Can you believe it’s already been 21 years since Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction hit theatres? Back in Oct. 14, 1994 it was truly groundbreaking; nothing out there was like it. The story itself is both subtle and over-the-top, there’s clever, witty dialogue, it has some of the craziest action, and who can forget about some of the foulest, most memorable characters in film?
Twenty years later, Pulp Fiction only gets better with each viewing, and whether you watch it for the dance sequence, Butch saving Marsellus Wallace, Mia’s overdose or Samuel L. Jackson‘s overall magnificence (“Say ‘what’ again!”), it’ll never get old. But there are some things about the film that you might not know, almost as surprising as a Royale with Cheese.
** Warning: Consider every video NSFW **
Vincent Vega and Mr. Blonde are brothers
That’s right, Vincent’s brother just happens to be Reservoir Dogs‘ Victor Vega a.k.a. Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen). Clearly, Vinnie got the dancing skills in the family.
The Pulp Fiction/Jackie Brown connections
The suit Jackie wears in the movie is identical to Mia Wallace’s (Uma Thurman). Also, the Honda Jackie drives is the same Butch drove, and totalled, in Pulp Fiction.
Sorry, but the sword Butch grabs in Maynard’s pawn shop is not the same one as the Bride’s in Kill Bill (hers was custom-made), nor was it Budd’s (his was hidden in a golf bag). It just happened to be another sword.
In chronological order
The movie goes back and forth but if you were to put it in chronological order, it would go like this:
1. Vincent and Jules (scene following opening credits)
2. The Bonnie Situation
3. The Diner Part 1 (opening scene)
4. The Diner Part 2 (end scene)
5. Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace’s Wife
6. Prelude to The Gold Watch (Captain Koons’ speech to Butch)
7. The Gold Watch
Halle Berry could’ve been Mia Wallace
She auditioned but come on! This role was tailor-made for Uma.
Ellen DeGeneres auditioned for Rosanna Arquette’s role
Can you imagine Ellen as Jody, the pierced-face wife of Vincent’s drug dealer? Yeah, neither could we. Just think, her talk show may have ceased to exist. Or the tone might have been a whole lot different.
Sylvester Stallone could’ve been Butch
This one could’ve worked; Rocky would never throw a fight either.
No Sam Jackson?
Bite your tongue! The role of Jules was almost given to Paul Calderon after his great audition. But when Jackson heard this, he flew to Los Angeles and auditioned again, this time consuming a burger and fries so menacingly, they couldn’t not give him the role. Calderon wound up with a small role as the bartender at Marsellus’ strip club instead.
What’s the deal with the $5 shake?
When Mia orders a $5 shake from waiter “Buddy Holly” (Steve Buscemi), he asked if she wanted it “Martin and Lewis or Amos and Andy?” He is referring to two comedy duos — Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, two white dudes; and the Amos ‘n Andy Show, two black guys. Basically, he’s asking her if she wants a vanilla shake or a chocolate shake. (She opts for vanilla.)
The F word
“F*ck” (and all its variations) is said 265 times. Ahh, foul-mouthed Vice-President Selina Meyer is so proud.
“Bad Mother F*cker” wallet was actually Tarantino’s
Because, of course. Really, though, the inscription on the wallet is a reference to the Shaft theme song. Coincidentally, Jackson went on to play Shaft in the 2000 remake of the ’70s movie and series.
Try and hold it
Every time Vincent went to the bathroom, something awful happened: Mia overdosed; the diner where he and Jules were eating was held up; and, finally, Butch got the jump on Vincent.
Same lines, different movies
Fabienne’s (Maria de Medeiros) line, “Any time of day is a good time for pie,” might sound familiar because Alabama (Patricia Arquette) in True Romance, which Tarantino wrote, says the same thing. Also, in both Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction, someone says, “Garçon means boy.” FYI, fille means girl. Thanks, Grade 4 French!
Back it up
The scene where Vincent plunges a shot of adrenaline into Mia’s chest to revive her from an overdose wasn’t as freaky as it could’ve been. It was actually filmed with Travolta pulling the needle out of Thurman, and then the film was run backward.
Captain Koons’ watch
As Koons (Christopher Walken) told a young Butch the story about the gold watch being a family heirloom, he refers to a soldier named Winocki who transported it. Joe Winocki was the name of a character in the 1943 film Air Force, directed by one of Tarantino’s personal heroes, Howard Hawks.
There are many theories as to what is in the briefcase: Marsellus Wallace’s soul, the stolen diamonds from Reservoir Dogs, gold, money, OJ Simpson‘s or Michael Jackson‘s other gloves — you name it. But according to Tarantino, he says, “It’s whatever the viewer wants it to be.” Wah-wah.
QT wrote the character of Winston “The Wolf” Wolfe, specifically for Harvey Keitel.
The Wolf’s date was married — to The Gimp
After Jules and Vincent cleaned up their bloodied car, they — along with Wolfe — drove it to a junkyard. Saturday Night Live alum Julia Sweeney played the junkyard owner’s daughter, and she and Wolfe go for breakfast. At the time of filming, Sweeney was married to Stephen Hibbert, who played the infamous Gimp.
Nah. Marsellus wasn’t sporting a bandage on the back of his neck for a particular reason; rather, it was merely covering up a scar Ving Rhames had.
Ezekiel 25:17 upped for dramatic effect
The actual Bible verse says, “I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I take vengeance on them.” Doesn’t quite have the same impact as Jackson’s monologue, which might get you kicked out of Sunday school class. Additionally, the quote was reportedly taken from any early draft of From Dusk Till Dawn in which Keitel’s character was supposed to say it, while walking backwards down the hallway facing off against vampires. Whatever. It’s still one of the best monologues ever uttered.