What’s Really Inside the Pulp Fiction Case? Fans have speculated for years, but the object appears to be a tribute to a 1955 film noir classic.
What’s really in it? Pulp Fiction briefcase? Fans of the 1994 crime classic have been speculating for years, but director Quentin Tarantino has suggested there is no concrete answer. In filmmaking terms, the briefcase acts as a “MacGuffin”, a plot device used to advance the story. But for those who know their film history, it is clear that Tarantino is referring to a film noir classic with the Pulp Fiction briefcase.
In Pulp Fiction, hitmen Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) try to recover a briefcase for their mobster boss, Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames). In doing so, they kill three men (including Alexis Arquette’s Fourth Man) and later accidentally kill another, setting up a memorable “clean up” campaign. When Jules and Vincent first find the mysterious suitcase, a glowing light is visible, although the camera never shows its contents. Vincent appears to be having a spiritual experience and the briefcase later has the same effect on the mugger Pumpkin (Tim Roth), who describes its glowing contents as “pretty.”
The Story in Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction famously jumps back and forth in time to create a cinematic puzzle, and the briefcase represents one of the strangest-shaped pieces in that puzzle. While Tarantino clearly understands the contents of the Pulp Fiction suitcase a mystery on purpose – when it is opened the scene is always recorded to hide what’s inside – that hasn’t stopped Pulp Fiction fans can’t speculate about what’s inside the case. Some theories have much more evidence than others, but here are a few interpretations to consider (or reject).
What’s in the Pulp Fiction Briefcase – Best Theories
Online, the most popular Pulp Fiction theory is that the briefcase contains the soul of Marsellus Wallace. This means that the mobster has sold the soul to the devil and decides that he wants it back. But it comes with a price, of course, evidenced by the carnage that is Pulp Fiction† Many people have noticed that the lock code of the suitcase is 666, a number associated with the devil. To support the “soul” theory, many have suggested that the bandage on the back of Marsellus Wallace’s head correlates with a biblical text revealing how the devil takes one’s soul. Given Jules’ monologue about… “divine intervention” after miraculously surviving a shooting, the ‘soul’ theory is intriguing indeed.
Some Pulp Fiction enthusiasts have suggested that the suitcase contains the diamonds of Reservoir DogsTarantino’s feature film debut. There isn’t much evidence to support this argument other than the gangster aspects and character connections. In Reservoir Dogsgoes mr. Blonde, aka Vic Vega (Michael Madsen), rages after a carefully planned diamond heist that leaves Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) gets upset, who later escapes with the loot (Reservoir Dogs final audio implies that mr. Pink has been captured by the police). In Pulp Fiction, is the brother of Mr. Blonde – Vincent Vega (implied, later confirmed by Tarantino) – the first person to see the contents of the briefcase. It’s worth noting that Tarantino made Pulp Fiction’s story with Roger Avary, who once revealed that the Pulp Fiction suitcase originally contained diamonds, but that concept was eventually deemed “too boring and predictable.”
The beauty of Pulp Fiction’s suitcase is that it allows endless interpretations. Most likely Tarantino’s glowing light is just a tribute to the 1955 film noir classic Kiss me to deathwhich contains a string with a cryptic box – one that is connected to “the gates of hell” and glows when opened. This is one of the most plausible explanations, as it contributes to Quentin Tarantino’s well-known love of movies and also contributes to Pulp Fiction an air of mystery that has kept its fans guessing for decades.
Perhaps the real purpose of the briefcase is simply to fuel speculation between people Pulp Fiction fans. Tarantino has made no secret of his own theories and subtle ideologies behind his own films (he even admitted to considering some of his films as films-within-films), so maybe it was just the director’s way of giving fans space. to fill on their own in the blanks. Anyway, the contents of the Pulp Fiction Suitcase remains one of the most interesting movie mysteries of all time.
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