Tarantino (writing &
Roger Avary (stories)
Travolta - Vincent
Samuel L. Jackson - Jules Winnfield
Tim Roth - Pumpkin/Ringo
Amanda Plummer - Honey
Eric Stoltz - Lance
Bruce Willis - Butch Coolidge
Ving Rhames - Marsellus Wallace
Phil LaMarr - Marvin
Maria de Medeiros - Fabienne
Rosanna Arquette - Jody
Peter Greene - Zed
Uma Thurman - Mia Wallace
Duane Whitaker - Maynard
Paul Calderon - Paul/English Bob
Frank Whaley - Brett
Quentin Tarantino - Jimmie Dimmick
Harvey Keitel - The Wolf
'You play with matches you get burned.'
Where did the famous bible quote come
from? Keep reading to find out.
Stories in Chronological Order:
The scenes of the stories in
order are as follows:
first scene would be Vincent and Jules chatting
in their car while on their way to do a 'job'.
next scene would be
the 'Bonnie Situation' when Vincent shoots Marvin in the face and they
go to Jimmie's house to get cleaned up.
the next scene would be
the diner robbery, beginning from when Pumpkin and Honey Bunny decide
to rob the diner to when Jules and Vincent are in the diner having
breakfast and get caught up in the robbery.
The final scene would be
'The Gold Watch' story.
The last chronological scene would be Butch
and Fabienne riding away from the hotel on Butch's newly acquired
motorcycle, which would mean that the last line of the movie
would be "Zed's dead,
baby. Zed's dead."
Pulp Fiction cost $8 million to make, $5
million of which
pay the actors' salaries.
The role of Vincent Vega was written for Michael Madsen,
who played the character's brother, Vic Vega, in Reservoir Dogs
but he couldn't do the film due to scheduling conflicts for another
Daniel Day-Lewis wanted the role of Vincent Vega, but
Quentin Tarantino turned him down in favor of John Travolta.
Apparently John Travolta was paid $150,000 for his part in
In an interview with James Lipton on the show "Inside the
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 characters 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
Samuel L. Jackson auditioned for the part of Mr. Orange in Reservoir Dogs (1992)
but it went
to Tim Roth. Tarantino enjoyed
Jackson's work so much that he wrote the part of Jules specifically for
him. However, it was almost given to Paul Calderon
(Paul/English Bob) 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.
character was originally written to have a gigantic afro, but a
crew member obtained a variety of afro wigs and one jheri curl wig.
Quentin Tarantino had never thought about a jheri curl wig, but Samuel
L. Jackson tried it on, Tarantino liked it, and it was kept.
Isabella Rossellini, Meg Ryan, Daryl Hannah, Joan Cusack and Michelle
Pfeiffer were all auditioned for the role of Mia Wallace. Out of all of
them, Tarantino said he preferred Pfeiffer. Rosanna Arquette also
auditioned for Mia, but was offered the role of Jody instead. Other
actresses considered for the role of Mia were Meg Tilly, Alfre Woodard
and Holly Hunter.
Uma Thurman originally turned down the role of Mia Wallace.
But apparently Quentin Tarantino was so desperate to have her as Mia,
he read her the script over the phone, finally convincing her to take
on the role.
The hairstyle of Uma Thurman's character Mia Wallace was
loosely modeled after Louise Brooks, a silent film actress of the
1930's, and is known as the Louise Brooks bob (although Uma's hair is a
bit longer but the style is the same). Brooks was also considered one
of the first naturalistic actors in cinema compared to many other
silent film performers of the day.
Mickey Rourke, Matt Dillon and Sylvester Stallone were all
considered for the role of Butch.
role of Butch was originally supposed to be an up and coming boxer.
Matt Dillon was in talks to play the role, but never committed.
Tarantino then changed the role and offered it to Bruce Willis, who
been disappointed at not being signed to play Vincent.
Apparently Bruce Willis worked on the film for only 18 days.
The parts of "Honey Bunny" and "Pumpkin" were written
specifically for Amanda Plummer and Tim Roth.
Quentin Tarantino wrote "The Wolf" character specifically
for Harvey Keitel.
Quentin Tarantino originally wanted Christopher Jones for
the role of Zed.
Quentin Tarantino hesitated over the choice between playing
the character Jimmie or Lance. He ended up choosing Jimmie's role
because he wanted to be behind the camera in Mia's overdose scene.
Pam Grier auditioned for the role of Lance's wife Jody.
Although she had a great audition, Quentin Tarantino decided not to
cast her because he couldn't imagine Grier getting pushed around the
way the character does. Ellen DeGeneres also read for the role of Jody.
The cab driver, Esmarelda Villalobos (Angela
appeared in a 30-minute short called Curdled
which she played
a character who cleaned up after murders. This makes her fascinated by
the idea of murder. Quentin Tarantino saw this film and decided to
include this character in Pulp Fiction but as a cabdriver.
The role of Fabienne was originally written with Swiss
Irene Jacob in mind. Jacob turned down the role to star in Trois couleurs: Rouge
(English title: Three
Buscemi had to refuse the role of Jimmie due to scheduling conflicts.
However, he does have a cameo appearance as the Buddy Holly waiter in
Jack Rabbit Slim's.
Lawrence Bender, the film's producer makes a cameo
one of the long-haired yuppies at the coffee shop.
The man who comes out of the bathroom shooting at Jules and
Vincent is played by Alexis Arquette who is the brother of Rosanna
Quentin Tarantino wrote two of the three Pulp Fiction
stories before he
wrote Reservoir Dogs
and True Romance
(1993). After the success of those films, he decided to write a third
story, intending to have each segment directed by a different person.
In the opening sequence with Honey Bunny and Pumpkin are
discussing robbing the diner, Jules can be heard talking in the
background about quitting "the life" and Vincent can be seen entering
Jules' car, a 1974 Chevy Nova, is never
actually seen in
frame; only the interior or parts of the exterior are visible.
Tarantino incorporated aspects of the
Netherlands into his films as he loves Amsterdam's. He wrote the Pulp Fiction
in Amsterdam, in a
hotel room and in coffee shop ("Dutch" for hash-bar) Betty Boop. He
stayed for several months, and left the video rental store "Cult Video"
with an unpaid bill of about $150. This stay explains the references to
Dutch culture and customs at the beginning of the movie. Vincent tells
his heroin dealer that "I just got back from Amsterdam and discusses it
with Jules in their opening scene. In the conversation in the Jack
Rabbit Slims restaurant, Mia mentions that she goes to Amsterdam to
"chill out" for a month or two every now and again. In the same
restaurant, Vincent smokes Drum, which is a Dutch rolling tobacco.
Also, the book version of the movie's screenplay includes some cut
dialogue between Vincent and Mia - he realizes that she was "the girl
in the cowboy hat" in a photo at a hash bar they both visited, the
Cobra, which is right across from the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam.
Also in the scene at the motel with Butch, he calls Fabiene "tulip",
then she says she likes to be called "tulip", as this flower has come
to be a trademark symbol of the Netherlands.
The Big Kahuna burger brand mentioned in the movie made its
appearance in Reservoir
(1992) when we see Vic Vega aka Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) drinking
from a cup with the Big Kahuna logo on it.
Apparently the Ezekiel bible quote was taken from any early
of From Dusk Till Dawn
Harvey Keitel's character was supposed to say it while walking
backwards down the hallway facing the vampires.
During an interview Quentin Tarantino admitted that Jules'
(Samuel L. Jackson) bible quote of Ezekiel 25:17 was something he
remembered from the Sonny Chiba movie Karate
(1976) aka The Bodyguard. He said he never read it in the bible, and it
is taken almost word for word from that film. Tarantino has always been
a Chiba fan and has included references to him in True Romance
and a cameo by
Chiba in Kill Bill:
people believe that the band-aid seen on the character Marsellus
Wallace's (Ving Rhames) neck was an
intentional choice by the
filmmakers. In reality, it came from an accident Rhames had while
shaving his head. When Quentin Tarantino noticed this, it inspired him
to open the "Butch Coolidge and Marsellus Wallace" sequence with a
close-up of the band-aid instead. Ultimately Tarantino liked showing
the band-aid rather than Rhames' face because it accentuated the
character's mercurial nature and was more visually exciting than a
series of single shots of Rhames and Bruce Willis.
the script, the character of Paul the bartender (played by Paul
Calderon) is referred to as "English Bob". Jules even refers
English Bob, saying "Yeah, [Winston Wolf] is about as European as
fucking English Bob". However, when he says the line "My name's
Paul, and this is between y'all" this apparently stuck, as he is
credited as 'Paul' in the credits.
1964 Chevelle Malibu convertible actually belongs to Quentin Tarantino
and was stolen during the production of the film.
In the movie Vincent is upset when he finds out that his
has been keyed, but he doesn't know who is responsible for doing it.
Quentin Tarantino has been quoted as saying that Butch is responsible
for keying Vincent's car.
Vincent first walks into Mia's house, you can see one of the back doors
is slightly open. This was done so the camera wouldn't be seen in the
The restaurant scene was filmed at the Hawthorne Grille
Holly's) located at 13763 Hawthorne Blvd., Hawthorne, CA. The building
was demolished soon after filming.
When Mia Wallace's says to
Vincent "An Elvis man should love this" 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.
In a deleted scene Vincent tells Mia he's
beaten up by Emma Peel of the Avengers. Uma Thurman played
Emma Peel in the movie The
Wallace's television pilot involved a team of 5 female secret agents,
which included a blond woman, an African-American woman, and a Japanese
woman. Uma Thurman's next picture with Tarantino would be Kill Bill
(2003), where she was part of a team of 5 assassins, 4 of which were
female and, besides her, consisted of a blond woman, and
African-American woman, and a half-Japanese-half-Chinese-American
woman. The French Sophie character may have also been a part of the
team of assassins, making it 5. Mia's pilot character's specialty was
knives. The Bride's first kill in Kill
Bill: Vol. 1
(2003) was with a knife.
Jack Rabbit Slim's restaurant, when Mia orders her $5 shake, that
waiter "Buddy Holly" asks her if she wants it "Martin and
Amos and Andy?" He is referring to two comedy duos, Dean Martin and
Jerry Lewis, two white men; Amos and Andy, two black men. Basically, he
is asking her if she wants a vanilla shake or a chocolate shake. She
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. Quentin
Tarantino has held onto a box and drops it into scenes from time to
time. It also made an appearance in Reservoir Dogs
The movie that Lance is watching when Vincent arrives with
overdosed Mia is the Three Stooges short, Brideless Groom
Apparently Tarantino is an avid Three Stooges fan, but couldn't get the
rights from Comedy III to show them in the movie. So while a Three
Stooges film appears on screen as Brideless
is public domain, the Three Stooges themselves do not. Emil Sitka, the
frequent Three Stooges co-star who does appear on screen, is credited
as "Hold hands you lovebirds".
shot of Vincent plunging the syringe into Mia's chest was filmed by
having John Travolta pull the needle out, then running the film
The board games "The Game of Life" and
"Operation" are both seen on a table while Vincent and Lance are
administering the adrenaline shot.
On-screen Marsellus Wallace and Mia Wallace never actually
to one another, even though they are husband and wife.
movie contains the first product placement for a real world product of
any Quentin Tarantino movie. When Esmarelda is waiting outside the
arena for Butch we can clearly see 'THERMOS' on the bottom of the cup
she is drinking from.
Tennessee, where Butch was meeting his connection and where his
great-grandfather bought the gold watch, is also Quentin Tarantino's
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.
In the screenplay, Butch is a
featherweight boxer but in the film, Butch's opponent Wilson has his
weight announced as "210 pounds" , implying that Butch is a heavyweight.
In the Pulp
screenplay it says that Zed and Maynard are
Tarantino had originally intended "My Sharona" (by The Knack) to be
played during the Gimp torture sequence, but the rights had already
been licensed to another film,
(1994). On top of this,
one of the members of the band had become a born again Christian, and
didn't want the song to be associated with a scene of sexual violence.
In the Pulp
script it reads that the "The Bonnie Situation"
originally titled "Jules, Vincent, Jimmie and The Wolf".
According to an interview with Phil LaMarr (Marvin), it was
who came up with the idea of his character Marvin being shot in the
face. Marvin was originally supposed to be accidentally shot in the
throat and survive. Knowing that Marvin would die a slow, painful
death, Vincent and Jules decide that Marvin should be shot in the head
and put out of his misery. Knowing that this would make the characters
unlikeable, LaMarr took his idea to Quentin Tarantino and he agreed to
it, figuring that a single-bullet kill would be funnier.
"The Bonnie Situation" story, Vincent says that if Jimmie had Lava in
the bathroom, he could have gotten his hands cleaner. John
Travolta started in show business singing in ads for Lava soap.
(1992), Nice Guy Eddie Cabot (Chris Penn) arranges for Mr. Orange (Tim
Roth) who is shot to be treated by a nurse he knows named Bonnie. In Pulp Fiction
Jimmy's wife is a
nurse named Bonnie.
In the movie whenever Vincent Vega (John
Travolta) goes to
toilet something bad always seems to happen.
to Roger Avary, who co-wrote the Pulp
script with Quentin Tarantino, the
original plan was to have the briefcase contain diamonds. 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
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."
Jules' "Bad Mother Fucker" wallet actually belongs to Quentin
Tarantino. The inscription on the wallet is a reference to the theme
song of Shaft
A deleted scene from the final film involved Jules trying
consider what to do while Pumpkin and Honey Bunny rob the diner. In the
scene, Jules points his gun at the bottom of the table and fires up
twice, hitting Pumpkin and killing him. He then spins around and shoots
Honey Bunny three times, killing her. As she falls her gun goes off and
hits the Long Haired Yuppie Scum, who dies screaming on the floor. The
scene then cuts back to Jules talking to Pumpkin in the diner,
revealing the shootings to have happened entirely in Jules' mind.
Vincent leaves the diner with the book he reads while on
toilet when he gets shot in Butch's apartment.
Red Apple cigarettes - Butch and Mia all
smoke Red Apple
cigarettes. The same brand is smoked by Tim Roth's character in Four Rooms
(1995). Pumpkin also has a pack of Red Apples laying in front of him in
the opening scene. The red apple and the green worm can be made out
when looking closely.
Bare feet - Uma Thurman is barefoot for most of the movie.
the cab driver, Esmarelda, does not have shoes on.
take - When Jules and Vincent step out of the elevator for their "foot
massage" debate, we follow them all the way through the labyrinthine
hallways to Brett's door, past Brett's to a window and finally, back to
Brett's door again, all in a single take.
Long take -
When Butch gets out of the Honda to retrieve his watch, we follow him
around a building, through a hole in a fence until he is across the
street from the apartment.
Corpse view - After
Marsellus is hit by Butch's car we see the camera from the unconscious
(corpse like) Marsellus' point of view, which is of the pedestrians
looking down at
Interview with Tarantino where he explains why he
cast Travolta, although Travolta knew he wasn't the most bankable
Samuel L. Jackson describing how his
interpretation of the script's ending landed him the role:
Featurette showing Tarantino directing Bruce Willis on set:
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