Have you ever seen Quentin Tarantino’s first film? No, not Reservoir Dogs.Â I’m talking about My Best Friend’s Birthday. Never heard of it? Well now you can watch it.
The history of the film (with help from Wikipedia):
My Best Friend’s Birthday is an unfinished black and white independent film by Craig Hamann and Quentin Tarantino, shot during their younger days while working at the now shuttered Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, California. The project started in 1984, when Hamann wrote a short 30-40 page script about a young man who continually tries to do something nice for his friend’s birthday, only to have his efforts backfire.
The short screenplay expanded into an 80 page feature length script. On an estimated budget of $5,000, they shot the movie on 16mm over the course of the next four years. The original cut of the film was about 70 minutes long but due to a fire only 36 minutes of the film survived. The 36 minute cut has been shown at several film festivals but has has never been officially released.
Elements of My Best Friend’s Birthday were reused by Tarantino in his later films; most notably in his script for Tony Scott’s 1993 film True Romance, which contained a more developed version of the Clarence character, a call-girl character, and the famous Elvis monologue which Tarantino originally performed in the film himself.