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Quentin Tarantino has contributed many highly acclaimed projects to the entertainment industry. But there was only one film he felt was closest to Pulp Fiction.

The inspiration behind ‘Pulp Fiction’

Quentin Tarantino posing while wearing a blue shirt.
Quentin Tarantino | Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

Quentin Tarantino once shared his belief that his Pulp Fiction included many narratives that audiences had already seen. But he asserted he wanted to take these familiar narratives seen in previous films a bit further. He attempted to accomplish this feat by really spending time with certain character types.

“Well, the idea in Pulp Fiction was the idea of taking the – I wouldn’t say film noir, but the pulp genre that was represented in the case of magazines like Black Mask where you had Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett writing them,” he once said on The American Film Institute. “And so I thought the idea in the case of Pulp Fiction, that would be kind of cool is to take three separate stories and make them be the oldest stories in the book.”

Tarantino would go on to describe where he originally got the idea for his characters.

“Whether it be Vincent’s character, the hoodlum has to go out with the boss’ lady but ‘Don’t touch her!’ And there’s a whole history of people who have touched her and what happens. Well, we’ve seen that before, a zillion times. In the case of the Bruce Will story, that’s the boxer who was supposed to throw the fight and he doesn’t and now the mob’s after him. We’ve seen that story a million times before,” he said.

Tarantino completed this experiment of his by having these different characters interact with one another in a way that hadn’t been seen before.

“So, it was the idea of taking these chestnuts and putting them together. And then having these characters kind of intertwine,” he explained.

Quentin Tarantino once named the one film that was closest to ‘Pulp Fiction’

In 2009 Tarantino introduced Inglourious Basterds to the big screen. Basterds was a passion project for Tarantino that he’d been working on for years. Initially, Basterds was a film he struggled with. The ideas were so grand that the filmmaker wondered if he should’ve made Basterds a mini-series instead.

“You know, I came up with the idea for this story a long, long time ago, but it was just too big. It was like a novel. I struggled with it for a long time and then finally I put it away. And so when I decided to take it out again, I thought, ‘Okay, maybe I could do it as a miniseries, but let me try to tame this, to make it into a movie,’” he once told Filmmaker.

When Tarantino got around to making Basterds, the film’s pacing reminded him a lot of his Pulp Fiction days.

“It’s a no-f****** around kind of pacing. That doesn’t mean it’s a big action movie. It just means there’s a good, steady pacing. I don’t luxuriate in every scene. But it’s got the mix of dialogue with the action. It’s probably the closest thing I’ve ever done to Pulp Fiction,” he said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Quentin Tarantino once explained why he was ‘pissed off’ with the Oscar results for ‘Inglourious Basterds’


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Tarantino was a bit upset with Basterds’ Oscar results. Although the film was nominated eight times, best-supporting actor was the only win it picked up. The accolade went to Spectre star Christoph Waltz.

“You know, it was like…I didn’t shamelessly promote Inglourious Basterds in any way, shape, or form. But I did what was asked of me. I did a genuine campaign, all right? And maybe I did a little too much. And yeah, we won Supporting Actor, but I was a little pissed off by the results. And I probably won’t ever do that much again,” he once told GQ.

He especially wanted to win an award for best original screenplay, since it would’ve tied him with another filmmaker.

“I’m not competitive as a director. But the thing about it is, if I win a third screenwriting Oscar, I will tie with Woody [Allen]. I can’t beat Woody until I tie with him,” he explained.