“Rio Bravo” isn’t just one of Tarantino’s favorite films because it features Hollywood legend John Wayne in one of his most unforgettable roles, or because it’s the triumph of one of the studio era’s greatest filmmakers. In fact, his reason might just surprise you.
“One of the things about ‘Rio Bravo’ that’s so wonderful […] It’s one of the great ‘hangout movies,'” he said at a Cannes Festival Q&A in 2007. “There are certain movies that you hang out with the characters so much that they actually become your friends.” For Tarantino, this “hang-out” quality increases a film’s rewatch value. It’s why he himself will never get tired of watching “Rio Bravo” over and over again.
“When it’s over, they’re your friends,” the “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood” director added. “And the thing is, what’s so good about seeing it again and again and again, is now they’re already your friends. Whenever you watch it again, you’re just hanging out with John T. Chance, and Dude, and Feathers — they’re just, they’re friends.” The experience that Tarantino had watching “Rio Bravo” was exactly what he hoped to evoke with “Jackie Brown.”
“I made ‘Jackie Brown’ like the way that I always felt about ‘Rio Bravo,’ which is a movie that I can watch every couple of years,” he told IGN. He continued:
“It’s just like, ‘I know those people now.’ Once I saw it once, I got the storyline out of the way and I just hang out with them. Then, it’s like, hopefully, if you liked ‘Jackie Brown,’ every three years or so, you can put it in and you’re having screwdrivers with Ordell and you’re taking bong hits with Melanie and you’re drinking white wine with Jackie and it’s all good.”