Some movie scenes are more famous than the movies they come from -- did you know, for example, that there's a whole film of Dustin Hoffman crossing streets with a dude dressed like a cowboy? However, it turns out that the most iconic scenes in some classic films (or even in the entire careers of the guys who directed them) are totally lifted from other movies you probably haven't seen. Like ...
6Pulp Fiction -- Sam Jackson's "Bible Quote" Is from a Sonny Chiba Film
Tarantino movie plots are usually like his soundtracks: an eclectic selection of scenes from older movies (usually from the '70s) and put in a different order. However, if there's one thing that's 100 percent original about his films, that's his dialogue -- that combination of profanity, Seinfeldesque observations and intricately worded threats of violence sort of makes all the cinematic thievery OK, because no one but Tarantino could write that shit. As Tarantino's biggest fan once put it, "There's a poetic quality to my dialogue."
"'Shit' rhymes with 'tits.' See? I'm a poemer."
And easily one of the most famous lines of dialogue in a Tarantino movie ever is the scene at the beginning of Pulp Fiction where Sam Jackson delivers a menacing recitation of a made-up Bible passage (a combination of the real Ezekiel 25:17 and Psalm 23) right before killing a guy who in all likelihood would have died anyway a few seconds later out of sheer terror.
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Yes, I am going to recite all this."
Who Did It First:
As Tarantino himself admits in the very same interview where he says his dialogue is like poetry, the whole monologue is lifted almost word-for-word from the intro for a 1976 Sonny Chiba movie, The Bodyguard. Check it out:
Holy shit, it's the exact same speech Sam Jackson said, except they replaced "the Lord" with Sonny Chiba's name in the movie (fair enough). Although it's conveyed through a Star Wars-like text crawl instead of a Jacksonian shout, the menacing inflection of the guy reading the text is pretty much the same.
Whoever wrote that tagline poets the balls out of Tarantino.
This intro is only present in the English version of the film, which is the one Tarantino saw. Presumably he also saw the '80s TV series Shadow Warriors, where Sonny Chiba's character has a habit of lecturing his enemies about good and evil before killing them, just like Sam Jackson's hit man character in Pulp Fiction.
So the question is: Why didn't Tarantino just cast Sonny Chiba? He actually did ... in Kill Bill, as sword-maker Hattori Hanzo.
Who had grown up and decided sushi was much cooler than killing people.