pulp Fiction

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German title pulp Fiction
Original title pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction Logo.png
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1994
length 154 minutes
Age rating FSK 16
Director Quentin Tarantino
script Quentin Tarantino,
Roger Avary
production Lawrence Bender
camera Andrzej Sekuła
cut Sally Menke

Pulp Fiction is a film directed by and starring Quentin Tarantino from the year 1994 . The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards - including the Best Picture - and won the Best Original Screenplay category . He was awarded the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival . In addition, the film is on the list of All-Time 100 Movies of Time magazine,. In 2013, Pulp Fiction was included in the National Film Registry .

The title is taken from colloquial English. It is used to denote "trivial or trash literature " ( English pulp fiction ), the successor to the penny novels , with several short stories usually summarized in such a booklet.


The plot consists of three episodes that are interwoven and told in non-chronological order. With the exception of a few scenes that do not reveal the location, the entire film takes place in the greater Los Angeles area. The storylines are interwoven by the characters and a MacGuffin , here a suitcase, the contents of which are never shown to the viewer.

Prologue and first main scene

In a short prologue, the gangster couple Pumpkin and Honey Bunny decide in a diner restaurant to rob it. This is followed by the final scene.

After the opening credits of the film skips to a scene to later continued Episode The Bonnie Situation heard: the two assassins Jules Winnfield and Vincent Vega driving in a car. Vincent recently returned from Europe. You carry out the order given by the gang boss Marsellus Wallace to get revenge on former "business partners" and to pick up a suitcase belonging to Marsellus. You enter the apartment, which Jules and Vincent know of four or five of these former business partners, including a man named Brett. When they have made sure that they have found the suitcase and its contents, Jules casually shoots one of the men during the short conversation. After another brief questioning, they shoot Brett after Jules has very emphatically quoted a fantasy Bible passage that is supposed to be Ez 25.17  EU . There is a change of scene, which is announced with an intertitle.

Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's wife

Sitting at a table in a smoky pub is a short-haired man, Butch Coolidge. He is a boxer and receives a large sum of money from Marsellus Wallace so that he goes down in the fifth round of his next fight. Vincent and Coolidge run into each other in the pub.

The next day, Vincent buys heroin from his dealer Lance , takes a shot, and picks up Mia Wallace, the wife of his boss Marsellus. He's supposed to pass the time for her while Marsellus is away. The two of them go to Jack Rabbit Slim’s restaurant , which is furnished in the style of the 1950s and where actor doubles work as waiters. Their conversation revolves around the banality of whether the milkshake served there is worth the $ 5 price tag. In addition, the would-be actress Mia tells of her experiences, which are limited to a pilot film of a then unrealized television series called Fox Force Five . She ingests cocaine in the toilet and then insists that Vincent take part in the twist contest in order to win the prize. The subsequent dance scene to Chuck Berry's You Never Can Tell shows both of them with movements that have become iconic for the film, like a hand pull with two stretched fingers at eye level.

When Vincent drops Mia (with the trophy in hand) at home, he swears in the bathroom that nothing more will happen. Meanwhile, Mia finds the heroin in Vincent's coat, mistakes it for cocaine, sniffs an overdose and collapses. When Vincent sees what happened, he takes Mia to his drug dealer Lance, who has an adrenaline shot ready for emergencies . With an adrenaline injection straight into the heart, they manage to revive Mia. Vincent brings Mia back home. Mia and Vincent agree that Marsellus should not find out about this.

The gold watch

Boxer Butch Coolidge remembers a day in his childhood shortly before his fight when Captain Koons - a comrade of his father who died in the Vietnam War - presented him with his gold watch. According to Koons, this watch has been passed down through several generations of the Coolidge family since World War I. During his captivity in Vietnam, Butch's father and - after his death - Koons hid the watch "in their asses" from the Viet Cong for several years .

Coolidge is now reportedly deliberately losing his boxing match, for which he was paid by Marsellus Wallace. However, he has plans of his own, takes advantage of the situation and bets on himself - he knocks down his opponent, who dies in the boxing ring. He actually wants to flee the city with his girlfriend Fabienne right away, but she forgot his father's watch in the shared apartment. Since the clock means a lot to him, Coolidge drives to the apartment despite the high risk. Once there, he takes the gold watch, then discovers a discarded submachine gun in the supposedly abandoned apartment and surprises Vincent when he unsuspectingly leaves the toilet. Butch shoots him and sets off on the drive back to Fabienne. At a traffic light, he meets Marsellus Wallace crossing the street, who recognizes Butch in the car. Butch tries to run Wallace over and is run over himself immediately. After both have come to, Wallace shoots Butch and chases the fugitive into a pawn shop. Butch overpowers his pursuer and wants to shoot Wallace, who is lying on the ground, but the shopkeeper Maynard knocks him down with the butt of a rifle and calls a friend, Zed, a security agent.

When Butch and Wallace wake up, they find themselves bound and gagged in the torture cellar of the house, where Maynard and Zed are holding the sex slave "Hinkebein" ("The Gimp"). While Marsellus is raped by Zed in the next room, Butch manages to free himself. First he wants to flee, but then turns around at the shop door, chooses a weapon from the store's stocks - first a hammer , then a baseball bat , then a chainsaw and finally a Japanese sword of the katana type - and with it overcomes the two tormentors. While Butch kills Voyeur Maynard with the samurai sword and keeps Zed in check, Marsellus frees himself and shoots Zed in the genitals to seek revenge.

Butch and Marsellus reach an agreement: they are "even". Butch has to leave town forever and keep silent about the rape. While Butch wants to go to Fabienne's, Marsellus decides to have Zed tortured to death there in the basement "with a pair of pincers and a soldering iron ".

Butch drives Zed's chopper to Fabienne's and then with her into an uncertain future.

The Bonnie situation

There is a time jump back. After Jules and Vincent have shot the two crooks Roger and Brett, a third storms into the room from the bathroom with a gun held up and shoots all the ammunition at the two, but without hitting them. He is shot unceremoniously. Jules believes in a miracle, a divine intervention, and decides to give up his "job".

Jules and Vincent take Marvin, the only survivor and informant (to the hiding place of the suitcase), in their car. Vincent accidentally shoots Marvin in the head while driving and discussing the “divine intervention”. In order to remove the bloody traces of the fatal accident as quickly as possible, Jules drives them to his friend Jimmie. Jules and Vincent cannot stay there, however, as Jimmie's wife Bonnie will be home soon. Marsellus therefore sends Mr. Wolf, a cleaner and organizational genius for problematic situations, to clear things up. Mr. Wolf has Jules and Vincent clean the inside of the car and cover it with blankets before he hoses the bloodied hit men in the garden and lets them put on clothes by Jimmie. Then all three drive to Monster-Joe's towing service, at whose scrapyard the problem car with the corpse is disposed of.

Jules and Vincent then visit a restaurant that, while Vincent is in the toilet, is attacked by the two crooks Pumpkin and Honey Bunny - here the plot ties in directly with the prologue. Pumpkin goes around robbing the guests. When Jules arrived at the table, he asked for the suitcase. After a nervous discussion, Jules is ready to hand over the suitcase and opens it - a golden sheen is visible, but not its contents. At that moment Jules, who has already held the pistol ready under the table, manages to gain the upper hand. But since he is currently going through a "development", he gives Pumpkin all his money (he buys Pumpkin life for 1500 dollars so that he does not have to kill him and can keep the suitcase), lets the two complete their raid and leave. Jules and Vincent leave the restaurant.


Set up a scene at Pulp Fiction

The temporal connection of the individual strands can be recognized by individual motifs such as the suitcase or the clothes of Vincent and Jules. The suitcase is picked up in the first main scene, on the way the protagonists get into “The Bonnie Situation”, in which they have to change their clothes, followed by breakfast in the restaurant (prologue and final scene). In this makeshift clothing they deliver the suitcase to Marsellus Wallace at the beginning of the episode "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife", after he has just negotiated the postponement of the boxing match with Butch Coolidge, which in turn forms the basis for the episode "The Golden Watch" becomes. As in the first main scene, Vincent mentions that he should take care of Wallace's wife Mia the next day; the episode "Vincent Vega and Marsellus Wallace's Wife" takes place the day after "The Bonnie Situation". Chronologically the latest is the episode "The Golden Watch", in which Vincent is shot by the boxer Butch.


In 1986, the unsuccessful actor Quentin Tarantino worked in a video store and wrote scripts that he sent unsolicited to all possible film studios. Together with a colleague, Roger Avary , he drafted a script that was supposed to combine three of the oldest clichés: “Those that have been seen a zillion times - the boxer who is supposed to throw a fight but doesn't, the mobster who's supposed to entertain his boss's wife for an evening and the two killers on their way to a job. ”The elements of the story should be reminiscent of classic entertainment thrillers of the 1920s and 1930s by writers such as Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett , who appeared in dime novels published on cheap paper (English pulp ). Hence the title of the film.

Front page of the script, last version from May 1993

The script

Tarantino only wanted to write the storyline with the mafioso and the boss's wife, Avary was supposed to write the scenes about the boxer, and they were looking for a third author for the story about the killers. Because they couldn't find anyone, Tarantino did this part too. When work on the script failed, Tarantino stopped and turned to another subject; this resulted in Reservoir Dogs . The film became a huge hit at the 1992 Sundance Festival , and Tarantino was noticed in Hollywood. Pulp Fiction was to be his next project, for which he turned down all other offers. Danny DeVito put TriStar Pictures , who pledged $ 900,000. For three months Tarantino flew to Amsterdam with several notebooks full of drafts for Pulp Fiction . After the Cannes International Film Festival , where Reservoir Dogs ran out of competition and got a contract with Miramax , Avary followed him, and together they wrote the first act. There were disputes between the two over Avary's part in the final text. Tarantino wanted to reduce it to a contribution to the submission and offer him a fixed amount; in the end they agreed on a percentage participation and joint naming as authors.

Tristar then rejected the script, as did all other major studios. Only Harvey Weinstein resorted to for Miramax, recently in the Disney Corp. had risen. For Weinstein, the film was a test of how far the autonomy granted him by Disney's Jeffrey Katzenberg would go, so he clarified the project with him. Katzenberg advised caution with the drug scenes, but was enthusiastic about the script and immediately agreed.

Cast and filming

For the role of the killer Vincent Vega, Tarantino had actually planned Michael Madsen , who played the criminal sadist Vic Vega in Reservoir Dogs . But because he wasn't available, Tarantino had to look for another actor. Artistically at the end of his career, John Travolta was his next choice. Weinstein objected that he wanted Daniel Day-Lewis , Sean Penn , William Hurt or Bruce Willis for the role. Tarantino put Weinstein under pressure because other studios had become aware of the material and threatened to part with Miramax if Weinstein did not consent to Travolta within 15 seconds. At 8 seconds, Weinstein agreed. After the premiere, Weinstein presented Travolta as his idea.

Bruce Willis desperately wanted to participate in the film and took on the role of boxer Butch after the originally intended Matt Dillon showed no enthusiasm. With Willis, who was a box-office hit thanks to Die Hard , the film's success had become predictable for the producers. For the female role of Mia Wallace, Tarantino wanted Uma Thurman . She was unsure about the drug use and sexual violence in the film, but eventually agreed. Samuel L. Jackson prevailed against Paul Calderón with a furious script reading .

The shooting comprised 51 days of shooting, beginning on September 20, 1993 with the opening scene in the fast food restaurant, followed by the final scene of the framework action at the same location. To get by on a budget of $ 8.5 million but for a glamorous effect, Tarantino shot on low-sensitivity footage. As a team, he hired non-union film people, some of whom he had worked with at Reservoir Dogs . In November 1993 they shot the last scene of Captain Koons' monologue to the young Butch, who later became a boxer.

Marketing and Festivals

Tarantino purposely made the film rare before its official release. At the 1994 Cannes Film Festival , it only showed an early morning press screening and an official competition screening that same evening. But Weinstein made sure that an enthusiastic review by the New York Times critic was delivered to all jury members in their hotel rooms prior to the screening for the competition jury and the audience.

After the win in Cannes, the film was only shown again and only once at the New York Film Festival in September , just one month before its official release. At the Oscars in 1995, the film could only win the award for the best original screenplay, the other major categories went to Forrest Gump .


With a production cost of $ 8.5 million, both Bruce Willis and John Travolta waived a large portion of their usual fees. Instead, Tarantino's producer Lawrence Bender paid all cast members $ 20,000 per week of shooting. Travolta rented a room at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel while he was working for seven weeks and said that he would even pay more money to work on the film. However, all the main actors received a percentage of the proceeds from the film.

Miramax was able to raise the production costs with the sale of the foreign rights after the festival in Cannes for 11 million US dollars. World brought Pulp Fiction 214 million US dollars and was the most successful independent film of its time.



The German-language dubbing was done by Hermes Synchron based on a dialogue book by Andreas Pollak , who also directed the dialogue .

role actor Voice actor
Vincent Vega John Travolta Thomas Danneberg
Jules Winnfield Samuel L. Jackson Helmut Krauss
Marsellus Wallace Ving Rhames Tilo Schmitz
Butch Coolidge Bruce Willis Manfred Lehmann
Mia Wallace Uma Thurman Petra Barthel
Honey Bunny / Yolanda Amanda Plummer Marina Krogull
Pumpkin / Ringo Tim Roth Wolfgang Bahro
Winston "The Wolf" Wolf Harvey Keitel Christian Brückner
Captain Koons Christopher Walken Helmut Gauss
board Frank Whaley Nicolas Boell
Buddy Holly Steve Buscemi Dietmar miracle
Coffee shop manager Robert Ruth Alexander Duke
The fourth man Alexis Arquette Udo Schenk
Ed Sullivan (announcer) Jerome Patrick Hoban Eberhard Prüter
Esmeralda Villalobos Angela Jones Ana Fonell
Fabienne Maria de Medeiros Ulrike Stürzbecher
Jimmie Dimmick Quentin Tarantino Jörg Hengstler
Jody Rosanna Arquette Ghadah Al-Akel
Lance Eric Stoltz Hans-Jürgen Wolf
Marvin Phil LaMarr Peter Flechtner
Maynard Duane Whitaker Tom Deininger
Paul Paul Calderón Klaus Lochthove
Raquel Julia Sweeney Irina von Bentheim
Zed Peter Greene Stefan Fredrich

Music and soundtrack

The choice of music always plays an important role in Tarantino's films. The majority of the songs come from the years 1958 to 1972 and can be assigned to surf rock , country music or soul in a broader sense . The 1994 cover version of the Neil Diamond hit 1967 Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon, is also in 1960s surf style, although it was released at the time of film production. A very funky number from the mid-1970s is Jungle Boogie by Kool & the Gang . The country-soul ballad If Love Is a Red Dress (Hang Me in Rags) by Maria McKee from 1993 also fits in stylistically with 1960s retro music.

In addition to the film music , the LP and CD available for the film also contain individual text excerpts and dialogues in the original English, such as the well-known discussion about Hamburg culture in Europe or the alleged Ezekiel quote.

  1. Tim Roth & Amanda Plummer - Pumpkin & Honey Bunny (dialogue) / Dick Dale & His Del-Tones - "Misirlou" (1961)
  2. Samuel L. Jackson & John Travolta - Royale With Cheese (dialogue)
  3. Kool & The Gang - "Jungle Boogie" (1974)
  4. Al Green - "Let's Stay Together" (1972)
  5. The Tornadoes - "Bustin 'Surfboards" (1962)
  6. Ricky Nelson - "Lonesome Town" (1958)
  7. Dusty Springfield - "Son of a Preacher Man" (1968)
  8. Maria de Medeiros & Bruce Willis - Zed's Dead Baby (dialogue) / The Centurions - "Bullwinkle Part II" (1964)
  9. Jerome Patrick Hoban & Uma Thurman - Jack Rabbit Slim's Contest (dialogue) / Chuck Berry - "You Never Can Tell" (1964)
  10. Urge Overkill - "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" (1994)
  11. Maria McKee - "If Love is a Red Dress (Hang Me in Rags)" (1993)
  12. The Revels - "Comanche" (1964)
  13. The Statler Brothers - "Flowers on the Wall" (1966)
  14. Samuel L. Jackson & John Travolta - Personality Goes a Long Way (Dialogue)
  15. The Lively Ones - "Surf Rider" (1963)
  16. Samuel L. Jackson - Ezekiel 25, 17 (dialogue)

In 2002 a Collectors Edition was published, which contains 5 additional titles:


year Award Won Nominated Award winner, nominated
1994 Cannes International Film Festival Golden palm Quentin Tarantino
1994 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor Award John Travolta
Award for Best Director Quentin Tarantino
Best movie Quentin Tarantino
1994 Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best director Quentin Tarantino
Best movie Quentin Tarantino
Best script Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
1995 Academy Awards (Oscar) Best original script Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
Best Actor John Travolta
Best supporting actor Samuel L. Jackson
The best supporting actress Uma Thurman
Best director Quentin Tarantino
Best cut Sally Menke
Best movie Quentin Tarantino, Lawrence Bender
1995 Saturn Awards Best action, adventure, thriller film Quentin Tarantino
1995 American Cinema Editors Best special effects Sally Menke
1995 Japanese Academy Award Best foreign language film Quentin Tarantino, Lawrence Bender
1995 BAFTA Awards Best original script Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
Best supporting actor Samuel L. Jackson
Best Actor John Travolta
Best main actress Uma Thurman
Best cut Sally Menke
Best movie Quentin Tarantino, Lawrence Bender
Best tone Stephen Hunter Flick, Ken King, Rick Ash, Dean A. Zupancic
1995 Screen Actors Guild Awards Best Actor John Travolta
Best supporting actor Samuel L. Jackson
The best supporting actress Uma Thurman
1995 David Lean Award Best director Quentin Tarantino
1995 Blue Ribbon Awards Best foreign language film Quentin Tarantino
1995 BRIT Awards Best film score
1995 Artios Best cast for a feature film Ronnie Yeskel, Gary M. Sugar Loaf
1995 Chicago Film Critics Association Awards Best director Quentin Tarantino
Best original script Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
1995 Chlotrudis Awards Best actor Samuel L. Jackson
Best movie
Best supporting actor Samuel L. Jackson, Bruce Willis
The best supporting actress Uma Thurman
1995 César Best foreign language film Quentin Tarantino
1995 David di Donatello Best Foreign Language Actor John Travolta
Best foreign language film Quentin Tarantino
1995 Directors Guild of America DGA Award for special achievements in a film Quentin Tarantino
1995 Edgar Allan Poe Awards Best movie Quentin Tarantino
1995 Golden Globes Best film script Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
Best director Quentin Tarantino
Best film - drama Quentin Tarantino, Lawrence Bender
Best Actor - Drama John Travolta
Best supporting actor Samuel L. Jackson
The best supporting actress Uma Thurman
1995 Independent Spirit Awards Best director Quentin Tarantino
Best effects Lawrence Bender
Best Actor Samuel L. Jackson
Best original script Quentin Tarantino, Roger Avary
Best supporting actor Eric Stoltz
1995 Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Best director Quentin Tarantino
Best movie
1995 Kinema Junpo Awards Best foreign language film Quentin Tarantino
1995 London Critics Circle Film Awards Main actor of the year John Travolta
Screenwriter of the Year Quentin Tarantino
Director of the year Quentin Tarantino
Film of the year
2003 DVD Exclusive Awards Best menu design Hunter Sauleda


“With laconic humor, the brilliant black comedy shows a society that is ruled by brutality, stupidity, moral indifference and grotesque coincidences. Well-known patterns of trivial culture and American B-Pictures are intelligently varied and counteracted. The film does not shy away from excessive, even if satirically exaggerated scenes of violence, some of which are difficult to digest. "

“With grotesque dialogues [...] director, author and supporting actor Quentin Tarantino counteracts some scenes of extreme brutality. At the same time, it unfolds a brilliant story that breaks the conventional narrative structures of the cinema. Where other films are content with one-dimensional action orgies, Tarantino skilfully jumps back and forth between different locations, times and actions in order to finally close the loop and join the loose storylines into a larger whole. For the gangster film genre, that was like a revolution in 1994 that has since found countless copyists. "

- Cinema .

“(The film relies) - according to its title, which refers to the cheap groschenhefte ('pulps') - on speed, garish effects, on the breathless sequence of events. But this strange conglomerate of sex, violence, humor and profundity is extremely artfully coordinated, so that the jumps in the plot set irritating accents. You are captured by the tension that lives in and between the images, and in the end you wonder where the line between 'pulp fiction' and reality really runs. "

- Dieter Krusche in Reclam 's film guide

“... Deceived: Pulp Fiction is not a masterpiece, but a brilliant, clever stunt that uses a little trick to make stories that have long been told consumable in a trend-setting way, drive them out of noir and swing on the border between black humor and bloody parades of violence without creating a unity: The Episodes remain disparate [...] That has already happened in the Black Series. So far nothing new, quite apart from multi-perspective and alternative episodic films by masters like Orson Welles or Jean-Luc Godard ... "

- Hans Gerhold

“Quentin Tarantino staged a brilliant puzzle game with an abundance of surprising twists, grandiose dialogues and an unbeatable cast. Above all, John Travolta delivers a first-class, self-deprecating performance. Without a doubt one of the best films of 1994 [...]. "

According to users of the Internet Movie Database, the film is the eighth best film of all time (as of June 2019).


  • Quentin Tarantino: Pulp Fiction: The Book of the Film. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1994, ISBN 3-499-13630-9 .
  • Sharon Waxman: Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System. Harper Perennial, New York 2006, ISBN 978-0-06-054018-0 .
  • Mark Seal: Cinema Tarantino - The Making of Pulp Fiction , Vanity Fair, March 2013 (for the twentieth anniversary of the film).
  • Hans Gerhold: In the heart of the lie: The American film noir in the 90s , in: Martin Compart (Hrsg.): Noir 2000. Ein Reader , Cologne 2000 (DuMont Buchverlag), p. 350–383, here p. 364 . ISBN 3-7701-5018-X .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Certificate of Release for Pulp Fiction . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry , September 2011 (PDF; test number: 72 013 V).
  2. ALL-TIME 100 Movies Website of Time Magazine. Retrieved July 22, 2013.
  3. Mark Seal: Cinema Tarantino - The Making of Pulp Fiction , Vanity Fair, March 2013.
  4. ^ Pulp Fiction. In: synchronkartei.de. German synchronous index , accessed on October 2, 2017 .
  5. ^ Pulp Fiction. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed September 12, 2016 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  6. Pulp Fiction New in the cinema. Film details page
  7. ^ Collaborators: Jürgen Labenski and Josef Nagel. - 13., rework. Ed. - Philipp Reclam, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-15-010676-1 , pp. 580-581.
  8. Hans Gerhold: In the heart of the lie: The American film noir in the 90s , p. 364.
  9. ^ Pulp Fiction. In: prisma.de. prisma-Verlag , accessed on October 2, 2017 .
  10. In 8th place in the IMDb (as of June 2, 2019)