Family Ties

Meet Quentin Tarantino’s daddy, who is also a writer, director and actor

Like son, not like father.

Quentin Tarantino always makes headlines. Sometimes, his father does too.

In October 2015, New York City residents took to the streets to protest against police brutality and the killing of innocent civilians. Tarantino was one of the protesters, which got the already controversial filmmaker into further trouble. New York City’s police union called for a boycott of his violence-ridden films and rejoiced at the relatively tepid response to Tarantino’s latest movie The Hateful Eight, at the box office. His estranged father, Tony Tarantino, also criticised Quentin for protesting against the police. Tony Tarantino has pledged to donate 10% of the profits of his upcoming independent film, Prism, for the welfare and betterment of the police force.

Prism Trailer

But when will these profits ever materialise? Prism, based on the novel Color of the Prism by Thomas J Nichols, is a docu-drama about drug cartels that sees Tony Tarantino directing, writing and playing the lead. The trailer first surfaced in 2013, but it has not yet been slotted for a release.

The Tarantino family has always loved the silver screen. It all started with Dominic Tarantino, Quentin’s grandfather, appearing in several Westerns with such stars as Buck Jones, Tim McCoy, Tom Mix, Hoot Gibson and Fred Thompson. He made quite a successful career in silent movies. Tony Tarantino grew up hearing stories about Hollywood, and acting was his first career choice. He made his screen debut in Where the Boys Are (1960) in an uncredited role.

The debut was followed by a series of hits and misses. Tony Tarantino was more visible on the music scene at clubs around Hollywood. His guitar-playing talent earned him the Los Angeles Music Awards honour ‘50 Years Tribute to the Sunset Strip’ in 2001.

Tarantino Sr is most notably a part of the Silver Foxes community, in which parents of famous stars “work to turn around some of the negative stereotypes about aging and the resulting self-perceptions that adversely affect health and well-being”.

Co-incidentally, Tony Tarantino’s acting and directing roles became more prominent after his son’s ascent as a top-notch director. Tony Tarantino’s acting talent in movies such as Blood Money (2003), Underbelly Blues and Mediterranean Blue hasn’t quite been well received,and you need to scroll quite a bit to the bottom half of the page to see his name in the cast.

A poster of one of Tony Tarantino’s films.
A poster of one of Tony Tarantino’s films.

Quentin Tarantino has an openly hostile relationship with his father, who left the family when the director was a toddler, and in his opinion, Tony Tarantino is trying to piggyback on junior’s fame. We cannot help but agree.

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