IN the world of Hollywood, the directors and the movie stars seem to get all the attention. However, one producer is known for bringing the vision of many top directors to the big screen. That producer, Lawrence Bender, has been bringing big name movies to the big screen, including a half-dozen from his longtime collaborator Quentin Tarantino.
While you may not be familiar with the name Lawrence Bender, you already know about the hip, crime writer-director Quentin Tarantino. Together, the two have created some of the most popular films of the 1990s and the 2000s. But there is perhaps no film more famous or infamous than the duo’s second collaboration, “Pulp Fiction.”
Mr. Bender met Mr. Tarantino at a mutual friend’s barbecue in 1990. At the time, both of them were struggling to make a name for themselves in Hollywood. As a producer with a couple of B-movie credits to his name, Mr. Bender had a little more juice in Hollywood than Mr. Tarantino. So when the young Tarantino pitched the young producer for a movie about a heist gone wrong, Mr. Bender pulled together his limited contacts to get the film made.
The result was “Reservoir Dogs,” which is considered one of the most impressive debuts of any rookie director. The success of the first film allowed the two to create the follow-up film, “Pulp Fiction.” Considered by some to be the greatest crime film ever producer, the film went on to gross over $100 million dollars and earn Lawrence Bender an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
While many give Quentin Tarantino all the credit for “Pulp Fiction,” the film would not have come together if it weren’t for the hard work of Lawrence Bender. Mr. Bender was tasked with just an $8 million dollar budget to help put together a sprawling crime epic which intertwined three stories and featured a star-powered cast which included John Travolta, Samuel Jackson, Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis.
Born in the Bronx, Lawrence Bender has been producing films for three decades. Among some of the biggest films to Mr. Bender’s credit include, “Pulp Fiction,” “Inglourious Basterds,” and “Good Will Hunting.” Today, Lawrence Bender is considered one of the legendary producers whose films perform well in the box office as well as the award shows.