Pulp Fiction [1994]

With the knockout one-two punch of 1992's Reservoir Dogs and 1994's Pulp Fiction writer-director Quentin Tarantino stunned the filmmaking world, exploding into prominence as a cinematic heavyweight contender. But Pulp Fiction was more than just the follow-up to an impressive first feature, or the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, or a script stuffed with the sort of juicy bubblegum dialogue actors just love to chew, or the vehicle that reestablished John Travolta on the A-list, or the relatively low-budget ($8 million) independent showcase for an ultrahip mixture of established marquee names and rising stars from the indie scene (among them Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Julia Sweeney, Kathy Griffin, and Phil Lamar). It was more, even, than an unprecedented $100-million-plus hit for indie distributor Miramax. Pulp Fiction was a sensation. No, it was not the Second Coming (I actually think Reservoir Dogs is a more substantial film; and P.T. Anderson outdid Tarantino in 1997 by making his directorial debut with two even more mature and accomplished pictures, Hard Eight and Boogie Nights). But Pulp Fiction packs so much energy and invention into telling its nonchronologically interwoven short stories (all about temptation, corruption, and redemption amongst modern criminals, large and small) it leaves viewers both exhilarated and exhausted--hearts racing and knuckles white from the ride. (Oh, and the infectious, surf-guitar-based soundtrack is tastier than a Royale with Cheese.) --Jim Emerson

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Captain Koons:
Hello, little man. Boy, I sure heard a bunch about you. See, I was a good friend of your dad's. We were in that Hanoi pit of hell together over five years. Hopefully... you'll never have to experience this yourself, but when two men are in a situation like me and your Dad were, for as long as we were, you take on certain responsibilities of the other. If it had been me who had not made it, Major Coolidge would be talkin' right now to my son Jim. But the way it turned out is I'm talkin' to you, Butch. I got somethin' for you.

Captain Koons:
This watch I got here was first purchased by your great-grandfather during the first World War. It was bought in a little general store in Knoxville, Tennessee. Made by the first company to ever make wrist watches. Up till then people just carried pocket watches. It was bought by private Doughboy Erine Coolidge on the day he set sail for Paris. It was your great-grandfather's war watch and he wore it everyday he was in that war. When he had done his duty, he went home to your great-grandmother, took the watch off, put it an old coffee can, and in that can it stayed 'til your granddad Dane Coolidge was called upon by his country to go overseas and fight the Germans once again. This time they called it World War II. Your great-grandfather gave this watch to your granddad for good luck. Unfortunately, Dane's luck wasn't as good as his old man's. Dane was a Marine and he was killed - along with the other Marines at the battle of Wake Island. Your granddad was facing death, he knew it. None of those boys had any illusions about ever leavin' that island alive. So three days before the Japanese took the island, your granddad asked a gunner on an Air Force transport name of Winocki, a man he had never met before in his life, to deliver to his infant son, who he'd never seen in the flesh, his gold watch. Three days later, your granddad was dead. But Winocki kept his word. After the war was over, he paid a visit to your grandmother, delivering to your infant father, his Dad's gold watch. This watch.

Captain Koons:
This watch was on your Daddy's wrist when he was shot down over Hanoi. He was captured, put in a Vietnamese prison camp. He knew if the gooks ever saw the watch it'd be confiscated, taken away. The way your Dad looked at it, that watch was your birthright. He'd be damned if any slopes were gonna put their greasy yella hands on his boy's birthright. So he hid it in the one place he knew he could hide something. His ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you.

Vincent:
Whoa!

Jules:
What the fuck's happening, man? Ah, shit man!

Vincent:
Oh man, I shot Marvin in the face.

Jules:
Why the fuck did you do that!

Vincent:
Well, I didn't mean to do it, it was an accident!

Jules:
Oh man I've seen some crazy ass shit in my time...

Vincent:
Chill out, man. I told you it was an accident. You probably went over a bump or something.

Jules:
Hey, the car didn't hit no motherfucking bump.

Vincent:
Hey, look man, I didn't mean to shoot the son of a bitch. The gun went off. I don't know why.

Jules:
Well look at this fucking mess, man. We're on a city street in broad daylight here!

Vincent:
I don't believe it.

Jules:
Well believe it now, motherfucker! We gotta get this car off the road! You know cops tend to notice shit like you're driving a car drenched in fucking blood.

Vincent:
Just take it to a friendly place, that's all.

Jules:
This in the Valley, Vincent. Marcellus ain't got no friendly places in the Valley.

Vincent:
Well Jules this ain't my fucking town, man!

Jules:
Shit!

Vincent:
What you doin'?

Jules:
I'm calling my partner in Toluca Lake.

Vincent:
Where's Toluca Lake?

Jules:
It's just over the hill here over by Burbank Studios. If Jimmie's ass ain't home, I don't know what the fuck we're going to do, man. 'Cause I ain't got no other partners in 8-1-8. Hey Jimmie, yo, how you doin', man? It's Jules. Listen up man. Me and my homeboy are in serious fucking shit. We're in a car and we gotta get off the road, pronto. I need to use your garage for a couple of hours.

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