Pulp Fiction

Miramax Released 1994


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Movie Summary

Quentin Tarantino

Pulp Fiction is a 1994 film directed by Quentin Tarantino following an ensemble of characters and plots that interweave non-linearly. The film opens in a diner where a robbery is about to take place before a smash cut to the titles. The main arc follows Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackon) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) as two hitmen for Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). Vega has to protect Wallace's wife, Mia (Uma Thurman) which leads to dinner, dancing, and drugs. Another plot follows the story of a boxer named Butch (Bruce Willis) killing his opponent in the ring when he was supposed to throw the fight for Marsellus Wallace. In the process of skipping town, Butch realizes he does not have his lucky gold watch and must return home to get it. There he finds and kills Vega and leaves only to run into Wallace. They fight and find their way into the hands of a pawnshop owner/S&M dungeon runner. Butch eventually escapes and helps Wallace, leading to him letting Butch escape. The next segment takes place before the gold watch segment. Vega and Winnfield are transporting their informant Marvin (Phil Lamarr) when Vega accidentally kills him. They drive to their friend Jimmy's (Tarantino) house and he tells them he can help clean up the mess by calling a man named Winston Wolf (Harvey Keitel). His rapid-fire instructions get Vega and Winnfield out of the jam and let them go on their way. The film ends as it began with Winnfield and Vega in the diner about to be robbed. Winnfield takes control of the situation eventually letting the robbers leave and finishing his last job as a hitman.



Metacritic Score

  • 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Like "Citizen Kane," Pulp Fiction is constructed in such a nonlinear way that you could see it a dozen times and not be able to remember what comes next.

  • 100

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    A triumphant, cleverly disorienting journey through a demimonde that springs entirely from Mr. Tarantino's ripe imagination, a landscape of danger, shock, hilarity, and vibrant loc...

  • 60

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    The writer-director appears to be straining for his effects. Some sequences, especially one involving bondage harnesses and homosexual rape, have the uncomfortable feeling of creat...

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (15)

    • The marquee where Butch boxes advertises the following fights: "Coolidge vs Wilson" and "Vossler vs Martinez". The first is a reference to United States Presidents Calvin Coolidge and Woodrow Wilson, the second is a reference to Russell Vossler and Jerry Martinez, who are two friends of Tarantino's from when he worked in a video store.

    • Mia Wallace's comment "An Elvis man should love this" is a reference to an earlier cut scene where Mia claims that everyone can be classified as either an "Elvis" (Elvis Presley) person or a "Beatles" (The Beatles) person. She bets Vincent that he is an "Elvis", and he confirms it.

    • The movie's line "You know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?... They call it a Royale with cheese." was voted as the #81 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.

    • Uma Thurman originally turned down the role of Mia Wallace.  Quentin Tarantino was so desperate to have her as Mia, he ended up reading her the script over the phone, finally convincing her to take on the role.

    • Quentin Tarantino wrote "The Wolf" character specifically for Harvey Keitel.

    • Knoxville, Tennessee, where Butch was meeting his connection and where his great-grandfather bought the gold watch, is also Quentin Tarantino's birthplace.

    • The parts of "Honey Bunny" and "Pumpkin" were written specifically for Amanda Plummer and Tim Roth.

    • In an interview with James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio, John Travolta went into details of the many obstacles of tackling his role as Vincent Vega. The most challenging being that of how he was going to show the essence of his character as that of a heroin addict. Never using the drug himself, director Quentin Tarantino had Travolta research his character's addiction by speaking to a recovering heroin addict that he (Quentin) knew personally. Travolta asked Tarantino's friend to tell him how could he know what it felt like to be on heroin (without actually using it of course). Tarantino's friend explained "If you want to get the 'bottom envelope' feeling of that, get plastered on Tequila, and lie down in a hot pool. Then you will have barely touched the feeling of what it might be like to be on heroin." John Travolta then explained that he was ecstatic to tell his wife that he was "told" in order to research aspects of his upcoming roles' character, he had to get plastered on Tequila and lie in a hot pool. He stated she happily joined him at the hotel hot tub which had shots of Tequila lined from end to end on the railings to assist him in his "research".

    • Quentin Tarantino is an avid collector of vintage TV show board games. During the filming of 'Pulp Fiction', he and John Travoltawere reported to have sat on the floor and played the Welcome Back, Kotter board game.

    • Daniel Day-Lewis (who incidentally shares a birthday with Uma Thurman) wanted the role of Vincent Vega, but Quentin Tarantino turned him down in favor of John Travolta.

    • When Vincent calls Lance on his cell phone, Lance is eating a bowl of Fruit Brute, a cereal from the older monster cereal family. Fruit Brute (which, along with Yummy Mummy, Frankenberry, Boo Berry, and Count Chocula, make up the monster cereals) was later discontinued, along with "Yummy Mummy." Quentin Tarantino has held onto a box and drops it into scenes from time to time. It appeared in Reservoir Dogs, too.

    • Quentin Tarantino hesitated over the choice between the character he was going to play: Jimmie or Lance. He ended up choosing Jimmie's role because he wanted to be behind the camera in Mia's overdose scene.

    • Marsellus and Mia never actually speak to one another on-screen, even though they are husband and wife.

    • Quentin Tarantino wrote the role of Jules specifically for Samuel L. Jackson, however it was almost given to Paul Calderon after a great audition. When Jackson heard this, he flew to Los Angeles and auditioned again to secure the role. Calderon ended up with a small role as Paul.

    • The shot of Vincent plunging the syringe into Mia's chest was filmed by having John Travolta pull the needle out, then running the film backwards.

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More Info About This Movie


90s, Crime, Thrillers, buddies and gal pals, witty remarks