptation of the novel, so much so it's made for severalremakes. The last one was with Mel Gibson and 'Payback.' Duvall playsMacklin one of two brothers who unwittingly rob a small town bankbelonging to the Mob or Outfit. He goes to prison for 2 years, whilethe outfit presided by Mr. Mailer (Robert Ryan) kills Duvall's brother.Released from prison, Macklin vows revenge and is though insane forthinking he can go up against the outfit and win. However, the movie isinteresting to watch as each dramatic scene develops into a moreintense and exciting story. A fine supporting cast helps to insure it'ssuccess. Members included Richard Jaeckel, Elisha Cook Jr., Roy Jenson,Henry Jones and Karen Black. This is one of those movies which mirrorsthe novel and improves with age. Easilly recommended for Duvall andBaker fans as the two make for a rough and tumble team. ****
This is one tough little flick. Bobby Duval just want's whats owed him, and with Joe Don Baker proceeds to tear up a mob run by Robert Ryan. Familiar faces include Karen Black, Sheree North, Joanna Cassidy, Richard Jaeckel; even Marie Windsor and Elisha Cook, Jr.! Noir-like in it's outlook, dialog and pacing, it's grim take on humanity is probably of reflection of the collective weariness over Viet Nam and the death of the 60's dream. Other 70's Crime / Cop shows with strong casts and a similiar attitude include: "Charlie Varrick" (1973) with Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker, John Vernon, Sheree North, Norman Fell and Benson Fong; "The Stone Killer" (1973) with Charles Bronson, Norman Fell, Ralph Waite, Martin Balsam and Stuart Margolin; and "Rolling Thunder" (1977) with Bill Devane, Tommy Lee Jones and Lew Askew. Of these, only Charlie Varrick made it to DVD, all are worth seeking out.
has no trouble turning out some good novels but rarely do the movieversions do justice to the books. Even talented directors like PeterYates and John Boorman seem to miss the feel and spirit of his novels.Other directors make you wonder if anyone connected to the movies hadever read the books they are based on.This work does a pretty good job but I kept feeling there was somethingmissing. Robert Duvall and Joe Don Baker do a good job of making RobertRyans's life miserable with Karen Black tagging along to drive thegetaway car. Maybe it would have been better if Westlake himself haddone the screenplay (his screenplay for The Grifters was partlyresponsible for its success) - I wish The Outfit had a little more noirfeel to it to engage the audience.Duvall had only been the lead in a few movies before this and he wasstill a few years from The Great Santini or Tender Mercies. Baker doeswhat he does best - a tough guy that you want on your side.It's not Duvall's best work or the best interpretation of a Westlakenovel but it still is worth a couple hours on a lazy afternoon.
Crime and copmovies were extremely popular during the seventies and most ofthem are totally dated (we are spoiled these days, not?) but seeing a movielike "The outfit" is still nice enough to rewatch it even if all the clichesare there.The story is pure and simple : Robert Duvall comes out of prison (because ofbeing too drunk as he said himself) but there is more than that, he hasrobbed a bank which was in the hands of the mob and they killed his partner(in fact his brother Eddie) and for this Duvall ask the price of 250000dollar and till the day they pay (which of course they won't), he and JoeDon Baker will give them a lesson.All by all it's nice but some characters (or may I state the performance?)like Joe Don Baker are beneath all levels and this destroys a bit thefun.Directed by John Flynn whose biggest success would be theStallone-prisonmovie Locked Up.
This review is from: The Outfit [Remaster] (DVD) The movie itself is better than the promotional materials suggest. "The Outfit" benefits from a really good cast, but lackluster direction and some unnecessary deviations from Richard Stark's book keep this from being a truly great film.Robert Duvall and Joe Don Baker are very good. Robert Ryan is excellent as a beleaguered crime boss, but Karen Black is rather so-so and a very young Joanna Cassidy (in her first credited film role) is rather wasted.It is clear this DVD was produced on the quick and cheap. Quality is just OK, and a lack of chapter stops or a 'scene selection' screen on the DVD is truly annoying. It's as if the folks who produced the DVD didn't even bother to actually watch the movie, just did a VHS - to - DVD transfer and slapped a label on it.
Outfit, The (1973) *** (out of 4) Nice crime-thriller has Robert Duvall playing the small-time criminalMacklin (Robert Duvall) who is released from prison and learns that hisbrother has been killed by an outfit. Macklin just avoids being killedby a hit but learns that a bank he, his brother and another man (JoeDon Baker) robbed was owned by this outfit. It turns out one (RobertRyan) put a hit out on all of them so Duvall and Baker decide to robthem until the outfit agrees to pay them $250,000 to leave them alone.THE OUTFIT certainly doesn't offer anything we haven't seen incountless crime pictures but at the same time it's simply so excitingthat you can't help not to enjoy it. Of course the main draw to a crimepicture like this is for the performances of both Duvall and Baker. Ina lot of ways this is a buddy picture since the two men obviously carea lot for one another and it's always fun for the viewing when our twoheroes are kicking back and enjoying all the damage that they're doing.There are several heist scenes in the picture where Duvall and Bakermust enter all sorts of dangerous situations to try and walk away withcash. I think a lot of people are going to be reminded of THE GETAWAYand this here is just as gritty and rough. The violence in the film ispretty graphic but it still remains within that 70s PG limit. We getcountless shootings, a few broken bottles to faces and of course wehave the at the type familiar scene of women getting knocked out bymen. As you'd expect, Duvall turns in a wonderful performance simplybecause he really isn't the action or anti-hero type. When you think ofDuvall you certainly don't picture him in a movie like this but heexploits every bit of energy out of the screenplay and in the end he'squite believable in the role. Baker is a lot fun as well as it'sobvious he's having a blast playing this tough role as he always does.Karen Black plays Duvall's girl and she too delivers the same type ofwinning performance you expect from her. RObert Ryan is delightfullyevil as the main gangster who double crosses the boys and becomes theirmain target. The supporting cast includes familiar faces like JaneGeer, Elisha Cook, Timothy Carey and Marie Windsor. The screenplay ispretty simple in terms of story structure but it's still good enough tocreate some great atmosphere and it certainly lets the actors do theirthing. The movie is pretty much what you'd expect out of the good 70scrime flick so fans of the genre will certainly want to check it out.
So says Mailer (Ryan), head of the Syndicate when he meets Macklin(Duvall) in a horse auction. Macklin has been robbing Mailer'soperations, to make him pay compensation for the death of his brother,who the Syndicate had killed, because he and Macklin inadvertently hita Syndicate owned bank. Mailer carries on " We take in $250 grand bynoon on a good day" trying to make Macklin feel small and put hiscompensation demand into some perspective. "I don't care" shoots backMacklin "As long as you pay". Mailer doesn't pay of course, and sendshit men instead to kill Macklin, his partner in crime Cody (Joe DonBaker)and Macklin's moll, Bett (Karen Black). This movie is one of aseries of great heist / mob / thriller movies that came out in theearly seventies, and reminded me a lot of other classics such as PointBlank or Charley Varrick (incidentally another great role for Baker inthat movie.)There are no over the top action scenes, rather everythingis cut to the bare essentials. The scene where Macklin and Cody buy acar from hick brothers Chemey (Richard Jaeckel)and Buck (the wonderfulBill McKinney)is superb, with early seventies stalwart Sheree Northaccusing Cody of trying to rape her when he rebuffs her advances, insuch a cool and laconic way I laughed out loud. There are guiltypleasures to be had too, when Cody lays out a female telephone operatorwith a single vicious punch. All the heists are carefully planned andexecuted and Macklin and Cody are the ultimate professionals, workingcalmly and coolly under fire, while Bett drives the getaway car. Themovie culminates in an assault on Mailer's home, which is betterprotected than any bank. "Getting out's gonna be a bitch" observes Codyas they plan their next move. Duvall and Baker really play off eachother well in this movie, and their camaraderie and banter is apleasure to watch, and one of the reasons the film is so enjoyable.Macklin offers Cody the chance to cut and run before the finalshow-down, as a thank you for his support up to that point,and arecognition that neither of them might make it out alive. "Nah! ThinkI'll stick around. See how this thing turns out!" he replies withouteven thinking about it. A tough thriller / heist movie with someeminently quotable dialogue,two great leads, a fine supporting castthat includes a young Joanna Cassidy as Mailer's young squeeze, and asimple plot line, that most movie goers will recognise has been re-madeseveral times under different names: see Point Blank(Lee Marvin) orPayback (Mel Gibson)for example. This film can easily stand alongsidethose movies, and in many ways might even be superior, as it manages todeliver all of the thrills without any of the violence of Payback, orthe voyeurism of Point Blank. Hard to believe this movie will be fortyyears old next year, as it still stands up as a great thriller.
This is a pretty awesome, simplistic '70's revenge flick, that becauseof its simplicity is so pleasant and cool to watch.Guess that the movie can be described as a more serious version of themovie "Payback", in which Robert Duvall takes revenge after his brothergot killed by hit-man. He decides to steal money from the mafia as acompensation and take out the persons who also put a contract on hishead and that of his former partner in crime, played by Joe Don Baker.That its not as fun of course doesn't mean that the movie is worse aswell. It's just different and because of that also still quiteoriginal, though no real surprises ever occur in the movie. It's mostlya formulaic genre movie but who's really complaining, since it was sucha great genre and especially also those movies made in the '70's.The movie definitely profits from the fact that it was made in the'70's; the ultimate time period for these sort of straight-forwardcrime movies and action-flicks. But even though its a prettystraight-forward and raw movie, it doesn't really feel as a tough one.Guess they could have made the main character do some more 'cool' andviolent things, to give the movie that typical tough '70's feeling. Themovie now feels more like a 'light-version', even though by every othertime period standards, the movie would still be considered as a toughand bold violent movie.The movie obviously didn't had one of the highest budgets but the moviedoesn't really suffer from this. The movie is so pleasant to watchbecause of its simplicity and limited resources. No big explosions orchase sequences here, just some good old fashioned payback time withguns and fists. The rest of the movie looks like its supposed to. Agritty typical atmosphere, '70's camera-work from Bruce Surtees and agood balanced and flowing story.As you would expect from a role such as this one, Robert Duvall isgreat. Joe Don Baker also plays a good role. I don't believe I ever sawhim in a '70's flick before. It's was pretty refreshing to see him in a'young' role. You perhaps would expect that Robert Duvall totally playshim off the screen but the two of them are a pretty good match for eachother. The female character of the movie, played by Karen Black, ispretty redundant one but at least they tried something different forthe genre, that just didn't worked out as it was quite supposed to.An enjoyable typical genre-piece, with great actors in it as well.7/10http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/
This review is from: The Outfit (Amazon Instant Video) Trying a bit too hard to be Bonnie & Clyde, this half-faithful adaptation of a classic Richard Stark novel meanders around too much, and doesn't seem to have a firm grip on its characters. Particularly woeful is the attempt to sandwich in a love story where it doesn't belong--then basically forget about it at the end. Amazing cast, and great atmosphere make it worth the time, but this is just a cut above low-budget 70's exploitation fare, and with this pedigree it should have been far better than that. Still good entertainment.
This review is from: The Outfit [Remaster] (DVD) abrilliant little low budget feature, i hardly know anyone that's seen this gem,a real no nonsense hard boiled thriller, with great acting performances all round, in particular timothy carey, glistning with evil, also the great robert duval, unbeleivably, this was his only ever starring role, a must see.
I just saw this film at the Library of Congress as part of a 2 filmTimothy Carey festival, you might say. Sometimes they get a littleweird at the Library. Anyway, I thought the movie was very good. Someothers have mentioned the similarity to Point Blank. I am surprisedthat no one has pointed out the likeness to Charley Varrick. Bothstories revolve around the effects of unintentionally robbing amob-controlled bank. Of course in Charley Varrick it's the mob tryingto get it's money back. Also, Joe Don Baker - not quite the psycho heplayed in the other film, but when he punched out that receptionist hecertainly reminded me of his Molly character. Both fine movies, Ithink. Got my doubts about Poor White Trash tonight, but. . .
This review is from: The Outfit [VHS] (VHS Tape) This is one of those great seventies crime melodramas, lean and mean, thrilling and amoral. It's got two of the most important elements of these films: pump shotguns and .45s. Duvall and Baker are ruthless and professional pursuing their vendetta. The supporting cast is tremendous, down to the small parts played by many veterans of similar films. Marie Windsor, Elisha Cook, Henry Jones, among others. Felice Orlandi plays a creep named Orlandi, and the great John Milius regular Roy Jensen has a nice moment or two. Best of all, Richard Jaeckel as a retired wheel man waxing about the VW Beetle he wants to hot rod. Look for the luscious Sheree North as a classic moll, and the great Robert Ryan in his last role. One of my faves, Joanna Cassidy, has an early part as Ryan's squeeze. Nothing profound here, just slam bang action. Where the heck is the DVD?????
John Flynn's 1973 film The Outfit starts with a weary, somewhathard-bodied and somewhat disgruntled guy getting let out of prison. Dothese sorts of films start anywhere else? Maybe with the lead on a slabat death's door, but that's about it. Don't let that sound like acomplaint, as do we really want films like this to start anywhere else?Not really. We like to see progression; the rather perverse notion ofobserving someone climb their way, immorally at that, through life byway of hijinks and hijacks is what makes films like this so watchable.I think that notion of bad vs. bad, or immoral vs. immoral is whatdraws to these films. In this case, the subject matter is DonaldWestlake's 1963 novel of the same title; while the lead character onthe verge of undertaking a dangerous journey is Robert Duvall's EarlMacklin.If the opening paragraph sounds like the sort of introduction to anopinion more glowing than the one I have, then I apologise. The Outfitis perfectly fine; a film that deals with its somewhat wavy content ina decent manner but it cannot seem to push on to greatness, despite awonderful premise for this sort of genre and some rather astutedirection and acting given what we've got going on here. The film isabout a man, the aforementioned Earl, seeing red following the death ofhis brother; a death he could not prevent nor be around to witness dueto his own jail term. He takes it upon himself, with the aid of friendCody (Baker) and partner Bettie Harrow (Black), to strike back at thetitular Outfit; those responsible for his brother's death.On the one hand, the film is a damning demonisation of crime andwrong-doing; in the sense the events of the film would never hadhappened had Earl's brother not robbed money from a bank housing theoutfit's money in the first place. Earl's situation is a precariousone; he robs money from a large criminal organisation with his brotherwho is then killed before he undertakes revenge because of this. Thispushes Earl into that realm of the anti-hero, and there is anunderlying sense that if you hadn't done any of what you did initially,everyone could still get along. If we root for Earl, it's eitherbecause the thought of scuzzy, smart, suit-clad big-shot criminalsrepel us, or, it's because we think actor Robert Duvall is a cool guy,and wouldn't mind seeing him win through in the end.On the other hand, the film takes on the weight to do with a deadsibling or family member acting as its lead's chief drive; their pasttragedy or motivational event. Here, they blend this horrid, horridhappening, which you wouldn't wish on anyone, and combine it with anumber of action set-pieces. To see a film that combines the emotionaltrauma of such a happening with a number of shoot outs and punch upscomplete with a rather up-beat atmosphere is an odd thing. While I dothink The Outfit is inconsistent in tone, but not as much in content asit could've been, it manages to just about straddle a line betweendirty realism as one man plus friends take on a large organisation; andout and out escapism as three gung-ho people go through the motions ofearning some money. Throughout the duration of The Outfit, one needs toremind one's self that Earl has lost a brother; and that the pain isprobably constant and sharp.But the film doesn't descend into complete vacuity. Very early on, thefilm gives us one of a number of really impressive scenes in which thelead; gun and smart-talking, wise-cracking mouth at the ready, holds upa poker game between some mafioso big-wigs with the aim to raise somecash. It's a significant event, because it tells us of John Flynn'sability to execute and deliver these sorts of scenes with punch. Lateron, Earl and co. will rob an office controlled by the outfit for moremoney. The theft is controlled; the cinematic space of the office isnegotiated by the characters in a quick but precise and veryentertaining manner. Later on, an exchange deal in the middle of ruralnowhere gets a bit heated and things are dealt with in pulpy fashion asunions and disagreements are built up to and played out.But as for everything else, well, most things happening around theseincidences are somewhat interesting, only at the very best of times.Earl's pain and suffering at the fact of his brother's death is nottouched on as much as I would've liked, made way for banter with hisbuddy Cody linked to how old they think they're getting and that it'sremarkable how they're getting away with all this. The friendship onlyvery slightly threatens to push itself into a branch of the homo-eroticwhen Cody expresses his dissatisfaction, early on, at the fact Bett hasto tag along for all these mis-adventures. Indeed, the final few shotsof the film and Bett's lack of presence tells us it was, in the end,all about these two guys being reunited and doing what it is they do.There is a lack of real, stone-wall antagonism in this supposedlyhard-edged, pulp tale. I can understand the clear distinction of therich, suit-wearing gangsters whom are driven around in limousines andgamble their money away for fun while the likes of Earl et al. arerelegated to stealing it. The contrasting housing, clothes andlifestyle each 'group' are associated with gives the film an odd 'richvs. poor' subtext. Additionally, if it is there; it really isn'texplored enough to warrant any major commendation though ultimately,The Outfit remains a somewhat enjoyable crime film by a director whohas an eye for action and heist set-pieces.
A con is released from prison and is met by a woman just like in THEGETAWAY, then finds himself pursued by wise guys because he robbed a mafia bankjust like in CHARLEY VARLICK . It even features Joe Don Baker just likein.... ! But don`t be fooled because despite its similarities betweenitselfand other 70s films THE OUTFIT decides to go its own way . Robert Duvall isexcellent in a thriller that`s a good throwback to the pre Tarantino days