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12 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Pulp Fiction'

Updated July 6, 2021 11.6k votes 2.0k voters 107.5k views12 items

List RulesVote up the most interesting behind-the-scenes stories from 'Pulp Fiction.'

Pulp Fiction is an electrifying, mesmerizing motion picture. Pulp Fiction behind the scenes stories, on the other hand, are far less violent, but they offer their own entertainment value. On just his second film, director Quentin Tarantino assembled an A-list cast that included John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, and Christopher Walken. His story focused on criminals and lowlifes, asking us to identify with - and even like - them in unexpected ways. The snappy pop-culture references, twisty timeline, and creative violence left audiences breathless upon its release in 1994. And the mysterious glowing briefcase was a particular source of fascination. Pulp Fiction's impact on the industry was seismic - it reinvented the crime genre and set a template for indie films for years to come.

Making this classic wasn't always easy. The studio chief didn't want to hire John Travolta, there were disputes regarding the writing process, and a well-known rock band refused to allow one of their songs to be used on the soundtrack. Even if not everything went according to plan, it certainly went according to fate. The movie could not be more beloved.

Which of these behind-the-scenes stories from the making of Pulp Fiction is the coolest? Your votes will decide.

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    A Recovering Addict Was Brought On As A Consultant For The Drug Scenes

    John Travolta had the task of playing a character who uses heroin. While some actors take the Method approach and try to experience what their characters go through for real, Travolta realized that was not a good idea in this case.

    To help his performance, Tarantino brought in a recovering addict to work with his star. This consultant provided Travolta with advice on how to realistically portray the effects of that particular substance. Specifically, he recommended that the actor get drunk on tequila while sitting in a warm bath to simulate the effect.

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  • 6

    The Script Says Marcellus’s Briefcase Contained Diamonds

    Without a doubt, the most hotly debated question in Pulp Fiction has always been the contents of the mysterious glowing briefcase that Jules and Vincent are sent to retrieve. Multiple theories have been floated over the years, with one of the most oft-repeated being that it somehow contains Marcellus Wallace's soul.

    The truth is a little more mundane. Roger Avery, who has a writing credit on the film, has claimed that the original screenplay said there were diamonds in the briefcase. He explained: 

    Originally the briefcase contained diamonds. That just seemed too boring and predictable. So it was decided that the contents of the briefcase were never to be seen. This way each audience member would fill in the blank with their own ultimate contents.

    A likely inspiration for the briefcase's glow is a similar scene in the 1955 noir classic Kiss Me Deadly.

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  • 7

    Robert Rodriguez Directed The Scenes That Feature Quentin Tarantino As Jimmie

    Aside from writing and directing Pulp Fiction, Quentin Tarantino has a small supporting role as Jimmie. He helps Jules and Vincent dispose of Marvin's body.

    Because directing oneself as an actor is challenging, Tarantino called on a pal to help. From Dusk Till Dawn director Robert Rodriguez came to the set and directed all the scenes in which Tarantino plays Jimmie. Incidentally, he was originally thinking about playing Lance, but felt it was crucial to keep his focus behind the camera during that pivotal scene in which Mia is revived after an OD.

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  • 8

    Someone In The Audience Fainted During The Needle Scene At The New York Film Festival

    One of the most memorable scenes in Pulp Fiction comes when Mia Wallace overdoses and Vincent plunges a needle full of adrenaline into her heart. It's an intense moment. An act of that nature had never been shown onscreen before, so it caught a lot of people off guard. Most audiences recoiled at the scene. One viewer at the New York Film Festival went a step further, passing out during the sequence

    Actor Eric Stoltz, who also appears in the scene, remembered the incident in detail, saying: 

    We were sitting on one of those Juliet balconies, where you can look down on the audience. Just as the needle scene was happening, they brought the lights up. There was shouting: "Is there a doctor in the house?" People ran down the aisle and carried this fellow, who had fainted, out.

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