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5 Plot Point Breakdown: Pulp Fiction (1994) – The Gold Watch

By Keaton Ziem · October 5, 2011

Screenplay Genre: Crime / Thriller

Movie Time: 154 minutes

Segment Time: 50 minutes

Butch’s Story:


After Butch’s flashback memory of receiving his father’s Gold Watch, boxer Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) wakes up alone in a locker room before the fight he has been paid off to throw. He contemplates, in a cold sweat, what he has decided to do: to incur the wrath of Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) by refusing to throw the fight and collect the money he bet on himself to win.  (1:08:01)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

After the fight, Butch takes a cab to a payphone to call his connection who assures him that the money he received from Marsellus Wallace to take the dive but instead used to bet on himself to win the fight will be paid in full. Butch reveals his plan to meet his contact in Knoxville, Tennessee and thus begins his decision to actively defy Marsellus Wallace, locking Butch into the conflict of the story. (1:14:29)


The next day, Butch discovers that his girlfriend Fabienne (Maria de Medeiros) forgot to pack Butch’s Gold Watch. Butch explodes into a burst of fear and anger at the notion that he must now return to his apartment where Marsellus is no doubt waiting for him in order to get his family heirloom. (1:26:55)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Once Butch successfully escapes his apartment by killing Vincent with Vincent’s own gun, Butch is on his way back to Fabienne, but by coincidence, he finds himself face-to-face with Marsellus Wallace, who chases Butch down and into a run down back-alley pawn shop where the two are captured by Maynard (Duane Whitaker) and Zed (Peter Greene) for the purpose of being kept as personal rape slaves. (1:36:23)


Butch manages to escape his shackles and nearly walks out of the pawnshop a free man; rich and rid of the gangster kingpin Marsellus Wallace who wants him dead. However, Butch’s conscience gets the best of him, and he decides to arm himself with a deadly samurai katana and rescue Marsellus from the clutches of Maynard and Zed. Butch descends back into the basement to redeem himself. (1:44:22)

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