With Pulp Fiction
writer-director Quentin Tarantino stunned the filmmaking world, exploding into prominence as a cinematic heavyweight contender after initial success with 1992's Reservoir Dogs
. But Pulp Fiction
was more than just the follow-up to an impressive first feature, or the winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, or a script stuffed with the sort of juicy bubblegum dialogue actors just love to chew, or the vehicle that re-established John Travolta on the A-list, or the relatively low-budget ($8 million) independent showcase for an ultra-hip mixture of established marquee names and rising stars from the indie scene (among them Samuel L Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Ving Rhames, Harvey Keitel, Christopher Walken, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Julia Sweeney, Kathy Griffin and Phil Lamar). It was more, even, than an unprecedented $100-million-plus hit for indie distributor Miramax. Pulp Fiction
was a sensation. It packs so much energy and invention into telling its non-chronologically interwoven short stories (all about temptation, corruption and redemption among modern criminals, large and small) it leaves viewers both exhilarated and exhausted--hearts racing and knuckles white from the ride. (Oh, and the infectious, surf-guitar-based soundtrack
is tastier than a Royale with Cheese.) --Jim Emerson
Quentin Tarantino's blockbuster follow-up to Reservoir Dogs
is a breathtaking tribute to old dime store novels about small time hoods and dangerous criminals. It features deftly woven plotlines, creating a mythic Los Angeles underworld of drug dealers, molls, affable hitmen, restaurant-robbing lovers, and a boxer out to scam the mob on his last professional bout. This is the film that put John Travolta back on the map as a major box-office draw in the '90s and officially established Samuel L. Jackson as a superstar. It also inspired a seemingly endless slew of imitators. Travolta, Jackson and Bruce Willis star (alongside a star-studded cast) as petty thugs in the seedy underworld of Los Angeles where smart talk, quickfire humour and confrontation are a way of life. Winner of the Golden Palm Award at Cannes and Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay.