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Pulp Fiction (1994)

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The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

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(stories), (stories) | 1 more credit »
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217 ( 44)
Top Rated Movies #7 | Won 1 Oscar. Another 60 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Storyline

Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) are two hit men who are out to retrieve a suitcase stolen from their employer, mob boss Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). Wallace has also asked Vincent to take his wife Mia (Uma Thurman) out a few days later when Wallace himself will be out of town. Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) is an aging boxer who is paid by Wallace to lose his fight. The lives of these seemingly unrelated people are woven together comprising of a series of funny, bizarre and uncalled-for incidents. Written by Soumitra

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

I don't smile for pictures. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence and drug use, pervasive strong language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

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Release Date:

14 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Mask  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£4,243,233 (UK) (11 November 1994)

Gross:

$107,930,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Speculation abounds as to the nature of the mysterious glowing contents of the case (which Tarantino said was simply a MacGuffin plot device):
  • Could it be Elvis's gold suit, seen worn by Val Kilmer (as Elvis) in True Romance (1993)?


  • The most persistent theory is that it is Marcellus Wallace's soul. The story goes that when the Devil takes a person's soul, it is removed through the back of the head. When we see the back of Marcellus's head he has a Band-Aid covering the precise spot indicated by tradition for soul removal. Perhaps Marcellus sold his soul to the devil which would also explain why the combination to open the briefcase is 666.


  • Quentin Tarantino has said that the band-aid on the back of Marsellus Wallace's neck had nothing to do with an allusion to the Devil stealing Marsellus's soul... but that the actor Ving Rhames had a scar on the back of his neck he wanted to cover up.


  • According to Roger Avary, who co-wrote the script with Quentin Tarantino, the original plan was to have the briefcase contain diamonds (urban legend has it that they were the diamonds from Resevoir Dogs). This seemed neither exciting nor original, so Avary and Tarantino decided to have the briefcase's contents never appear on screen; this way each film-goer could mentally "fill in the blank" with whatever struck his or her imagination as best fitting the description "so beautiful". The orange light bulb (projecting shimmering light onto the actors' faces) was a last-minute decision and added a completely unintended fantastic element.


In a radio interview with Howard Stern in late 2003, Quentin Tarantino was asked by a caller the contents of the briefcase, and he answered, "It's whatever the viewer wants it to be." See more »

Goofs

All the lights are off in the diner. Even in daytime, the overhead lights would be on. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Pumpkin: Forget it. Too risky. I'm through doing that shit.
Yolanda: You always say that. That same thing every time, "I'm through, never again, too dangerous".
Pumpkin: I know that's what I always say. I'm always right, too.
Yolanda: But you forget about it in a day or two.
Pumpkin: Yeah, well the days of me forgetting are over, and the days of me remembering have just begun.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Long Haired Yuppie Scum - Lawrence Bender See more »


Soundtracks

Ole, Ole
(uncredited)
Music by David Snell
Published by Bruton Music (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Great director. Great story. Great characters. A masterpiece
4 April 2000 | by (Barcelona, Catalunya) – See all my reviews

Tarantino is without a doubt one of the best directors of all time and maybe the best of the 90's. His first film, Reservoir Dogs was amazing and claustrophobic, his segment in Four Rooms was by far the greatest (even though Rodriguez's was excellent too)and Jackie Brown is a wonderful homage to the Blaxploitation films of the 70's. However, Pulp Fiction remains my favourite.

It was nominated for so many Oscars that I still find it hard to believe that it only got one: Best original script. I'm not complaining because Forrest Gump got best picture, since that film was also Oscar-worthy, but come on, movies like Tarantino's or the Shawshank Redemption deserved much more.

Anyway, going back to the movie, I particularly liked the first and second chapters, and that's really a contradiction because one of the movie's finest characters, Mr. Wolf, appears on the third. Bruce Willis also does a great job, and as far as I'm concerned he fell in love with the movie right after having read the script. I like the way his character gives a "tough guy" image at the beginning and then we discover he's so affectionate and tender to his wife. Travolta is obviously the star of the movie and his second encounter with Bruce Willis in the kitchen along with the scene where he dances with Uma Thurman is when the movie reaches it's highest point.

The other star is Samuel L. Jackson, who plays a wise assassin that obviously knows how to handle situations. "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger..." is my favourite quote.

Summarizing, Pulp Fiction is a modern classic and a must-see for anyone who is at least aware of what a movie is. I give it a 9 out of 10.


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