The black police genre (or hard boiled, taken from the name of the hats used in the 40s) has its origin in cheap literature (or pulp, due to its name due to the poor quality of the paper where it was printed) that was developed in the time of depression in the 30s. Many writers ate in those difficult years thanks to the payment of penny editors for words, and to an audience eager for escapism in really difficult times.
The creator of the genre is Dashiell Hammett. Hammett was a former private detective of the legendary Pinkerton agency, whose life is worthy of a book for himself. Although Hammett is remembered for two of his creations as The Maltese Falcon and The Slim Man, the character that best represented him was the so-called Agent of La Continental, a plump private detective of anonymous name, whose most remembered adventure is the memorable Red Harvest . Hammett's style was of few descriptions, lots of action, and many dialogues fired at the speed of a machine gun.
The beginning of the black police officer was that of the classic private detectives, a variant that would reach the status of art thanks to Raymond Chandler's brilliant prose. And what the black series did was basically to return the crime to the streets, with thugs and corrupt policemen, reflecting the reality of the era of depression and in a sense totally contrary to the dawned European police novels of the time (read Agatha Christie) , where it gave the impression that crime was only committed in a wealthy way in wealthy environments.
With Jim Thompson, James Hadley Chase and Ed McBain, the black genre would be freed from the crutch of private detectives, and soon murderers, thugs and corrupt began to star in the novels of the item, returning to it increasingly cynical. The only ones who would continue with private detectives as heroes would be Ross Mc Donald (Lew Archer) and the arch-famous Mike Hammer created by Mickey Spillane.
Cinematographically, the genre had its era of fury in the 40s, with titles such as the mentioned Maltese Falcon (which begins in the cinema) and The Eternal Dream. In the 60s, Lew Archer, Mike Hammer and other characters would arrive at the cinema, but with lukewarm results. Possibly other adaptations such as Jim Thompson's Fugue would be more successful, in an increasingly cynical world after Vietnam and the end of the American dream.
Early 90s; Tarantino enters the scene. Quentin Tarantino was a video club employee with ambitions in Hollywood. His nerdy nature led him to devour all the films that entered the store, especially those of martial arts that came from the east, the spaghetti western, and all the classic filmography (especially from the 40-50 era). Tarantino had written some scripts and had tried unsuccessfully to produce them, until he knocks on the door of actor Harvey Keitel. The result would be Street Dogs, an ultraviolent police officer about a failed assault that reminded of some classics such as The Concrete Jungle, in addition to taking elements of Martín Scorsese's filmography (the Mafia film specialist). A critical and box office success that would give Tarantino air to face his next project with ease, watch online the classic Pulp Fiction to find out for yourself.
But if Street Dogs was brilliant, Pulp Fiction greatly exceeds it and transforms into an instant classic. Not only does it preserve the Tarantino style of quick and scathing dialogues, but it transforms a whole series of little stories into a great black comedy of errors bathed in violence. Certainly there is a certain theatrical effect in Pulp Fiction- the Tarantino style of black suits, white shirts and sunglasses - but it is easily obvious due to the density and richness of the story.
Each of them touches on the black series's own themes - the corrupt boxer, the thugs of the second, the betrayals within the gang - that could well have been left in cliches if it wasn't for the barrage of intelligent and sparkling dialogues that Tarantino shoots in the script, and that are typical of Hammett. With the exception that Tarantino adapts them to the 90s, and floods them with pop references, huge analytical speeches about trivial things, and memorable phrases that serve to give carnadura to the characters. Vega's speech about hamburgers in Europe is a classic - the second bully who wants to give himself sophisticated airs - but he is not the only one who swarms in the film, all the cast is amazing, watch now the movie and enjoy yourself.