Pulp Fiction

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

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Quentin Tarantino
Production: Miramax Films
  Won 1 Oscar. Another 62 wins & 69 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.9
Metacritic:
94
Rotten Tomatoes:
94%
R (Restricted)
Year:
1994
154
27,144 Views

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 f***'s happening, man? Ah, shit man!

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

Jules:
Why the f*** 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 motherf***ing 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 f***ing mess, man. We're on a city street in broad daylight here!

Vincent:
I don't believe it.

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

Jules Winnfield:
Okay, so, tell me about the hash bars.

Vincent Vega:
So what you want to know?

Jules:
Well, hash is legal there, right?

Vincent:
Yeah, it's legal, but it ain't a hundred percent legal. I mean, you can't walk into a restaurant, roll a joint, and start puffin' away. They want you to smoke in your home or certain designated places.

Jules:
Those are hash bars?

Vincent:
Breaks down like this, okay: it's legal to buy it, it's legal to own it, and if you're the proprietor of a hash bar, it's legal to sell it. It's illegal to carry it, but that doesn't really matter 'cause, get a load of this, all right; if you get stopped by the cops in Amsterdam, it's illegal for them to search you. I mean, that's a right the cops in Amsterdam don't have.

Jules:
[laughing] Oh, man. I'm going, that's all there is to it. I'm fucking going.

Vincent:
Yeah, baby, you'd dig it the most. But you know what the funniest thing about Europe is?

Jules:
What?

Vincent:
It's the little differences. I mean, they got the same shit over there that we got here, but it's just...it's just, there it's a little different.

Jules:
Example?

Vincent:
All right. Well, you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don't mean just like in no paper cup; I'm talking about a glass of beer. And in Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald's. And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?

Jules:
They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?

Vincent:
Nah, man, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what the fuck a Quarter Pounder is.

Jules:
What do they call it?

Vincent:
They call it a "Royale with Cheese."

Jules:
"Royale with Cheese."

Vincent:
That's right.

Jules:
What do they call a Big Mac?

Vincent:
A Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it "Le Big Mac."

Jules:
[in mock French accent] "Le Big Mac." [laughs] What do they call a Whopper?

Vincent:
I don't know, I didn't go in a Burger King, You know what they put on French fries in Holland instead of ketchup?.

Jules:
What?

Vincent:
Mayonnaise.

Jules:
[makes a grossed out face] Goddamn.

Vincent:
[chuckles] I seen them do it, man, they fuckin' drown them in that shit.

Jules:
[grossed out] Yuck.

Vincent:
[about a foot massage] It's layin' your hands in a familiar way on Marsellus' new wife. I mean, is it as bad as eatin' her pussy out? No, but it's the same fuckin' ballpark.

Jules:
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Stop right there. Eating a bitch out and giving a bitch a foot massage ain't even the same fucking thing.

Vincent:
It's not. It's the same ballpark.

Jules:
Ain't no fucking ballpark neither. Now, look, maybe your method of massage differs from mine, but, you know, touching his wife's feet and sticking your tongue in the holiest of holies ain't the same fucking ballpark. It ain't the same league. It ain't even the same fucking sport. Look, foot massages don't mean shit.

Vincent:
Have you ever given a foot massage?

Jules:
Don't be telling me about foot massages, I'm the foot fuckin' master.

Vincent:
Given a lot of them?

Jules:
Shit, yeah. I got my technique down and everything, I don't be tickling or nothing.

Vincent:
Would you give a guy a foot massage?

Jules:
[pause] Fuck you.

Vincent:
You give them a lot?

Jules:
Fuck you.

Vincent:
You know, I'm getting kinda tired, I could use a foot massage myself.

Jules:
Yo, yo, yo, man, you best back off. I'm getting pissed here. This is the door.

Vincent:
There it is.

Jules:
What time you got?

Vincent:
[looks at his watch] 7:22 in the a.m.

Jules:
No, it's not time yet. Let's hang back. [they go into an empty hallway] Look, just 'cause I wouldn't give no man a foot massage don't make it right for Marsellus to throw Antoine into a glass motherfucking house, fucking up the way the nigga talks. That shit ain't right. Motherfucker do that shit to me, he better paralyze my ass because I'd kill the motherfucker. Know what I'm saying?

Vincent:
I ain't saying it's right. But you're saying a foot massage don't mean nothing, and I'm saying it does. Now, look, I've given a million ladies a million foot massages, and they all meant something. We act like they don't, but they do, and that's what's so fucking cool about them. There's a sensuous thing going on where you don't talk about it, but you know it, she knows it, fucking Marsellus knew it, and Antoine should have fucking better known better. I mean, that's his fucking wife, man. He ain't gonna have no sense of humor about that shit. You know what I'm saying?

Jules:
That's an interesting point. [pause] C'mon, let's get into character.

Brett:
[to Jules] Look, I'm sorry, I-I didn't get your name. I got yours, uh, Vincent, right? But-But I-I never got your...

Jules:
My name is Pitt, and your ass ain't talking your way outta this shit.

Brett:
[rising] No, no, no. I just want you to know how – [Jules motions him to sit down] I just want you to know how sorry we are that-that things got so fucked up with us and-and Mr. Wallace. I-I-It...we-we got into this thing with the best intentions. Really. I never...

[Jules shoots Roger, Brett recoils in horror]

Jules:
Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration? I didn't mean to do that. Please, continue. You were sayin' something about "best intentions"? [silence] What's the matter? Oh, y-you were finished? Oh, well, allow me to retort. What does Marsellus Wallace look like?

Brett:
..What?

Jules:
[angrily throws the small table in the room] What country are you from!?

Brett:
Wha-what?

Jules:
"What" ain't no country I ever heard of! They speak English in "What"!?

Brett:
What?

Jules:
ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER! DO YOU SPEAK IT!?

Brett:
Yes!!

Jules:
THEN YOU KNOW WHAT I’M SAYING!

Brett:
Yes..!

Jules:
DESCRIBE WHAT MARSELLUS WALLACE “LOOKS” LIKE!!!

Brett:
Wha-what I—?

Jules:
[points gun directly in Brett's face] SAY "WHAT" AGAIN! SAY "WHAT" AGAIN! I DARE YOU! I DOUBLE-DARE YOU, MOTHERFUCKER!! SAY "WHAT" ONE MORE GODDAMN TIME!!!!

Brett:
H-H-He's black...

Jules:
GO ON!

Brett:
...He's bald...!

Jules:
Does he look like a bitch?!

Brett:
What? [Jules shoots Brett in the shoulder] AGHH!! Anh..!!

Jules:
DOES! HE! LOOK!... LIKE! A BITCH?!?!

Brett:
NO!!!

Jules:
Then why'd you try to fuck him like a bitch, Brett?

Brett:
I didn't...!

Jules:
Yes, you did! YES, you DID, Brett! You tried to fuck him.

Brett:
No... no....

Jules But Marsellus Wallace don't like to be fucked by anybody except Mrs. Wallace. You read the Bible, Brett?

Brett:
[gasping for breath] Yes...!

Jules:
Well, there's this passage I've got memorized, it sorta fits the occasion. Ezekiel 25:17: "The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is He who in the name of charity and good will shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for He is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. [begins pacing about the room] And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know My name is the Lord... [pulls out his gun and aims at Brett] ...when I lay My vengeance upon thee."

[Brett shrieks in horror as Jules and Vincent shoot him repeatedly]

Marvin:
Oh fuck. I'm fucked. Oh fuck, oh fuck.

Vincent:
Is he a friend of yours?

Jules:
Hmm? Oh, Vincent, Marvin. Marvin, Vincent.

Vincent:
Better tell him to shut the fuck up, he's getting on my nerves.

Jules:
Marvin. Marvin. MARVIN! I'd knock that shit off if I was you.

Vincent:
You ever seen that show "Cops"? I was watching it one time, and there was this cop on, and he was talking about this gun fight he had in the hallway with this guy, right, and he just unloaded on this guy, and nothing happened, he didn't hit nothing. Okay, it was just him and this guy. I mean, you know, it's freaky, but it happens.

Jules:
Look, you want to play blind man, go walk with the shepherd, but me - my eyes are wide fucking open.

Vincent:
The fuck does that mean?

Jules:
I mean, that's it for me. From here on in, you consider my ass retired.

Vincent:
Jesus Christ...

Jules:
No blasphemy.

Vincent:
God damn it, Jules...

Jules:
I said don't do that!

Vincent:
Hey, you know why the fuck you fucking freaking out on us?

Jules:
Look, I'm telling Marsellus today, I'm through.

Vincent:
But why don't you tell him at the same time, why?

Jules:
Don't worry, I will.

Vincent:
Yeah, and I bet you ten thousand dollars he laughs his ass off.

Jules:
I don't give a damn if he does.

Vincent:
Marvin, what do you make of all this?

Marvin:
Man, I don't even have an opinion.

Vincent:
[Turns around, sloppily pointing his gun at Marvin] Well, you got to have an opinion! I mean, do you think that God came down from heaven and stopped the ... [Vincent's gun goes off]

Jules:
Oh! The fuck's happening?! Ah!

Vincent:
Oh shit!

Jules:
Man!

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

Jules:
What!? Why the fuck'd you do that?!

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

Jules:
Oh man, I seen some crazy ass shit in my time, but this...

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

Jules:
Hey, the car ain'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, man!

Jules:
Well, believe it now MOTHERFUCKER, we got to 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 is the valley, Vincent. Marsellus ain't got no friendly places in the valley.

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

Jules:
Shit!

Vincent:
What you doing?

Jules:
Calling my partner in Toluca Lake.

Vincent:
Where's Toluca Lake?

Jules:
Just over the hill here, over by Burbank studios. If Jimmie's ass ain't home I don't know what the fuck we going to do man, cause I don't got no other partners in 818. [over the telephone] Jimmie, yo', how you doing, man, it's Jules. Just listen up, man, me and my homeboy in some serious fucking shit, we're in a car we need to get off the road pronto. I need to use your garage for a couple hours...

Jules:
Mmm. Goddamn, Jimmie. This is some serious gourmet shit. Usually, me and Vince would be happy with some freeze-dried Taster's Choice, right? And he springs this serious gourmet shit on us. What flavor is this?

Jimmie:
Knock it off, Julie.

Jules:
What the fuck did you just call me?!

Jimmie:
I don't need you to tell me how fucking good my coffee is, okay? I'm the one who buys it, I know how good it is. When Bonnie goes shopping, she buys shit. Me, I buy the gourmet expensive stuff because when I drink it, I want to taste it. But you know what's on my mind right now? It ain't the coffee in my kitchen, it's the dead nigger in my garage.

Jules:
Oh, Jimmie, don't even worry about that.

Jimmie:
No, I wanna ask you a question. When you came pullin' in here, did you notice a sign out in front of my house that said "Dead Nigger Storage"?

Jules:
Jimmie, you know I ain't seen no...

Jimmie:
[shouting] Did you notice a sign out in front of my house that said "Dead Nigger Storage"?

Jules:
No, I didn't.

Jimmie:
[shouting] You know why you didn't see that sign?

Jules:
Why?

Jimmie:
[still shouting] 'Cause it ain't there, 'cause storing dead niggers ain't my fucking business, that's why.

Jules:
But Jimmie, we ain't gonna store the motherfucker.

Jimmie:
No, no, no, no, no, don't you fucking realize, man, that if Bonnie comes home and finds a dead body in her house, I'm gonna get divorced? All right? No marriage counseling, no trial separation, I'm going to get fucking divorced, okay? And I don't want to get fucking divorced. Now man, you know, fuck, I wanna help you, but I don't want to lose my wife doing it, all right?

Jules:
Jimmie, Jimmie, she ain't gonna leave you.

Jimmie:
Don't fucking "Jimmie" me, Jules, okay? Don't fucking "Jimmie" me. There's nothing that you're gonna say that's gonna make me forget that I love my wife, is there? Now look, you know, she comes home from work in about an hour and a half. Graveyard shift at the hospital. You gotta make some phone calls? You gotta call some people? Well, then do it. And then get the fuck out of my house before she gets here.

Jules:
Hey, that's Kool and the Gang. You know, we don't wanna fuck your shit up. All we wanna do is call my people and get them to bring us in, that's all.

Jimmie:
You don't wanna fuck my shit up? You're fucking up my shit right now. You're gonna fuck my shit up big time if Bonnie comes home. So just do me that favor, all right? The phone is in my bedroom, I suggest you get going.

The Wolf:
Okay, first thing: You two, take the body, stick it in the trunk. Now, Jimmy, this looks to be a pretty domesticated house. That would lead me to believe that in the garage or under the sink, you've got a bunch of cleaners and cleansers and shit like that?

Jimmy:
Yeah, Mr. Wolfe, under the sink.

The Wolf:
Good. What I need you, two fellas, to do is take those cleaning products and clean the inside of the car. I'm talking fast, fast, fast. You need to go in the back seat, scoop up all of those pieces of brain and skull, get it out of there, wipe down the upholstery. Now, when it comes to upholstery, it don't need to be spic-and-span. You don't need to eat off it, just give it a good once-over. What you need to take care of are the really messy parts. Those pools of blood, you got to soak that shit up. Now, Jimmy, we need to raid in your closet. I need blankets, I need comforters, I need quilts, I need bedspreads; the thicker the better, the darker the better. No whites, can't use 'em. We need to camouflage the interior of the car. We're going to line the front seat and the back seat and the floorboards with quilts and blankets. So, if a cop stops us and starts sticking his big snot in the car, the subterfuge won't last, but at a glance, the car will appear to be normal. Jimmy, lead the way. Boys, get to work.

Vincent:
A "please" would be nice.

The Wolf:
Come again?

Vincent:
I said a "please" would be nice.

The Wolf:
Get it straight, Buster. I'm not here to say "please". I'm here to tell you what to do. And if self-preservation is an instinct you possess, you better fucking do it and do it quick. I'm here to help. If my help's not appreciated, lots of luck, gentlemen.

Jules:
No no, Mr. Wolfe, it's not like that. Your help is definitely appreciated.

Vincent:
Look, Mr. Wolfe, I respect you. I just don't like people barking orders at me, that's all.

The Wolf:
If I'm curt with you, it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you two guys to act fast if you want to get out of this. So pretty please, with sugar on top, clean the fucking car.

Jules:
Man, I just been sitting here thinking.

Vincent:
About what?

Jules:
About the miracle we just witnessed.

Vincent:
The miracle you witnessed. I witnessed a freak occurrence.

Jules:
What is a miracle, Vincent?

Vincent:
An act of God.

Jules:
And what's an act of God?

Vincent:
When God makes the impossible possible. But this morning, I don't think it qualifies.

Jules:
Hey, Vincent, don't you see? That shit don't matter. You're judging this shit the wrong way. I mean, it could be that God stopped the bullets, or He changed Coke to Pepsi, He found my fucking car keys. You don't judge shit like this based on merit. Now, whether or not what we experienced was an "according to Hoyle" miracle is insignificant. What is significant is that I felt the touch of God. God got involved.

Vincent:
But why?

Jules:
Well, that's what's fucking with me. I don't know why, but I can't go back to sleep.

Vincent:
You serious? You're really thinking about quitting?

Jules:
The life?

Vincent:
Yeah.

Jules:
Most definitely.

Vincent:
Oh, fuck. What'cha gonna do, then?

Jules:
Well, that's what I've been sitting here contemplating. First, I'm going to deliver this case to Marsellus, then, basically, I'm just going to walk the Earth.

Vincent:
What'cha mean, "walk the Earth"?

Jules:
You know, like Caine in Kung Fu: walk from place to place, meet people, get into adventures.

Vincent:
And how long do you intend to walk the Earth?

Jules:
Until God puts me where He wants me to be.

Vincent:
And what if He don't do that?

Jules:
If it takes forever, then I'll walk forever.

Vincent:
So you decided to be a bum?

Jules:
I'll just be Jules, Vincent; no more, no less.

Vincent:
No, Jules. You've decided to be a bum. Just like those pieces of shit out there who beg for change, sleep in garbage bins and eat what I throw away. They got a name for that, Jules: it's called "a bum". And without a job, a residence or legal tender, that's exactly what you're going to be: a fucking bum.

Jules:
Look, my friend, this is just where you and I differ.

Vincent:
Jules, look, what happened this morning, I agree, it was peculiar. But water into wine, I...

Jules:
All shapes and sizes, Vincent.

Vincent:
Don't fucking talk to me like that, man.

Jules:
If my answers frighten you, then you should cease asking scary questions.

Vincent:
[pauses, looking annoyed] I'm gonna take a shit. Let me ask you something, when did you make this decision? When you were sitting there eating that muffin?

Jules:
Yeah, I was sitting here, eating my muffin and drinking my coffee and replaying the incident in my head, when I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity.

Vincent:
Fuck. To be continued.

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