Study Guide

Reservoir Dogs Lies and Deceit

Lies and Deceit

Trust is a big deal in Reservoir Dogs. From the very beginning we can see that knowing who's honest and who's not is going to be a real struggle. Joe and Eddie trust Blonde because he went to prison rather than rat on them. Before we learn that Blonde is a complete lunatic, we know that he lied to protect Joe, and went to jail for it. Is it a righteous lie to protect your friend? How about if that friend is a mobster? How about if you're lying as an undercover cop to nail that mobster?

Other than Joe, none of the guys know anything about each other. They're kept anonymous and forbidden to disclose anything about themselves so no one can ID any of the others if they're arrested. At some level, then, Joe doesn't trust them completely. Maybe he read up on psychopaths and knows that they'll say anything to save their skins when their backs are against the wall. As the film unfolds, we see that nobody knows who to believe.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. What do you make of Mr. Pink's confession that he made it out with and stashed the diamonds? Why wouldn't he have lied or, better yet, just taken off with them in the first place?
  2. What makes Orange's bathroom story such a great lie? What can we learn from Holdaway's coaching?
  3. Do the code names build trust or discourage it?

Chew on This

The criminals have to trust each other to a certain extent, even if it's just because they trust Joe to hire trustworthy guys; otherwise they'd never agree to do the job together.

Orange is the biggest liar in the bunch. Ironically, both characters who do the lying are cops.

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