Pulp Fiction (1994)

Twenty-six years ago today, the film Pulp Fiction premiered at Cannes Film Festival. It was nominated and won so many awards that year, do you remember how good it is? You have to see this film (again).

pulp fiction 002

Title: Pulp Fiction
Directed by: Quentin Tarantino
Produced by: Lawrence Bender
Written by: Quentin Tarantino
Story by: Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
Starring: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Maria de Medeiros, Ving Rhames, Eric Stoltz, Rosanna Arquette, Christopher Walken, Bruce Willis
Cinematography: Andrzej Sekuła
Edited by: Sally Menke
Production companies: A Band Apart, Jersey Films
Distributed by: Miramax Films
Release date: May 21, 1994 (Cannes), October 14, 1994 (United States)
Running time: 154 minutes
Budget: $8–8.5 million
Box office: $213.9 million
Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or
National Society of Film Critics Best Picture and Best Director
National Board of Review Best Picture and Best Director
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Best Picture and Best Director
Boston Society of Film Critics Best Picture and Best Director
Society of Texas Film Critics Best Picture and Best Director
Southeastern Film Critics Association Best Picture and Best Director
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Best Picture and Best Director
Golden Globe Best Screenplay
Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
Independent Spirit Awards Best Feature
Independent Spirit Awards Best Director
Independent Spirit Awards Best Male Lead (Jackson)
Independent Spirit Awards Best Screenplay (Tarantino)
BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay
BAFTA Best for Supporting Actor

Hitmen Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega arrive at an apartment to retrieve a briefcase for their boss, gangster Marsellus Wallace, from a business partner, Brett. After Vincent checks the contents of the briefcase, Jules shoots one of Brett’s associates, then declaims a passage from the Bible before he and Vincent kill Brett for trying to double-cross Marsellus. They take the briefcase to Marsellus, but have to wait while he bribes champion boxer Butch Coolidge to take a dive in his upcoming match.

The next day, Vincent purchases heroin from his drug dealer, Lance. He shoots up, then drives to meet Marsellus’s wife Mia, whom he had agreed to escort while Marsellus was out of town. They eat at a 1950s-themed restaurant and participate in a twist contest, then return home with the trophy. While Vincent is in the bathroom, Mia finds his heroin, mistakes it for cocaine, snorts it, and overdoses. Vincent rushes her to Lance’s house, where they revive her with an adrenalin shot to her heart.

Butch betrays Marsellus and wins the bout, accidentally killing his opponent. At the motel where he and his girlfriend Fabienne are lying low and preparing to flee, Butch discovers she has forgotten to pack his father’s gold watch, a beloved heirloom, and flies into a rage. Returning to his apartment to retrieve the watch, he notices a MAC-10 on the kitchen counter and hears the toilet flush. Vincent exits the bathroom and Butch shoots him dead, leaving the gun inside.

As Butch waits at a traffic light in his car, Marsellus spots him by chance crossing the road and chases him into a pawnshop. The owner, Maynard, captures them at gunpoint and ties them up in the basement. Maynard is joined by Zed, a security guard; they take Marsellus to another room to rape him, leaving “the gimp”, a silent figure in a bondage suit, to watch Butch. Butch breaks loose and knocks out the gimp. He is about to flee but decides to save Marsellus, returning with a katana from the pawnshop. He kills Maynard; Marsellus retrieves Maynard’s shotgun and shoots Zed. Marsellus informs Butch that they are even, as long as he tells no one about the rape and departs Los Angeles forever. Butch picks up Fabienne on Zed’s chopper and they drive away.

Earlier, after Vincent and Jules have killed Brett in his apartment, another man bursts out of the bathroom and shoots at them wildly, missing every time; Jules and Vincent kill him. Jules professes their survival was a miracle, which Vincent disputes. As Jules drives, Vincent accidentally shoots Brett’s associate Marvin in the head. They hide the car at the home of Jules’ friend Jimmie, who demands they deal with the problem before his wife comes home. Marsellus sends his cleaner, Winston Wolfe, who directs Jules and Vincent to clean the car, hide the body in the trunk, dispose of their bloody clothes, and take the car to a junkyard.

At a diner, Jules tells Vincent that he plans to retire from his life of crime, convinced that their “miraculous” survival at the apartment was a sign of divine intervention. While Vincent is in the bathroom, a couple dubbed “Pumpkin” and “Honey Bunny” hold up the restaurant. Jules overpowers Pumpkin and holds him at gunpoint; Honey Bunny becomes hysterical and trains her gun on him. Vincent returns with his gun aimed at her. Jules recites the biblical passage, expresses ambivalence about his life of crime, and allows the robbers to take his cash and leave. Jules and Vincent leave the diner with the briefcase.

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