MOTW: Five Unique and Interesting Facts About "Pulp Fiction"

Photo Credit: Miramax Films
August 20th, 2013

MOTW: Five Unique and Interesting Facts About "Pulp Fiction"

"Pulp Fiction" is a cult favorite that has found its way into many movie-lovers' collections. It was directed and cowritten by Quentin Tarantino, who is famous for rough, gory, and satirical films. Released in 1994, this black comedy has an eclectic mixture of violence and humor. The ironic dialog, nonlinear storyline, pop culture references, and cinematic allusions in "Pulp Fiction" are still treasured today. The mention of the words "Royale with Cheese" is enough to transport any Gen-Xer into a tailspin of movie quotes and memories. To experience this film all over again in a fresh new light, take a look at these five unique and interesting facts about "Pulp Fiction."

The Dance - 

Vincent and Mia's dance sequence at Jack Rabbit Slim's restaurant is now legendary. While the audiences love to watch Travolta dance, Quentin Tarantino stated that this scene was written before Travolta was cast in the part. After watching the drugged-out dancers Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace do their routine, you see them walking into Mia's house carrying a trophy. The audience assumes they won the dance contest. Later on, Butch Coolidge, played by Bruce Willis, is walking into his apartment, and a TV can be heard from a neighboring apartment. A Jack Rabbit Slim's commercial is on, and the faint voice in the commercial says that the dance competition trophy was stolen.

Movie Connections - 

Quentin Tarantino is famous for tying movies together through characters and other references, both blatantly and subtly. "Pulp Fiction" was his second movie, so it has many references to his first movie, "Reservoir Dogs." In fact, in an interview with Peter Biskind, Tarantino said that these two movies started out as part of a series of three shorts written by three different people. Tarantino ran with his short and created "Reservoir Dogs." He and Roger Avary then wrote "Pulp Fiction" together in Amsterdam. One connection between these two movies is that Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta, is the cousin of Vic Vega from "Reservoir Dogs." Another is that the briefcase that Vincent and Jules carry around is rumored to contain the diamonds from "Reservoir Dogs." The audience may also recognize Mr. Pink from "Reservoir Dogs" as the waiter who looks like Buddy Holly in "Pulp Fiction."

Madsen as Vega? -

Tarantino originally wanted Michael Madsen to play Vincent Vega because he had played Vic Vega in "Reservoir Dogs." However, Madsen took a role in Kevin Costner's "Wyatt Earp" instead. Harvey Weinstein wanted Daniel Day-Lewis to take the role, but everyone knows that it ultimately went to John Travolta. What most people don't know is that sources claim Travolta took the part for a bargain salary of only $100,000 or $140,000. It was exactly what Travolta needed to revitalize his career. "Pulp Fiction" earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and roles in a slew of other movies soon after.

The Gimp -

In the television version of "Pulp Fiction," all the scenes with the Gimp are removed, and whoever did the editing really paid attention to detail. Every single mention of his name, each time he appears, and every time he talks has been edited out of the movie. In one scene in the original film, a very small part of the Gimp's shoulder can be seen in the bottom right corner while Zed is talking. The editor managed to remove even that by zooming in on Zed a little more.

Jules' Bible Quote -

Before killing someone, Jules always recites a Bible passage that he claims is Ezekiel 25:17. He says this passage three times throughout the film: at the beginning of the movie when Vincent and Jules take Marsellus's briefcase from Brett, during the Bonnie Situation, and at the end of the movie. However, the words Jules speaks are not a Bible passage. The first two sentences are fabricated from various biblical phrases, and the last two sentences are very similar to the actual Ezekiel 25:17 passage. The speech was inspired by Sonny Chiba, a Japanese martial arts star; an almost identical quote appears at the beginning of Karate Kiba and its American version, "The Bodyguard."

The next time you watch "Pulp Fiction,", you may see some of the scenes from a different perspective. Knowing a little bit about how Quentin Tarantino came up with some of the characters and the script for the film will make it even more interesting to watch. Even though "Pulp Fiction" was made over a decade ago, it is still enjoyed today.