The Gold Watch
From The Quentin Tarantino Archives
- Back to Pulp Fiction
In the last section of Quentin Tarantino's crime epic, we are taken back to the 1960s where a young Butch Coolidge is watching an episode of the children's show Clutch Cargo. His mother announces that he has a guest. It is Captain Koons (Christopher Walken). Koons comes closer to Butch and says hello and then proceeds to tell him the story of the legendary Coolidge Family Gold Watch. His great grandfather Orion Coolidge bought the gold watch in a General Store in Knoxville, Tenneesee at the turn of the century. He then was enlisted to serve in World War I. Orion came home and gave the watch to his son Dane, who later served in World War II. At the Battle of Wake Island, Dane realized he might not make it home alive so he gave the gold watch to an Air Force gunner named Winocki (a character in the Howard Hawks film Air Force). He had Winocki promise to give the watch to his widow and his son. Butch's father got the watch and went on to serve in Vietnam where he was shot down over Hanoi and put in a prison camp. The only way he could save the gold watch was to hide it in his ass. Before dying from dysentary, Butch's dad gave his friend, Captain Koons the watch to give to Butch. Captain Koons had to hide the watch in his own ass as well to keep it safe from the Viet Cong. Captain Koons survives and returns back to the USA and gives Butch the precious gold watch. We flash forward to the present and see that the previous sequence was a dream the adult Butch (Bruce Willis) was having, but it was taken from real life. Apparently, Butch is haunted by the day he received the gold watch all those years ago. As we learned earlier Butch is a boxer, he's now suited up and ready for his big fight against Floyd Wilson. During the big fight, Butch ends up killing Floyd accidentally. Knowing that since he didnt throw the fight as he promised Marsellus, Butch has a cab waiting for him and he speeds back to the hotel where his girlfriend Fabienne is waiting for him. On the way to the hotel, Butch's cab driver, a strange but beautiful Colombian women named Esmerelda Villalobos (Angela Jones) who inquires about what Butch feels like after having killed Floyd. But Butch is actually unaware that he had killed him. Before arriving at the hotel Butch makes a phone call to his friend Scotty who lives in Knoxville, Tennesee. We learn that Butch had Scotty place bets all over on Butch to win the fight. Since Butch won, he's now going to get a nice chunk of change. Butch lets Scotty know that he and Fabienne are on their way to Knoxville...
Butch gets back to the hotel and gives Esmerelda some extra money to not speak to anyone about his whereabouts. Fabienne and Butch talk a bit then make love and Butch takes a shower and falls asleep. When he wakes up the next morning, he and Fabienne get ready to leave, but theres one thing missing from his belongings: the gold watch. Fabienne explains that she forgot to pack it and Butch goes ballistic throwing the hotel TV across the room. When he calms down he realizes what he must do. In the face of certain death, he must return back to his apartment and retrieve the special watch. When he gets to his old apartment he quietly enters, grabs the watch and makes himself a pop tart for breakfast. Suddenly, Butch sees something on the counter near him. An uzi. Then he hears someone in the adjacent bathroom flushing the toilet. He picks up the gun and waits for the intruder to come out. The door opens and he sees Vincent Vega, the same man who insulted him at Marsellus' strip joint. Butch fires the gun, killing Vincent. He then erases any traces of his fingerprints from the gun and leaves. Butch hops in his car, feeling triumphant after his run in with the thug who was waiting to kill him. Butch drives along and stops at an intersection where he sees a familiar face walking across the street in front of him. Its Marsellus Wallace (who accompanied Vincent since Jules quit the criminal life due to his divine intervention at Bretts apartment). Butch hits the gas and slams into Marsellus throwing him over the car, Butch then gets broadsided in the street by another car leaving both men to blackout from the dual trauma. When Marsellus wakes up he sees Butch across the street still in his car putting some ice on his face. Marsellus pulls out his gun and starts to shoot at Butch. Theres a foot chase and Butch makes it to a pawn shop and waits for Marsellus to follow, then jumps him and punches him several times before holding a gun to his Marsellus' head. Before Butch can shoot Marsellus, the pawn shop owner Maynard pulls out his own shotgun and orders Butch to toss his gun away. Then he knocks Butch out with the butt of the gun. Maynard then calls his friend Zed.
Butch and Marsellus wake up in the basement of the pawn shop where they find themselves tied and gagged. Zed (apparently a security guard) arrives and he makes it known that he has certain plans of the sexual kind. Maynard then brings out a man called "The Gimp" who is some kind of retarded sex slave that is held in a cage. Zed proceeds to taunt both Butch and Marsellus by playing the "Eenie Meenie Miney Moe" game. With the worst luck of the day, Marsellus is chosen to be taken in the back room and raped. Maynard & Zed pull Marsellus in the back and get the raping going. Meanwhile, Butch is left alone with The Gimp. Butch finally manages to get himself loose from the chair and he punches the Gimp out cold and runs up the stairs and is on his way to leave when his conscious gets his attention. In the honorable tradition of the previous Coolidge men, Butch decides to earn owning the families gold watch by helping Marsellus Wallace get free. Butch looks over several tools in the pawn shop he can do physical damage with (A chainsaw, a hammer, a baseball bat, which are all references to diff exploitation films: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Toolbox Murders, Walking Tall) and finally spots an ancient weapon that carries honor with it: a samurai sword (referencing samurai films like Lone Wolf and Cub, Zatoichi etc). Butch slowly makes his way down to the basement's backroom where he sees Zed raping Marsellus as Maynard watches on excitedly. Butch then slashes Maynard across the chest and Zed is startled. Zed backs away from Marsellus and tries to grab his gun on a table, but Butch keeps him at bay with the sword. Marsellus then picks up Maynard's shot gun and tells Butch to back away from Zed. Marsellus unloads the gun into Zed's crotch area, shooting his dick off. Marsellus and Butch make their peace and Butch is told to never come back to LA again. With Fabienne's Honda totaled, Butch needs transportation. His answer is laying on the pawn shop counter. Butch pick's up Zed's motorcycle key and gets on his bike (aptly named Grace) and takes off to pick up Fabienne. When Butch picks her up, she is very worried and scared, but Butch, now a truly honorable descendant of his forefathers, assures her everything is going to be alright. Butch and Fabienne take off into the sunny afternoon on Zed's bike headed for the promised land to live happily ever after.