The IMDB Top 100 Films – #8 Pulp Fiction

Director Quentin Tarantino stormed onto the scene in the early 90s with a low budge, independent phenomenon in Reservoir Dogs. The film wasn’t a massive success, but it was recognized by critics and fans alike as something new and exciting and garnered the director enough fame to start work on his next project, one that would forever redefine popular culture in the 90s, Pulp Fiction, the number 8 film on IMDB’s top films list.

The film burst onto the scene in 1994, winning the Palm D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and subsequently opening in America to a surprisingly good reception. As a film, there are more than a few bits that stand out, making it so memorable.

First off, the plot is told completely out of order. The non linear plotline isn’t entirely new to Hollywood, but it became well known as Tarantino’s signature style. The basic plot of this film revolves around a couple of hit men, a gold watch and a fixed fight, a mob boss and his wife, and whole lot of drugs, violence, and poppy, ironic dialogue.

Not only did the film work to create big stars out of actors like Samuel L. Jackson, and reestablish the careers of has beens like John Travolta, it catapulted its director to director stardom as the premier name in risk taking, pop culture strewn reference and homage. As one of the quirkier stars of modern film making, Tarantino has a knack for taking the old and obscure and turning it into something new and fresh.

The title of the film appropriately derives from Pulp novels of the early century, usually strewn with the excess sex, violence, and drug use that Tarantino utilizes so well. Ironically, his homage to everything from McDonalds to the Bible has become something of a cultural icon itself. Pulp Fiction’s lines appear often and everywhere and the fractured storytelling techniques of its director have become a style all to themselves. The violent, stylish crime thriller is a genre more or less on its own these days, filled with dozens of aspiring directors trying their hand at making films that reach out to the demographic that Tarantino helped to create with this film.

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Ironically the film has been listed as one of the greatest comedies of all time, one of the greatest crime dramas of all time, and won an academy award for best screenplay. With overall critics scores in the high 90th percentile, the film defies all basic categorization, but everyone tends to agree that it’s an amazing film with an important place in American film history.