What’s in the Briefcase? A Royale With Cheeseathon Guest Post

Today I bring you another Royale With Cheeseathon Guest Post, this one from the great MovieRob. Rob is a film blogging machine; when he’s not posting his film reviews daily at his site (sometimes three or four a day), he’s hosting several blogathons and themed series, including Genre Grandeur, where each month he invites guest bloggers to review films in a particular genre. This month’s genre is war movies (a topic I chose, as it happens), so if you have any reviews you’d like him to publish head over there. Also in August Rob and SporadicZoe are co-hosting an awesome Hitchcockathon to celebrate the Master of Suspense’s birthday.

And now here’s Rob with his thoughts on what’s in the briefcase.

For twenty years, ever since Pulp Fiction came out, just about everyone who has watched this movie has had the same question on their minds.

It has been asked so many times and like so many existential queries, we will never learn the true answer to that question.

What is the question that I’m referring to, you may ask.



What’s in the briefcase?

The contents of the infamous briefcase that Jules and Vincent retrieve from Brett and his friends is never revealed onscreen.

Here are a few answers that I have heard over the last twenty years.  None of them are my own ideas, so I can’t take credit for them.  If you have any other suggestions, I’d love to hear about them.

There are so many other ideas out there but most of them don’t seem to fit at all. i.e. – gold bars would make the case too heavy.


1. Diamonds – Lots if people believe that the case contains the diamonds that Mr. Pink was able to get from the heist in Reservoir Dogs (1993). That explains why everyone is enamored by what they see

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2. Marcellus Wallace’s soul – Apparently the Devil supposedly takes souls via the back of the neck. Since Wallace is seen with a band-aid on that area throughout the movie, some people have presumed that he sold his soul to the devil and sent Jules and Vincent to get it back from Brad and the other henchmen of the Devil. The combination on the briefcase is 666.

Not sure I buy this one, but it’s most definitely an entertaining theory.

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3. It’s a MacGuffin – You may wonder what exactly is a MacGuffin and the answer is quite simple. It’s a term that Alfred Hitchcock popularized for a plot point that is essential to moving the story forward but it and of itself is inconsequential. What exactly does that mean? It means that it doesn’t really matter whats in the case. It is only there as a reason for Jules and Vincent’s story to be told to us.

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4. It’s an Oscar – Perhaps Tarantino wanted to make viewers and critics to think of his movie come awards season, so he added in the possibility of the briefcase containing that treasured statue. Ironically, he actually did win one for writing this movie.

Thank you Rob for that great post. The Cheeseathon is ongoing, so if you’d like to take part, email me at ragingfluff@yahoo.ca

12 thoughts on “What’s in the Briefcase? A Royale With Cheeseathon Guest Post

  1. I can see all the pictures too Niall/Rob (for what that’s worth). Great idea for a post, as everyone has different interpretations, which I am certain is why Tarantino included the famous case in the first place.
    I have gone with the 666 combination as alluding to something satanic. Ridiculous as it may seem, that idea appeals to me.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. I always thought of the case as a MacGuffin but this one definitely is open to interpretation more than most. The Maltese Falcon was a MacGuffin but not nearly as perplexing as the suitcase. (I can also see the pictures)


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