Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

Legendary Hollywood producer Lawrence Bender has several groundbreaking films to his name, but my personal favorite, and perhaps his most pivotal, is 1992 crime thriller Reservoir Dogs.

Reservoir Dogs is the story of the aftermath of a jewelry store heist gone wrong and what happens to the crew of robbers as a result. While that may sound like a simple premise, Reservoir Dogs is anything but a straightforward tale. Instead, it is chock-full of twists and turns that even if you see them coming, you’ve never seen them executed quite like this before. That is because Reservoir Dogs is the directorial debut of Quentin Tarantino, a fact that is also the reason it’s my favorite Lawrence Bender film and the most important movie he has ever produced.

Before directing Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino broke into Hollywood as a screenwriter. A couple of Tarantino’s most notable writing credits during that time included the films True Romance and Natural Born Killers. However, while Tarantino’s writing opened the door form him, it was his ability to translate his words from page to screen as a director that ultimately led to him becoming a cinematic icon. Still, no one knew what to expect when Tarantino got behind the camera, so for Bender to take a chance on him as a producer took savvy and guts.

Fortunately, it was a gamble that paid off for Bender in a big way, with Reservoir Dogs being only the first of several films that Bender and Tarantino would team up on. While other films that the duo has collaborated on since Reservoir Dogs have arguably been even better, none would have been possible if Bender hadn’t taken a chance on Tarantino and Tarantino hadn’t delivered a masterpiece of a directorial debut.

That being said, for Lawrence Bender, his work with Tarantino has been only one of many highlights throughout a long and illustrious career. Born in 1957 and hailing from The Bronx, in addition to Reservoir Dogs, Bender made a name for himself producing several noteworthy films, including but not limited to Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, The Mexican, An Inconvenient Truth, Inglourious Basterds, Good Will Hunting, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, Kill Bill: Vol. 2 and Hacksaw Ridge. He earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture for his work on Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting and Inglourious Basterds.


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