The Quentin Tarantino Archives logo

The briefcase topic

What (humorously or seriously) witty G or R rated thing/s, do you reckon

might have been in the PF film’s briefcase. It can be anything from real

life, the PF film and/or from the QT film world, or anything from any

other film or TV world (like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Sopranos, etc.) that

you either greatly admire, or greatly dislike.

It was Marcellus Wallace’s soul in the briefcase.


The ‘soul theory’ is based on the notion that the devil removed Wallace’s soul through a ‘hole’ in the back of his neck; however, according to IMDB Trivia, Tarantino has clearly stated that Ving Rhames had a bandaid on the back of his neck to hide a scar there.


The ‘soul theory’ is based on the notion that the devil removed Wallace’s soul through a ‘hole’ in the back of his neck; however, according to IMDB Trivia, Tarantino has clearly stated that Ving Rhames had a bandaid on the back of his neck to hide a scar there.[/quote]
I wasnt serious when I said his soul was in the briefcase lol.

No, It is his soul in the briefcase. Yes he has a bandaid on the back of his neck cause he had a scar there but that has nothing to do with the story.

When the devil takes your soul he removes it from the back of your neck thats why Marcellus Wallace has the bandaid not from a scar (that has nothing to do with the character) but from the devil taking your soul. The devil then put the soul in the briefcase and made the code 666 (number of the devil). The devil is Brett. Marcellus being the badass that he is got Vincent and Jules to get his soul back from the devil (Brett) and thats the story of Pulp Fiction.

Just a theory I had lying in bed last night.

-EDIT: After reading all these other posts it seems im just going over what everyone else has said lol.

[quote=“Jules_Winfield”]There’s always the theory about the soul of Marceluos Wallace which was taken from the back of his head.

Most likely it was gold.

Maybe it was an Oscar stattuet like some people say.

I dont know. Very smart move from Tarantino not to let the audience know what was in the suitcase. A very contreversial theme it has been.


Yeah, but i dunno. At the same time, i’ve always thought that it was a bit cop-out-ish. Building up a lot of expectation for something like that without finishing it off definitively.

It’s tough to say for sure what is in the briefcase, however I can see why many people believe that it’s a “soul” in the briefcase. I’m not going to mention all the reasons already spoken of, but the one I haven’t really heard is that in a movie that contains many religious undertones and refferences, the obvious glow that is emitted from the contents of the briefcase glow with an unnatural or supernatural nature. So, in a movie that doesn’t cover aliens or advanced technology and yet is riddled with religious connotations. It’s reasonable to suspect that it’s a soul, or the holy grail or some other highly coveted spiritual item.

I’m not a big fan of movies where you have to guess what they mean or interpret them. It’s easy to confuse and stir up pondering. The movie fails if the message is lost or not transfered in a reasonable fashion.

[quote=“Skylark”]I’m not a big fan of movies where you have to guess what they mean or interpret them. It’s easy to confuse and stir up pondering. The movie fails if the message is lost or not transfered in a reasonable fashion.[/quote]

Me too. I don’t like watching movies where viewers will possibly have different opinions or interpretations to the movie’s plot or ending. I still think it best to have it set in a clear way.

I don’t know, I enjoy the mystery involved. Of course I’d like to know what is in the briefcase. I do agree with another poster, it’s Marcelus Wallace’s Soul. Hence the band-aid on the neck.

He really does have some of the best movies out. And he’s consistent with putting out great flicks…

Thanks Q.

I have always wanted to know what was in that briefcase. probably never know. oh well, stay cool honey bunny. ;D

I can’t fully remember that scene but I guess that was Mr. Wallace soul that was hidden in that suitcase.

I like to think that it’s from REPOMAN :wink:

But I don’t really need to know what it is - doesn’t make the movie less enjoyable…


This is an interesting topic that no one really knows the truth to, but it is fun to see what others think what was in the briefcase. To freshen everyone’s minds up, Marcellus Wallace sent Jules and Vincent to retrieve the briefcase. When the briefcase was opening, the actual contents were never shown, but you could see the glow and reactions of surprise and awe. There are several opinions and theories about what was actually in the briefcase. In my opinion, I believe it was Marcellus’ soul. :slight_smile:

First, the portfolio is a combination of 666 As we all know, 666 is the number symbolizing the devil. The devil is the personification of original sin and evil.

what IS in the briefcase??

The Master of Suspense Alfred Hitchcock was often related and confronted with a widely common phrase: “Whodunit?” …and, though his various explanations about an idea, that he called the MacGuffin, a technique to push the story forward while in equal amount increasing tension, he was never associated with: “Whatsinit?” - How come?

Maybe even Hitch underrates the power of well crafted MacGuffins, as he once said:

„(The MacGuffin)… is a thing that the spies are after but the audience don’t care.“

Right, sometimes a MacGuffin is actually forgotten by the end of the story, but the one in „Pulp Fiction“ stands the test of time. The audience is not willing to forget - even after decades.

So Whatsinit? A white sheet of paper and a light bulb?

The soul of Marsellus Wallace? Gold? Diamonds? An Academy Award for Best Original Script? Yeah, maybe. But in each and every case the rich imagination of an active viewer.

Whatever it may be that is projected by the audience is definitely mystery – no misery.

What if the mystery was unravelled, what would we gain by knowing and what would be lost?

Anyway, the briefcase offers space to participate & interact with a finished movie, enables us to put additional content between the double spaced typed lines of a masterful crafted screenplay, that requires no addition at all and yet it does.

Thus the briefcase is a placeholder that also includes one the best „Contradictio in adiecto“ in cinematic history.

Just to add to the richness of imagination by the active viewer I have always liked the idea that the briefcase holds a gun that was given Mrs. Wallace by Mr. Wallace instead of a wedding band or such.

When Vincent opens the case one can see that it was made by FRANZEN. This company is known for manufacturing dust bin locks, Rat- and Mousetraps („Yeah, the spider just caught a couple of flies“), Trigger-Key-Locks and Gun-Cases.

So therefore there´s a chance it holds a gun.

Further when looking at the original movie poster we see the mistress on a mattress with a novel, cigarettes and a gun.

So she got one and it might been taken away from… well, I don´t care if this is true or not, I don´t want a solution. It is just my personal point of view to contribute and to join in the fun of discussing the topic.

Quentin once said: „If a million people see my movie, I hope they see a million different movies.“ Well, QT, they did.

Guess, this case will never be closed – it is being opened every time Pulp Fiction is watched.

So „Whatsinit?“

„A lot“.

I created a youtube video explaining the briefcase mystery:

Well its obvious, RIGHT!!? I mean what tf else could it be?

I know the lamp was in it but… IT’S A MOVIE!!!

I only stress that cuhs I have that argument more than I should. Hate to to say it but if you take that as a answer for the unknown luggage. Which is suppose to be unknown by the way, is what you like believe. Lers go ahead and say Butch fight never happend they are just making up results just for radio play and let make it more interesting to add a death its better than saying there no actual fight. We just need a background that makes up the tough S.O.B that will kill a mothafucka with a sword later in the movie. Maybe I’m shooting both at once and its a ridiculous thought. The movie is actually a movie and they shot it with props like everyone of the movies before it. Pass that, now let’s speculate.

MARCELL WALLACE SOUL- This theory is the supernatural opinion. I can dig it, but Pulp Fiction. Doesn’t really come off that supernatural, right? Yea there’s decisions made resulted in ironic scenarios. There all are physically possible and happens to real people everyday in everyway. The scene where they have their divine intervening. Its very much possible that the cannon he blasted at Vincent and Jewels, did not belong to the shooter. Also explaining why the shooter seemed surprise with the outcome, not knowing it had blanks instead of live rounds. He also seemed a little green firing the weapon. All ending results to the characters happen all the time. I don’t see it being sci-fi flick and yea there’s no proof of human souls or a soul collecting devil that would be science fiction. I don’t think its Marcellus soul.

GOLD- This is more realistic than the soul but still foolish. Gold is not your everyday business. The one a that know how to illegally fence gold will tell you its not every week you come across gold to just go on blind faith with new guys to move it. Nope, just thinking more bout makes it even more stupid then I care to point out.

COCAINE- This theory makes since to me. Cocaine is highly profitable and could give status much like a Marrcell Wallace would have. I don’t know what a apartment of guys would purchase a soul or gold, but cocaine? Hmm makes since to me. Marrcell is not a boss for having misjudgement, he is for one reason. He knows how to make money. You don’t make money by letting 4 guys hold gold without full payment, but cocaine is way more understanding and is often loaned out for opportunity at wealth. Brad apologies for wasting Marrcell time and that they couldn’t be in business with him. If the was fencing gold for him they probably would now how to, right? Most people with that occupation wasn’t givin a shot. Nope most since can be made by dope and anything else is simply out there with nothing to go on. Tim Roth character ask what in the brief case then opens it. If a soul was in the brief case don’t think he would say “is that what I think it is.” Unless he has experience in identify whatever you imagine a soul would look like. Cocaine!! Do I got to state the obvious? Cocaine is what you would think of if anything remotle reassembling its appearance in a brief case. Do we think he would say that line if gold? No it would be more speechless if it was gold, that not convincing for me. Its cocaine. Not anything besides.

Not getting in the Elvis gold jacket theory. That’s more of a for fun rather than to try to assume anything, after all the mystery is more exciting than the reality.

Well it was painfully long nut I think we covered the O.G.'s. (ORIGINAL GUESSES) Thanks and sorry for hitting you with both barrels back there.

Tarantino loves mystery and is often misleading.

We have to remember - whatever was in the briefcase was:

  1. Recognizable (thanks to Pumpkin - “Is that what I think it is”?) - Would you recognize a soul?
  2. Awestriking (both Pumpkin and Vince are amazed when they see it
  3. Beautiful (Thanks again to Pumpkin).

So what could it be that keeps close to the urban myths?

How about a halo?

While it may not be Marcellus Wallace’s soul it could be his ticket into heaven.

A hint to this: Butch in the cab Esmeralda: “That’s some halo you got there”

My two cents. Despite his public statements, Tarantino can’t be trusted!