Quentin Tarantino did not have to do much to get me into “The Hateful Eight.” I am a Cowboy movie addict and like the Tarantino films generally. However, I really appreciate movies that combine entertainment with real litigation to bring my world together. That function was performed brilliantly by Kurt Russell who, in a scene, destroys a guitar that he is playing in the movie. The guitar was borrowed by Tarantino from the Martin Guitar Museum in Pennsylvania and was viewed as a highly valuable 145–year-old period piece. It was supposed to be replaced by a prop instead to the horror of the museum, it was smashed beyond repair.
Martin has received insurance money for the purchase price of the instrument, but the company is royally ticked and said that it will no longer work with filmmakers after Tarantino.
Russell plays a bounty hunter right to bring a dangerous outlaw (Leigh) to her hanging. In the cabin, Leigh is playing an Australian folk ballad, “Jim Jones at Botany Bay.” Russell’s character at first seems entertained, then takes her guitar, growls “music time’s over” and smashes the guitar. Actress Jennifer Jason Leigh seems reportedly shocked in the scene and later said “We all thought Quentin was going to use a cheap prop but he used the real one.”
Ironically, the song is about a property crime (poaching) but Tarantino is unlikely to face the same fate:
There’s no time for mischief there, remember that, they say
Oh they’ll flog the poaching out of you down there in Botany Bay.