Pulp Fiction is a 1994 American crime movie written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, based on a story by Tarantino and Roger Avary, and starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, and Uma Thurman. The movie’s tittle refers to the pulp magazines and hardboiled crime novels popular during the mid-20th century, known for their graphic violence and punchy dialogue. Take a look below for 30 more interesting and fascinating facts about Pulp Fiction.
1. The screenplay of Pulp Fiction was written in 1992 and 1993, and incorporated some scenes originally written by Roger Avary for True Romance.
2. Considerable screen time is devoted to monologues and casual conversations with eclectic dialogue revealing each character’s perspectives on several subjects, and the movie features an ironic combination of humor and strong violence.
3. The script was reportedly turned down by Columbia TriStar as “too demented.”
4. Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein was instantly enthralled with it, and the movie became the first that Miramax fully financed.
5. Pulp Fiction won the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival, and was a major critical and commercial success upon its U.S. release.
6. It was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture; Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary won for Best Original Screenplay.
7. John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, and Uma Thurman each received Academy Award nominations for their roles in Pulp Fiction and each revitalized or elevated their careers.
8. The nature of its development, marketing and distribution, and its consequent profitability, had a sweeping effect on the field of independent cinema.
9. Since its release, Pulp Fiction has been widely regarded as Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece, with particular praise singled out for its screenwriting.
10. Pulp fiction’s self-reflexivity, unconventional structure, and extensive use of homage and pastiche have led critics to describe it as a touchstone of postmodern film.
11. A 2008 Entertainment Weekly list named Pulp Fiction the best film from 1983 to 2008, and the work has appeared on many critics’ lists of the greatest movies ever made.
12. In 2013, Pulp Fiction was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being, “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
13. The shot of Vincent plunging the syringe into Mia’s chest was filmed by having John Travolta pull the needle out, then running the film backwards. Watch carefully and you’ll see a mark on Mia’s chest disappear when she’s revived.
14. Harvey Keitel convinced his friend Bruce Willis to take part in the movie, knowing that Willis had been a big fan of Reservoir Dogs.
15. In real life, Vincent Vega’s 1964 Chevelle Malibu convertible belonged to writer and director Quentin Tarantino, and was stolen during the production of the movie. In 2013, a police officer saw two kids stripping an older car. He arrested them, and when researching the vehicle, found the VIN had been altered. It turned out that it was the car stolen from Tarantino. The owner had recently purchased it, and had no idea that it was stolen.
16. The movie cost $8 million to make, with $5 million going to pay the actors’ and actresses’ salaries.
17. Uma Thurman originally turned down the role of Mia Wallace. Quentin Tarantino was so desperate to have her as Mia, he ended up reading her the script over the phone, finally convincing her to take on the role.
18. Jules was originally written to have a gigantic afro, but a crewmember 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 and Tarantino liked it, so it was kept.
19. Quentin Tarantino was quoted as saying that Butch is responsible for keying Vincent’s car.
20. The word “fuck” is used 265 times.
21. In the opening sequence with Honey Bunny and Pumpkin, Jules can be heard talking about quitting “the life,” and Vincent can be seen entering the bathroom.
22. Quentin Tarantino hesitated over the choice between the character he was going to play, Jimmie or Lance. He ended up choosing Jimmie’s role because he wanted to be behind the camera in Mia’s overdose scene.
23. Jules flipping the table over in the beginning was improvised by Samuel L. Jackson, and Frank Whaley’s reaction was genuine, but they continued with the scene, and it was done in one take.
24. Quentin Tarantino wrote the role of Jules specifically for Samuel L. Jackson, however, it was almost given to Paul Calderon 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.
25. Chronologically, the last scene in the movie is Butch and Fabienne riding away on a motorcycle. The first sound you can hear in the movie is of the same motorcycle engine.
26. The 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. Quentin Tarantino then changed the role, and offered it to Bruce Willis, who had been disappointed at not being signed to play Vincent.
27. Marsellus and Mia never speak to one another on-screen, even though they are seen together poolside, and are husband and wife.
28. When Vincent first walks into Mia’s house, one of the back doors is slightly open. This was done so the camera wouldn’t be reflected in the glass.
29. Upon the movie’s U.K. video rental release, some video stores gave away a pack of limited edition “Pulp Fiction” matches. On the back of the packet was a quote from the movie, “you play with matches, you get burned.”
30. Courtney Love claimed that Quentin Tarantino originally wanted Kurt Cobain and her to play Lance and Jody. However, Tarantino denies every having even met Kurt, much less offering him a part.