How Producer Lawrence Bender Made “Pulp Fiction” A Household Name

There are few producers that can claim a resume that includes three Academy Award Best Picture nominations. However, there is one producer who knows how to score at the award shows as well as the box office. That producer, Lawrence Bender, has been the driving force behind some of the most popular films of the last quarter of a century.

Before becoming one of the biggest producers in Hollywood, Lawrence Bender was a struggling B-movie producer looking for his big break. And that opportunity would arrive when he met a struggling Hollywood writer looking to make it as a director. The two met at a mutual friend’s barbecue. And it wasn’t long before the two hit it off. The wannabe director quickly pitched the idea of a violent bank robbery gone wrong. And Lawrence Bender saw his opportunity. Mr. Bender enlisted the writer, Quentin Tarantino, to put his idea to paper. Together they would put together a crime film that would rock the art house world.

That film, “Reservoir Dogs” would go on to hit the big screen in the summer of 1992 to rave reviews from indie critics. While some mainstream critics couldn’t make heads or tails of the film, the two filmmakers were not deterred. Just two years later, Tarantino and Bender would change the world of cinema with one of the most groundbreaking films of all time – “Pulp Fiction.”

“Pulp Fiction” would become Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece. And for Lawrence Bender, the film would be his passport to big budget movie production. The film, produced on a mere $8 million dollar budget, would go on to gross more than $100 million dollars in the United States alone. The film would also earn Mr. Bender the first of three Academy Award nominations for Best Picture.

Born in the Bronx, Lawrence Bender has produced hits for over three decades. Some of Mr. Bender’s more notable films include, “Jackie Brown,” “Kill Bill Volume One,” “Kill Bill Volume Two,” and “Good Will Hunting.” As he enters the next decade of his career, movie fans and Hollywood insiders await what next great film Lawrence Bender has up his sleeve.

https://www.ioes.ucla.edu/person/lawrence-bender/