20 years ago last month, “Pulp Fiction” hit theaters and became an instant cult classic. Quentin Tarantino’s second turn as a feature director—the film followed “Reservoir Dogs”—’Pulp’ was also a critical success, garnering the helmer an Academy Award for Best Screenplay (along with Roger Avary). Part of the Miramax Oscar campaign, though strong enough to stand on its own laurels, the film also received nominations for Best Leading Actor (John Travolta), Supporting Actor (Samuel L. Jackson), Director, Actress in a Supporting Role (Uma Thurman), Editing, and Best Picture.
14 years after “Pulp Fiction” made its debut, the cast and crew reunited onstage on April 28, 2008 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ “Great To Be Nominated” series. To be fair, it’s more of a crew reunion than a cast one. Of the remarkable helping of A-listers who appeared in the film, only Julia Sweeney and Stephen Hibbert took part in the talk. But that’s actually what makes the hour-long recording so fascinating. How often do we get intimate discussions with the behind-the-camera talent on a film? This “Great To Be Nominated” event is a wonderful peek into how a film really gets made. Of course, it inevitably becomes the Quentin Tarantino show at times (most times), but that’s to be expected.
Tarantino (and the two actors) is joined by costume designer Betsy Heimann, production designer David Wasco, the late Sally Menke (who received the Best Editing nomination for the film and was a regular Tarantino collaborator), set decorator Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, casting directors Ronnie Yeskel and Gary Zuckerbrod, sound editor Avram Gold, and executive producers Stacey Sher and Richard N. Gladstein.
Watch the full hour for hidden insights, including how Samuel L. Jackson almost lost the part of Jules Winnfield to Paul Calderon (English Bob, in the film). Curious to know how “Pulp Fiction” relates to Sylvester Stallone’s “Cliffhanger”? Or what about additional scenes Tarantino was dying to include but just couldn’t, due to page count? The video answers all.