Vince and Mia’s Dance
One of the most memorable scenes in Pulp Fiction is when Vince and Mia dance at the 1950s restaurant called Jack Rabbit Slims. The pair competed in a dance competition at the restaurant and they, presumably, won. It is never actually stated however, that they won. Later on, during Butch Coolidge’s storyline, a TV announcer can be overheard stating that the trophy was stolen.
Mia’s Backstory later turned into Kill Bill
We don’t learn a lot about Uma Thurman’s character, Mia Wallace. But we do learn that she starred in a TV pilot called Fox Force Five. Her character was a deadly secret agent who was an expert with a knife, demolition and kung fu. Tarantino took Mia Wallace’s onscreen character and made it into the Kill Bill series. He used the same template of the all-female secret agent team and turned it into the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad that was seen in both movies.
Those $5 Shakes
One part of the movie that left viewers confused, is when Mia, at Jack Rabbit Slims, orders a $5 shake from the Buddy Holly impersonator waiter. The waiter asks her “Martin and Lewis or Amos and Andy?” What he is really asking is whether she wants vanilla or chocolate. Martin and Lewis were white entertainers while Amos and Andy were black comedians. Also, that waiter is actually actor Steve Buscemi.
More Than One Mia
Tarantino had more than one actress in mind for the iconic role of Mia Wallace. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jennifer Aniston were considered. There was only one problem with trying to cast either of the actresses: they were already big stars on popular TV shows at the time. Neither actress had time to do work on a big movie production while starring in hit shows at the same time.
Toward the end of Pulp Fiction, Jules Winnfield, played by Samuel L Jackson, states that he was to become a drifter. Well, his wish actually came true. Jackson appears in Tarantino’s Kill Bill Volume 2. Jackson’s role in Kill Bill Volume 2 is that of a piano-playing drifter. Read on to find out some more thrilling facts about the iconic cult film Pulp Fiction.
There are many mysteries left unsolved, ever wondered what happened to the contents of Marsellus Wallace’s briefcase? Or what was the Band-Aid located on the back of his head. One theory claims that the Band-Aid covers up the spot where Wallace’s soul was snatched from his body. But, in reality, actor Ving Rhames just cut himself shaving one day and the director decided to keep it in the film.
A Dillon Butch
Did you know? That the actor Matt Dillon was offered the role of Butch. Dillon reportedly told the producers that he would have to think about it. While he was thinking about it, he ended up losing the part. “I’m sure Matt Dillon has lost many things because he takes forever to read,” casting director Ronnie Yeskel later said. While Dillon was thinking the part over, Yeskel met with Bruce Willis about the part. Willis was very adamant that he wanted the role.
A Nervous Dancer
John Travolta is no stranger to the art of the dance, but Uma Thurman on the other hand, was not confident at dancing and was actually quite nervous before the first dancing scene. “I was so embarrassed and awkward and shy,” the actress later confessed in an interview. It took some time but the two eventually got it down perfectly.
Quentin Tarantino wrote the script of Pulp Fiction to certain songs, after writing them down, he gave to his music director to find. According to the music director, Karyn Rachtman, just finding the songs alone was a challenge. Because Tarantino wrote them all down and he, according to Rachtman “could not spell.” Tarantino also didn’t write down the correct names for the songs, so it became detective work.
Jackson’s First Read
The role of Jules was actually written for Samuel L. Jackson, but he wasn’t automatically cast in the role. “Sam Jackson came in to read it and he sucked. He thought he had the role, so he didn’t put any effort into reading it. And he didn’t get the role,” casting director Ronnie Yeskel stated. They let Jackson come back in and give it another go.
Travolta’s Almost Non-Comeback
Pulp Fiction was a big comeback for actor John Travolta but he almost didn’t have a part. “John wasn’t supposed to do this movie, it was Michael Madsen who had the role,” casting director Ronnie Yeskel said. Due to a scheduling conflict, Madsen, who was filming Wyatt Earp at the time, had to drop out. Travolta came in to audition for the role and eventually got the part even though the head of Miramax wanted Daniel Day-Lewis.
The Keyed Car Unveiled
In the movie, Vincent Vega’s car is keyed by an unknown assailant. The perpetrator is never revealed in the movie but a deleted scene and Tarantino’s own testimony give us an answer. According to Tarantino, it was none other than… wait for it…Butch, Bruce Willis’ character!
Quentin Tarantino played the role of Jimmy in Pulp Fiction but seeing as he was also the director he had to ask for a bit of help for the parts where he would be in front of the camera. Tarantino had close friend and fellow filmmaker Robert Rodriguez step in.
Released Elsewhere First
Pulp Fiction was officially released in the United States on October 14, 1994. But before that, the movie had been seen in cities all around the world AND the movie was released in a few other countries before being released in the US. The film had also been shown in a number of different venues, such as at the Cannes Film Festival in France, and film festivals in Munich, Germany, and Locarno, Switzerland.
A Pint-Sized Budget
Today we think of Pulp Fiction as this huge cult classic, but it didn’t always start out that way. The film is actually an independent film and it was made on a very small budget, even with such big names. The budget for filming the movie was just $8.5 million- a small sum compared to the average movie production budget totaling around $50 million at the time.
The Writing of The Script
Quentin Tarantino wrote the entire first draft of Pulp Fiction in a one-room apartment in Amsterdam. He had no phone or fax machine in his room and wrote the entire draft in his notebook. In the end, he had reached the huge amount of 500 pages. But where did he get his inspiration from?
According to Tarantino, he spent his mornings strolling around the beautiful canals of Amsterdam drinking tons of coffee, then returned to his room to write as much as possible. Some of the dialogue was affected by his time in Europe, including the famous scene about what a quarter pounder is called in France.
Everyone Needs a Bit of Help
Quentin Tarantino’s handwritten draft needed a lot of help for it to become the epic movie it came to be. For that, Tarantino enlisted the help of Linda Chen, who was a photographer, to type it all up. As unconventional as she was, she certainly got the job done!
Diary Of A Mad Man
After going through the very first draft, will all the grammatical and syntax errors, plus Tarantino’s illegible handwriting, Chen said that it was like “the diary of a mad man.” The two had a very close relationship in the making of the movie and Chen served as a photographer on the movie.
Like World War III
Hide your children and run for cover because Pulp Fiction contains enough F-bombs to completely destroy the world. In fact, there are an entire 265 of them. That may seem like just a few dozen too many but the colorful language adds a lot to the movie. Read on to find out more amazing facts you probably didn’t know about Pulp Fiction.
Vincent Vega, played by John Travolta, drives a beauty- 1964 Chevelle Malibu convertible in the film. The car actually belonged to Quentin Tarantino. During the production of the movie, it was in fact stolen off the set. The police went on the lookout for the vehicle. Almost two decades later the convertible was found. The man who owned the car had no idea it was stolen or that it belonged to the famous filmmaker.
Something You Might Have Missed
This is something you may have missed, the marquee advertising Butch’s fight read Coolidge vs. Wilson referring to the two former presidents. But unfortunately, this was a mistake given that President Calvin Coolidge never ran against President Woodrow Wilson. The sign also mentions a match between Vossler and Martinez, a pair that weren’t presidential candidates or fighters. They were friends of Tarantino’s from a young age.
Mia Overdose Scene
So, that scene where Mia Wallace overdoses and John Travolta’s character is forced to plunge a syringe of adrenaline into her heart? Yeah, that wasn’t all movie magic… A real needle was involved and everyone was on edge during the scene.
Before Honey Bunny was a gun-slinging robber, she was a rabbit. Honey Bunny is actually named after a real bunny. Tarantino’s typist/camerawoman Linda Chen had a bunny named Honey Bunny, which she asked Tarantino to watch while she was away. He decided to dedicate one of his characters to the beloved pet. Chen was instrumental in the success of the movie and even received a special thanks in the credits.
The Original Poster
The very first poster advertising the movie Pulp Fiction showed Uma Thurman smoking, as in the later posters, but in the first one she was smoking from a pack of Lucky Strikes. Miramax neglected to obtain the rights to use such imagery. If you are one of the lucky few to still have an original poster it can fetch several hundred dollars.
The Flowers on the Wall
The song, Flowers on the Wall, was a very last minute addition to the score of Pulp Fiction. On the day the scene was being shot (the one when Butch gets his gold watch and runs Jules over) they still hadn’t decided on a song. As the script called for Butch to be singing along with the song on the radio they didn’t really have an option of changing their mind once the scene was shot (or else have to reshoot later down the road), so they choose the Statler Brother’s Flowers on the Wall.
Of course in all movies there are small continuity flubs, and Pulp Fiction is no exception. For example, the scene when John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson are shot at in the apartment and the shooter misses, the bullet holes are already in the wall even before shots are fired. Take a look when you watch it again.
Another Mistake You Didn’t Notice
Another mistake is that before John Travolta gives Uma Thurman the adrenaline shot in the chest, they mark the spot with a red marker. Later on in the scene, the red mark disappears, without ever explaining how. Did she wash it off?? Now you won’t be able to un-notice this.
Vincent’s Real Pulp Fiction
The book Vince can be seen reading throughout Pulp Fiction is a real novel by Peter O’Donnell featuring the action comic character “Modesty Blaise.” The comic strip and book series are based on a young woman who has many hidden talents and a dark criminal past, much like the characters of the movie.
Board Game Lover
The maker of the film, Quentin Tarantino, absolutely loves board games. That’s why they appear so frequently in his movies. In Pulp Fiction you can find both Operation and The Game of Life in certain scenes. Tarantino even convinced John Travolta to hold an all-day marathon of playing board games based on shows and movies in which Travolta starred, such as Grease, Welcome Back Kotter, and Saturday Night Fever.
Pulp fictions, for those who don’t know, were cheap magazines published from 1896 until the 1950s. They were called “pulps” because of the cheap paper material they were published on, similar to low-quality comic books. Prior to the pulps, cheap publications were also referred to as “penny dreadfuls” and “dime novels”.
Guns Aren’t What They Appear
You might have noticed that guns are a big motif throughout Pulp Fiction. But they aren’t always used in the method you would imagine. In fact, they are used in the opposite manner as intended and that’s because many of the close-range shots miraculously miss their targets.
Hit By Mistake
In one of the close-range shots, Marvin is hit by mistake, while another was intended to kill Vincent but doesn’t. Furthermore, it’s Jules’ gun that prevents the violence that was about to erupt at the coffee shop. Tarantino made a point in the film to make guns a theme but not in an expected way.
What’s It Like To Kill A Man?
When Butch flees in a cab after killing his boxing opponent, the taxi driver (Angela Jones) actually played the same character in a TV show pilot – as a crime scene cleaner – where she was fascinated with death. This explains why she asks Butch what it’s like to kill a man.
Husband And Wife
Did you ever notice, that Marsellus and Mia Wallace never speak to each other on-screen, despite being husband and wife?
Quentin Tarantino hesitated over playing Jimmie or Lance. He eventually chose Jimmie as he wanted to be behind the camera during Mia’s overdose scene.
Biblical Passage Made Up
Jules’ famous and oft-quoted Bible passage was in fact made up by Quentin Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson. Only the final two lines feature in Ezequiel 25:17.
In the scene where Marsellus Wallace is attacked and violated in the basement of a pawn shop, there is a song playing in the background called Comanche by “The Revels.” Tarantino had originally wanted to have the song My Sharona by “The Knack” playing in the background for more effect. Unfortunately, not all of the band members wanted their song in the scene, due to religious reasons. So, Tarantino was forced to find another song.