Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty were a duo known as Stealers Wheel whenthey recorded a Dylanesque pop hit, “Stuck in the Middle With You”, inApril of 1974. The single reached number five on the charts – littledid they know that eighteen years later it would become a cult favorite.
In 1992 Quentin Tarantino, a little known writer/director, took theCannes film festival and the world by surprise with his motion pictureReservoir Dogs. The movie is about the difficulties that occur whenfive “master” criminals are hired by a crime king pin named Joe to pulloff the biggest diamond heist of the century. Stuck right in the middle of the movie, the Egan/Rafferty hit isplayed as a introduction to one of the best or worst torture seens everin the history of movies.
It depends on how you look at it.I’ll set-up the scene in the movie where it is being played, try andfollow me… The five criminals hired go by color-coded names . Duringthe heist the cops show and things got out of control. Two of therobbers were shot and killed after Mr. Blonde, the “on the edge”gangster started shooting up the place when an employee triggered thealarm.
Mr. White and Mr. Orange (an undercover cop) escaped the sceneand headed for the hideout where all the men were supposed to meet.
Onthe way to the hideout Mr. Orange was shot, he was bleeding severely butthe injury was not life threatening. Shortly after their arrival, Mr.Pink met with them and they all anxiousley waited for Mr. Blonde.Mr.
Blonde, acting cool and unaffected by the mornings events, made hisentrance. After being questioned by Mr. White about why he went psychoin the store, Mr. Blonde called them out to see a “surprise” he had inhis trunk. Mr. Blonde in an effort to find out how the police heardabout the robbery in advance had kidnapped a police officer.
Theycarried the man into the warehouse and after tying him to a chair Mr.White and Mr. Pink commenced beating the hell out of him. They Askedhim to tell how the police knew of the heist, he said he knew nothingand after beating on him some more, Nice Guy Eddie came in. He wasJoe’s son and told Mr. White and Mr. Pink that they would have to comewith him to ditch the cars.
Mr. Blonde was told to stay and keep an eyeon the cop and the injured Mr. Orange.My idea is that the following scene was written by Director Tarantinochoreographed to the song by Stealers Wheel. Rather than the norm wherea scene is written and the music is picked thereafter. As I describethe scene I will give the lyrics to the song and show how theycorrespond to the characters actions in the scene.Mr. Blonde starts talking to the cop, who still insists he knowsnothing.
The lyrics to the song begin; keep in mind that I amsuggesting that the words are what the cop is thinking. Well I don’t know why I came here tonight.I got the feeling that something ain’t right.I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair,and I’m wondering how I’ll get down the stairs.Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right..
.Here I am stuck in the middle with you.The words being sung tell us that the cop is wondering how he got intothis situation, he knows something is up, and he is scared that he maynot be able to make it through the rest of this torturous interrogationalive. The clowns are his fellow officers who allowed the situation toget so out of control, and the jokers are Mr.
White and Mr. Pink. Andnow he is stuck in the middle of this whole ordeal with the mostcynical, evil, and hardest criminal of the bunch…
.Mr. Blonde.Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you and I’m wondering what it is I should doIt’s so hard to keep this smile from my facecause I’m and I’m all over the place(chorus)These are the lines that justify what I am saying the most. He iswondering what he should do, he knows that Mr. Orange is a cop and if hewere to mention it to Mr.
Blonde it may save his life. It is aninternal conflict in which he heroically decides