On October 14th 1994, fairly new director Quentin Tarantino released a non-linear, black comedy masterpiece we now know and love as Pulp Fiction.
The film is now generally known as a classic in the film world. Its non linear plot was successful, unlike some confusing films of the same genre. This success instantly made Tarantino a blockbuster director, and even launched the careers of Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson to superstar status.
The classic also single handedly revitalized the careers of both John Travolta and Bruce Willis -- who both went on to do blockbuster films on their own.
This is how it all began
Tarantino worked with screenwriter and director Roger Avary to write a three-part feature film. This three-part film ended up turning into two completely separate films.
The first part ended up becoming Tarantino's directing debut, Reservoir Dogs, which was a critical/cult classic. After its success, Tarantino went back to the lab with Avary and together they figured out their three-part plot, and they churned out Pulp Fiction.
On just an $8 million dollar budget, the crime comedy was a massive financial success, bringing in over $200 million dollars. Making it the 10th highest grossing film of 1994.
Critically it was a darling. Major critics like Roger Ebert were hypnotized by the film's unconventional writing. It was even named best film by the National Society of Film Critics.
Pulp went on to receive seven Oscar nominations and even won in the category of best original screenplay. Samuel L. Jackson won a BAFTA award for his supporting role as Jules Winnfield. Tarantino's classic didn't stop there, it also received a Golden Globe, as well as a British Academy film award.
The film has stood the test of time by being reinvigorated on platforms like Netflix and continues to impress those that have yet to witness its greatness.
It is considered by many to be one of the best films of all time. Back in 2008 Entertainment Weekly ranked it the best film of the last 25 years. Even IMDB, the Internet Movie Database, currently has it ranked at #7 on its highest rated films list.
It is easily the best film of it's type as a black comedy/crime film. A category that isn't often fused. It is also known as Tarantino's best film, critically rivaled by his first film, Reservoir Dogs, and his most recent film, Django Unchained. You could argue that all of Tarantino's films are his best, but Pulp Fiction is certainly the most memorable and the most timeless entry of all of his films.
Tarantino and his stars all capitalized off of Pulp's success and became even bigger stars, most of them continuing to work with Tarantino whenever they got the chance.
Where Are They Now?
John was already a star before Pulp, after his huge roles in Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Grease (1978). After Pulp Fiction, Travolta went on to star in award-winning films such as Get Shorty (1995), Face/Off (1997), and Hairspray (2007). John has continued to stay relevant and put his acting chops to good use making us love him all the more.
Uma Thurman went on to create quite the filmography after her starring role. Her biggest films post Pulp Fiction are her second and third collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino in Kill Bill Vol.s One and Two. Which were both financial and critical successes. But, even if they weren't, we could never get tired of her beautiful face.
Bruce, was a star before and after Pulp Fiction, just like Travolta. He went on to continue his Die Hard franchise, and he also added to his list of accomplishments with other blockbuster films. Films like Armageddon, The Fifth Element, and The Sixth Sense are classic Bruce Willis films that may not have come to be if it weren't for Pulp revitalizing his career.
Samuel L. Jackson
The Sam man, went on to create a huge film career, becoming one of the highest grossing actors of all time, while becoming very close friends with Quentin Tarantino. He worked with Tarantino on Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 2, and Django Unchained. Besides those hits, he also added heavyweight franchises like Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and Marvel's Cinematic Universe to his belt as well. But no matter how big his career has become. His role as Jules Winnfield is one in a million.
If you've seen Pulp Fiction before, watch it again and wish it a happy birthday! If you haven't, get your butt to a Netfilx capable machine now!