True Romance (1993) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • In Detroit, a lonely pop culture geek marries a call girl, steals cocaine from her pimp, and tries to sell it in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the owners of the cocaine, the Mob, track them down in an attempt to reclaim it.

  • In Detroit, Clarence Worley goes to the movie theater alone on the day of his birthday to watch some movies. The gorgeous Alabama Whitman accidentally drops her popcorn on Clarence and they watch the movie together. Later they go to a diner for pie, and end up having a one night stand. In the morning, Alabama confesses that she is a call-girl hired to spend the night with him, but she has fallen in love with him. In the morning they get married and Clarence goes to the club where she worked to bring her some clothes. However, her pimp Drexl Spivey and his partner beat up Clarence and he reacts by killing them both. Clarence asks for Alabama's suitcase with her clothes and the other girls mistakenly give another one with cocaine. When Clarence discovers the mistake, he decides to travel with Alabama to the house of his friend, the aspiring actor Dick Ritchie, to sell the drug and travel to Mexico. He visits his father Clifford Worley and gives his address to him. But the Sicilian Mafia is the owner of the drug and a group of killers are sent to hunt down Clarnece and Alabama.

  • A lonely pop culture fan falls in love with a call girl and accidentally takes drugs from her pimp. The two go on the run to Los Angeles to sell the drugs and live happily ever after. Only they don't know that Sicilian mafia and LAPD are after the drugs.

  • A hooker with a heart of gold meets an Elvis-obsessed single man and the adventure of a lifetime begins. Brad Pitt turns in a stellar albeit brief performance as a stoner and the plot twist was so unique it was used again in 2-3 later films.

  • Clarence (Christian Slater) meets, beds, falls in love with, and the next day marries Alabama (Patricia Arquette), who has been a call girl for exactly 4 days. Attempting to retrieve a bag of her belongings from her pimp Drexl (Gary Oldman), they accidentally end up with a suitcase full of the mob's cocaine and run off in Clarence's pink Cadillac to Hollywood, where they hope to sell the coke through the connections of his actor buddy Dick (Michael Rapaport). The mob of course is close behind, and they probably won't settle for just getting the dope back.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Comic book store clerk and film buff Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) watches a Sonny Chiba triple feature at a Detroit movie theater for his birthday. Here he meets Alabama Whitman (Patricia Arquette), an attractive young woman. After having sex, she tearfully confesses that she is a call girl hired by Clarence's boss as a birthday present. She has fallen in love with Clarence and he with her.

    The next day, they marry. Alabama's volatile pimp, Drexl Spivey (Gary Oldman), makes Clarence uneasy. An apparition of his idol, Elvis Presley (Val Kilmer), tells him that killing Drexl will make the world a better place. Clarence stands up to the intimidating Drexl and tells him to leave Alabama alone. Drexl assaults and subdues Clarence and takes his wallet. Clarence draws a gun and kills Drexl and a henchman. He grabs a bag that he assumes belongs to Alabama. When he tells Alabama he killed Drexl, she sobs and finds this "so romantic."

    Opening the suitcase, the two find it is full of stolen cocaine. Clarence and Alabama decide to leave for California immediately. First they pay a visit to Clarence's father, Clifford Worley (Dennis Hopper), a security guard and ex-cop. Clarence wants to find out if he is in the clear regarding Drexl's murder. Clifford tells him that the police assume it to be a drug-related killing.

    In Los Angeles, the young couple plans to meet Clarence's old friend Dick Ritchie (Michael Rapaport), an aspiring actor. Clifford is ambushed in his home by gangster Vincenzo Coccotti (Christopher Walken) and his men, who tracked him by using Clarence's wallet. They want the drugs taken from Drexl, their underling. Clifford refuses to reveal where his son has gone. Accepting that he is going to die anyway, he insults Coccotti [1], who angrily shoots Clifford dead before finding a note on the fridge giving Clarence's whereabouts in L.A.

    Clarence plans to use Dick's contacts with an actor named Elliot (Bronson Pinchot) to sell the drugs to a film producer, Lee Donowitz (Saul Rubinek). Elliot, who has some of Clarence's cocaine is stopped while speeding and is arrested for drug possession. Believing Clarence's story of getting the drugs from a dirty cop, he informs on Donowitz's drug deal to escape prison time.

    Alabama is found alone in their hotel room and interrogated by one of Coccotti's henchmen, Virgil (James Gandolfini), who viciously beats her. Alabama fights back and miraculously manages to kill him. She and Clarence talk of moving to Cancún with the money from the drug deal.

    Knowing that Elliot's cocaine was uncut, and with Elliot "confessing" in order to avoid prison, L.A. detectives Nicholson (Tom Sizemore) and Dimes (Chris Penn) conclude that a sizable drug deal is about to go down. Promising him that he can avoid prison in return for cooperation, the two detectives have Elliot wear a wire to the deal. Coccotti's men learn where the deal is going down from Dick's drugged-out roommate Floyd (Brad Pitt) and they all converge on Lee Donowitz's hotel.

    As a fan of his film work, Clarence makes a good impression on Lee. They are then ambushed by both the cops and gangsters who, coincidentally, break in almost at the same time. In the middle of a Mexican standoff, Lee realizes that Elliot is an informant and berates him, throwing a hot pot of coffee on him, causing a massive shootout. Dick abandons the drugs and flees. Clarence is shot in the eye when he exits the bathroom, devastating Alabama. While Dimes kills one of Donowitz's men, Alabama (thinking Clarence is dead) then shoots and kills Dimes ending the battle. Lee, Elliot, the police, gangsters and bodyguards are all killed.

    Clarence, however, survives, partially blinded. He and Alabama escape as more police swarm the hotel. They are shown as a happy family on a beach in Cancún, with a son they have named Elvis.

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