How Producer Lawrence Bender Gave Us “Pulp Fiction”

Many people know that Quentin Tarantino was the genius filmmaker behind the seminal crime film “Pulp Fiction.” However, most people may not be familiar with the producer behind one of the most important films of the last 25 years. That producer, Lawrence Bender, has been challenging the conventions of cinema for almost three decades.

The story of Lawrence Bender did not begin at a major Hollywood studio. In fact, Mr. Bender cut his teeth on the outskirts of the industry, producing low-budget slasher movies. Then one day, the producer had a chance meeting with an underemployed actor and aspiring filmmaker. That meeting would change Hollywood forever.

During the summer of 1990, Lawrence Bender met Quentin Tarantino at a mutual friend’s barbecue. During their industry chit-chat, Tarantino pitched the producer on the idea of a heist film gone wrong. Sensing a great story, Bender asked Tarantino to go ahead and write up the story. The result was the art house favorite “Reservoir Dogs.”

In two short years, both Bender and Tarantino had made their mark on the indie cinema world. However, the two wanted to aim higher and change the big Hollywood industry. Tarantino went off and wrote one of the most impressive screenplays in movie history. Bender took that script and pulled together almost $8 million to make the movie happen. The result was the cult hit “Pulp Fiction.”

The duo’s second landmark film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it took home the top prize. Months later, the film opened in theatres across America and grossed over $100 million dollars. Starring heavy hitting stars such as Bruce Willis, Uma Thurman, Samuel Jackson, and John Travolta, “Pulp Fiction,” has inspired a generation of filmmakers. The icing on the cake came in early 1995 when the film was nominated for a slew of Academy Awards including a nomination for Bender for Best Picture.

Born in the Bronx, New York in 1962, Lawrence Bender has produced over 50 film projects in his three-decade career. His highest-profile films include “Pulp Fiction,” “Jackie Brown,” and “Good Will Hunting.” Today, Mr. Bender is considered one of the premier producer working in Hollywood today.