The Briefcase & The Band-Aid

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Can anyone tell me what was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction? And what is the Band-Aid on the back of Marsellus's neck about? Is there a connection? You never see or hear anyone say what's in the case. Thanks!

- Hedy
Aurthor: Pulp Date:

COMMENTS

soto_QT

One of the teories is that it is in fact the soul of Marsellus Wallace .This is one of the teories that makes the most sense(in a fictional way) because it is said that when one sells there sole to the devil the soul is extracted from the back of the head this explains the band-aid and since most things that are spiritual (saints ,halos,etc.)are thought to glow or produce light that might be why the suitcase glows.

Looney

First and foremost the briefcase is a story tellers tool known as a "Mcguffin".

Definition: McGuffin -noun
In film, a plot device that has no specific meaning or purpose other than to advance the story; any situation that motivates the action of a film either artificially or substantively; also written MacGuffin .
Etymology: Alfred Hitchcock's term, based on a story where this device was used in a story set on a Scottish train.

cwat

Re: whats in the briefcase and a few more tid-bitz


First and foremost the briefcase is a story tellers tool known as a "Mcguffin".

Definition: McGuffin -noun
In film, a plot device that has no specific meaning or purpose other than to advance the story; any situation that motivates the action of a film either artificially or substantively; also written MacGuffin .
Etymology: Alfred Hitchcock's term, based on a story where this device was used in a story set on a Scottish train.

With that in mind it is supposed to represent "The Devil's Deal" the idea of The thing that holds the most value to the person looking at it(everyone would see something different), and willing to kill/die or sacrifice everything you are and or have to possess it. It has a golden illumination because, whatever it is you hold in such high regards must be so illustrious and beautiful that it emits an almost heavenly glow. Remember your true heart's desire always looks so much brighter than how you view everyday wants.

The Combination being 666 (in my opinion) symbolizes the evil that we unleash (or unlock) by pushing past at any cost, what we know to be good right and true to obtain that which we hold in such high regards. If you think about it every time we inch our way over that moral line drawn in the sand it just makes it that much easier the next time. with that in mind we can never really posses our hearts desire, because as soon as we have it then we as a society look for the bigger better version, hence its unattainable but still we gave up our morals only to be left wanting more.

As for the band-aid well... Sometimes a band-aid is just a band-aid. I think people were reading more than was actually intended or thought of by QT, with his ability to make us question the underlying meaning of his films I think he would have had more center focus on the band-aid and left us with more questions, I mean come on the Ball-Gag had more center focus than it and I don't hear any hidden meaning about that. (Nor do I want to.) But the one thing I didn't hear mentioned was all the clocks during the movie were stopped (quirky trademark of the film) the time shown on most of them was 4:20, 2 were stopped at a different time.

profchaos33

My dick was in the briefcase ^_^

genius66

WELL BAD MUTHAFUKAS MY GENIUS THEORY IS THAT IT IS THE STOLEN WORLD CUP OF 1966 WHICH WE ENGLISH WON BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY CLUES WHICH ARE 1.THE AWE OF AMAZEMENT ON VINCENTS FACE SHOWING US IT IS NOT JUST GOLD BUT A PIECE OF HISTORY SOMETHING OF MORE THAN JUS VALUE 2.THE CASE LOCK IS 666 BUT IN THE FILM IT ONLY SHOWS YOU THE TWO 6'S HIS FINGER IS COVERING THE OTHER 1 UP 66' MEANING THE WORLD CUP YEAR 3. JULES IS CALLING TIM ROTH RINGO AS IN THE BEATLE COS HES ENGLISH THE BEATLES WERE AT THE HEIGHT OF THERE CAREAR IN 1966. AND LAST OF ALL THE REACTION OF 'RINGO' WHEN HE SEES WATS IN THE CASE SHOWS HE KNOWS JUST WAT IT IS AND SAYS 'IS THAT WAT I THINK IT IS' ''ITS BEAUTIFUL'' THINK ABOUT IT

simonjohn

marcellus wallace has 666 under the band aid on his neck. the reason for this is that marcellus wallace is the devil & the devil trades in souls.the item in the brief case is a soul, which as we know is being delivered to him by vincent vaga.( if only we all knew what a soul looked like!!?apart from a glowing gold colour ) except mr vaga himself who had a bad mishap with a toaster!! and is dead.

simonjohn

marcellus wallace has 666 under the band aid on his neck. the reason for this is that marcellus wallace is the devil & the devil trades in souls.the item in the brief case is a soul, which as we know is being delivered to him by vincent vaga.( if only we all knew what a soul looked like!!?apart from a glowing gold colour ) except mr vaga himself who had a bad mishap with a toaster!! and is dead. this in turn is why when bruce willis ( old punchy) runs marcellus clean over and he does not die is because you cant kill the devil because he is already dead. are we all on the same page now!!!!!!!!!!!!

simonjohn

marcellus wallace has 666 under the band aid on his neck. the reason for this is that marcellus wallace is the devil & the devil trades in souls.the item in the brief case is a soul, which as we know is being delivered to him by vincent vaga.( if only we all knew what a soul looked like!!?apart from a glowing gold colour ) except mr vaga himself who had a bad mishap with a toaster!! and is dead. this in turn is why when bruce willis ( old punchy) runs marcellus clean over and he does not die is because you cant kill the devil, because he is already dead. are we all on the same page now!!!!!!!!!!!!

moe39

Ok ill tell all of the pulp fiction followers the answer. Now the reason why Wallace has a band aid on the back of his neck is because he had his soul taken away by the guy he threw out the window! Why did the guy take his soul, how do you take an other mans soul that question is for a other thread my friends, but anyways i will give you guys info on why this is! 1st when vincent opens the case, the combination is 666 devils number. Now you can say the guy that Wallace threw out the window is the spawn of the devil or something IDK. But anyways now when that guy comes out of the bath room and starts shooting at them and does not hit either of them, why you might ask, well because they are holding the briefcase which has Wallace's soul! Then they pop caps in hes chest. Also every time juilles has the case he starts preaching about god, this case makes him see the right path! So he quits his job, now vincent on the other hand witch does not quit or follows the right path dies because of it! Also in china they think you can take a mans soul threw his neck hence why its on his neck, and he even talks about it when looking for the boxer (look back at the movie when their in the room with the dead man that the boxer killed) sorry for not knowing the names. And at the end of the movie because of the brief case jullies knows what that stuff from the bible means because of the case! Now you might ask why did vincent kill bret and friends, why ,well because he was helping the devil with Wallace soul! Now for all the people that think its gold, well wrong, does anybody know how heavy gold it, VERY. Why do you think Wallace is going out of town, well because he is getting his soul back into him by a china guy IDK dont ask, Why do i know all of this? Because Tarantino said it in his 1996 interview i have it on dvd i will post it on youtube if i get enough request for it sorry for bursting all of your guys bubbles! This is my favorite movie in the world, my favorite actor Samuel l Jackson.And also if you refer after Wallace has the brief case you get a shot at his neck with no band-aid after he comes home from that china guy that gives him back his soul. Its all in the interview with him, if i get enough requests i will put it on youtube!!!!!! This is a fan site. We have nothing to do whatsoever with Mr. Tarantino
besides the fact we love him and his fabulous movies.
GO STEELERS

darc_poet

Macguffin.....I hate that this term is used for what was originally known as a Chekov's Gun. I mean even the term chekov's gun sounds so much cooler.

Whats in the case is unimportant. Im glad that Quentin decided against using the diamonds from Reservoir Dogs in this movie. Mainly because the whole begining diner scene would make no sense because Tim Roth is the first thing you see in this movie, and he is british. Would have just been an ugly cluster fuck in my opinion. I have heard the soul theory, and it makes sense, but what is the point of trying to figure out something that isn't meant to be figured out. It could just as easily been the aliens from repo mans trunk, or whatever was in there. To me, whatever you want it to be, thats what it is.

Fokavius

The most probable content of the briefcase is a soul. The glowing and humming produced upon its being opened combined with the ease with which we see it being wielded, especially by Vincent Vega*, both rule out the possibility of its content being gold bars** and lend much credence to the soul theory. Furthermore, nothing short of a divine object could account for the raptures or shock experienced by everyone who is given the oportunity to glance at the content of the briefcase. Vincent's reaction is uneasiness, and possible reflective disinterest, dismissiveness or disbelief, while Honey Bunny & Punkin are dazzled, intoxicated, and awestruck. This too, if we are to assume that they did see a soul in the briefcase, is in concurrence with thier characters: Vincent is sceptical, and hardly religious; Honey Bunny and Pumpkin are meek, (god)fearing, and insecure. Or maybe since the soul, on some level, could be viewed as what one considers to be most valuable - what each one of them could have seen was what they considered to be the most radiant, and sacred, or even their pure idea of radiance and sacredness. This supports the McGuffin theory which actually in its own right supports the soul theory.

The band-aid, even if served to hide Wallace's actor's scar, still does not by any means eliminate the possibility that it had been employed as a clue by Mr. QT, especially since it was removed in the scenes after Wallace had received the briefcase. Is it not more than possible that that very actor got the role in the first place because of his conveniently placed scar? After a soul has been removed from a person by making an incision into the back of his neck, and then re-introduced into the same person through the same incision, wouldn't it be neat to have an actor who actually has a cicatrice at that very part of his body? Gee, I think so.

But... are we really sure it is Marcelus's soul that is inside that briefcase?

Does it not make sense that Marcelus Wallace could have previously sold his own soul to the Devil, and then obtained Tony Rocky Horror's soul*** as a replacement thus effectively cheating the Alfa-cheater himself?

In which case, the divine intervention that Jules Winnfield claimed he experienced was actually sheer coincidence in which Vincent so believed and by which he lost his life.

Or did Tony Rocky Horror steal Marcelus Wallace's soul in order to blackmail him, but got what it was coming to him and got to spend the remainder of his days in a vegetative state?

In which case, the divine intervention was an act of God helping a man who was bringing a soul back to its proprietor.

Bratt and his gang in each case are likely to have been Tony's cat's paw, which in turn explains why they had shown hesitation in handing over the briefcase.



*Vincent has no trouble brandishing it, suddenly and very rapidly flipping it over even - before opening it - and we can hear no sounds coming from the inside of the case during the process - a subtle way for Mr. QT to suggest that whatever is in that briefcase it is not heavy, it is not in separate pieces, and fills up the entire space of its interior.
** Gold, if not in some excitated state, does not hum, and would render Vincent Vega's effortlessness while handling the briefcase next to impossible, or awfully noisy at the very least.
*** Which would explain in a way the speech impediment he developed.

remogaagi

It's piracetam from Bulk Nutrition. That's what the whole movie is about.

Snape

I saw Pulp Fiction again the other night and was struck by how Tim Roths character Pumpkin responds with complete awe and wonder when the contents of the case are revealed to him in the diner scene by Jules (Samuel L. Jackson).

'Is that what I think it is? It's beautiful.'

'That' and 'It' would seem to discount the possibillity of diamonds or gold. One gold bar? Hardly a Kings ransom. Diamonds casting a golden light? Hmm ...

I agree with most of the comments posted here. What's inside the case is actually unimportant and if provided with an answer we'd find it an anti climax. QT is playing with audience curiosity by having Roth's character speak those lines. He's taken the notion of Hitchcock's MacGuffin, (something that can be ambiguous, completely undefined, generic or left open to interpretation), and teased our expectations. He's the perfect director for our post-modern, conspiracy theory culture; if you don't get the answer you want then you create more questions!

Great movie.









TonyRockyHorror

first of all, since when do gold bricks produce light? (HAHAHAH idiots)

let me break it down for you..

while all of you have been REPEATING THE SAME CLICHES ABOUT THE MOVIE YOUVE BEEN OVERHEARING FOR THE PAST DUNNO-HOW-MANY YEARS about 666 on the briefcase and the band aid and blah de fuckin blah, none of you have decided to look further at the, get this, symbolism, motifs and themes for the film!!!

i heard at least one cat say God stopped the bullets since they were messengers from God and that the frat boys were devils workers. props to you. examine even closer the tid bits of dialogue between them in that particular scene. ever hear that old saying "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"? remember when jules pops flock-of-seagulls, and retorts "oh im sorry, did i break your concentration? continue; you were saying something about 'best intentions'".....

on the surface, tarantino has created a new brand of gangster comedy that examines american culture, not just the old pop culture of the 70's, but the way we live within our comofrtable lives through the eyes of some people living in a criminal underbelly. the true meat of this picture is the spiritual journey each of the main characters takes.

One word you need to keep in mind the next time you watch this flick: REDEMPTION. After jules and vince are given a second chance, Jules heeds the call while Vince remains ignorant, and what happened? he got sprayed by Butch. and what happened after Butch escaped the clutches of the perverts? he turned around, did the courageous thing by reentering the depths of hell to save the man who wanted him dead, and was given a free walk. After all, having just been reunited with his soul, im sure Wallace was experiencing a mighty change of heart....


look, now that i got the gears turning, go reexamine my favorite movie and look for more connections such as this.

enjoy, be peace.

axolotl

Okay, it's been over two years since I posted 'Marsellus's soul'. We now know that is not valid, because Ving Rhames had a sore on the back of his neck and it was covered with a bandaid.
The McGuffin theory is only partially correct. The briefcase does contain whatever you want it to contain. However, this applies to the characters too. For Vincent, drugs; for Ringo, gold; for Marsellus, money.

Most importantly, for Jules it contains enlightenment (in the Buddhist sense). The movie has an underlying theme of Buddhism. Jules knows what each of the others sees in the case ("Wisdom is knowing others, enlightenment is to know yourself")

btw, Butch achieves sudden enlightenment when he awakens from his dream of the gold watch.

axolotl

Check this web site for details of the 'enlightenment theory':

cananalyze.blogspot.com

the Can Analyze blog.

Pulp

test

baalroo

strange there would be three years of comments and no mention of the spear of destiny. in christian mythology it's the spear that was driven into christ's ribs when he was on the cross and although it grants immortality to any man who possesses it, losing the spear dooms you to death.

if you want to include the bandaid on the neck it could be assumed that marsellus sold his soul in order to procure the spear.

This would also explain why the bullets go straight through jules and vincent when they have just procured the case, why vincent (supposedly a top flight professional hitman) accidentally shoots marvin in the face for no reason shortly after they take the case from him, and why vincent ends up making a rookie mistake and gets shotgunned by butch shortly after jules takes the case to deliver it to marsellus.

The only person to make it out alive is Jules, who "sees the light," gives the case away with no remorse, and decides to walk a spiritual path.

dalejr

tarantino refers to the briefcase as a mcguffin. For those who havent heard of this means he wants u to believe whatever is in that case in your own mind. Thats why its never explained. He wants u to make up your own mind which again i am referring back to what he calls a MCGUFFIN. Everyone is making it out more then what it really is. The band aid situation was that he was so self conscience about all these back head shots no make up would cover the scare to where he felt comfortable about it. No make up could correct so they used the last resort which may be odd trying to make a big deal out of something so simple and not what it was meant to turn out to be by everyone discussing it. African scars are harder to disguise then a caucasions. Thus the purpose of the band aid. Alot of people have blown these questions way out of purportion. Certain things i can go with but this is alittle far fetched. Think what u may of me but to think these weird accusations makes u pretty strange yourself.

Diddycoz

The glow has more meaning than just "what you make of it". I've seen similarities with Pulp Fiction, The Last Dragon and LOST. I call it The Glow Project.. you can watch it here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmvFgSfpfbQ