Gun smuggler Ordell Robbie goes to bail-bonder Max Cherry to post the $10,000 bail for one of his thugs, Beaumont, who is facing charges of weapons possession. Beaumont is released, whereupon Odell shoots him. Meanwhile, stewardess Jackie Brown, who smuggles cash for Ordell as a lucrative sideline, is stopped and searched by the police in LA airport; they discover a stash of cocaine and $50,000 in her bag. Ordell bails her out, but hearing what happened to Beaumont leads Jackie to believe her days are numbered unless she does something quickly; she strikes a deal with him that, in exchange for $100,000, if she is found guilty, she won't finger him. But she also cuts a deal with the cops, saying she will provide evidence against Ordell. Later, she tells Ordell about this arrangement, but tells him she has thought up a scam to double-cross the cops. She persuades Max to join her in a $500,000 deal. After winning the cops' trust with a first delivery of $10,000, she then double-crosses them the second time around, switching a bag with Ordell's henchwoman Melanie that contains only some of the promised $500,000. When she gets on his nerves, the impulsive Louis, another henchman of Ordell's, shoots Melanie. Ordell discovers he's been scammed by Jackie and shoots Louis. Working with Jackie, Max gives Ordell his $10,000 bond money back and tells him the rest of the money is in his safe. However, when Ordell goes to Max's office to collect the cash, he finds the cops waiting for him.
Its' quite unbelievable to think that Jackie Brown
is only Quentin Tarentino's third film. such is the assured skill with which he handles a complex script, tangled relationships and directs a pair of veteran thespians (Pam Grier and Robert Forster into giving the performances of their careers). After Reservoir Dogs
and Pulp Fiction,
which both proved that Tarentino had talent if only he could channel it properly, Jackie Brown
is an amazingly controlled film, with little of the trademark violence which made his name, although when it does come its' with an enormous amount of impact. The cast all the way down the line give excellent performances, from Samuel L.Jackson's smooth and dangerous Robbie to Robert DeNiro, hilarious as his semi-catatonic partner, and Bridgit Fonda as Robbie's permanently stoned girlfriend. Tarentino also shows his excellent taste in music by packing the film with excellent soul tracks from the Seventies, the film opening to Bobby Womack's superb opening song to the film Across 110th Street.