Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” has stood the test of time as one of her best hits. Combining innocent doo-wop instrumentation and ambiguously sexual lyrics, it’s hard not to be fascinated by the track. Not only is “Like a Virgin” one of the great songs of the Madonna canon, it also provided fodder for some of Quentin Tarantino’s most iconic dialogue.
The film Reservoir Dogs features a scene where the characters discuss the possible meaning of “Like a Virgin.” They come to some pretty risque conclusions. This raises a question: What did Madonna have to say about this scene in Reservoir Dogs?
Tarantino wrote and directed Reservoir Dogs. He also played a secondary character in the film: Mr. Brown. Tarantino’s films often feature pointed discussions of pop culture and Reservoir Dogs is no exception.
In the film, two characters offer conflicting interpretations of the track. Mr. Blonde says the song is about a woman who has been emotionally hurt by several relationships who eventually finds a nice guy. His interpretation makes sense. The woman in the song found a relationship that makes her “feel shiny and new,” as if her previous relationships never happened. Thus, she feels like a virgin.
However, Mr. Brown has different ideas. He says the song is about a woman who has been very promiscuous. Then, she meets a man and has a painful sexual experience with him which reminds her of losing her virginity – hence she feels like a virgin.
Madonna responds to this interpretation
Madonna has been referenced numerous times in pop culture. Usually, she doesn’t comment on what others have to say about her. However, Madonna did reach out to Tarantino to tell him he was wrong. She informed him the song was about love, not the male anatomy.
Madonna dished on “Like a Virgin” at length in a Rolling Stone interview. She further explained how it was about emotions rather than sex. “I was singing about how something made me feel a certain way – brand-new and fresh – and everyone else interpreted it as, ‘I don’t want to be a virgin anymore. F*ck my brains out!’ That’s not what I sang at all.”
Since then, Madonna’s career and Tarantino’s career have intersected a few times. Tarantino directed a segment in the film Four Rooms. Madonna appeared in a separate segment, one which kept up her risque image. Tarantino briefly referenced Madonna in his film Pulp Fiction, where a character calls her body “sexy.”
The Madonna/Quentin Tarantino music video that never was
Years later, Madonna wrote a song about murder called “Gang Bang.” Madonna wrote the tack with Tarantino in mind. She wanted him to direct the video for the track, though she wasn’t planning on paying him to do so.
Madonna explained “That’s who I was thinking about when I was writing the song. I was picturing one of his movies, and one of the female characters. I have a whole thing worked out. All Quentin has to do is show up with a camera. I can’t afford a director’s fee.”
Ultimately, a video for “Gang Bang” never materialized. Fans of Tarantino and Madonna were disappointed they didn’t collaborate. However, no music video could ever live up to that scene in Reservoir Dogs.
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