Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a 2019 comedy-drama film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

Produced by Columbia Pictures, Bona Film Group, Heyday Films, and Visiona Romantica and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is a co-production between the United States, United Kingdom, and China. It features a large ensemble cast led by Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. Set in 1969 Los Angeles, the film follows a fading actor and his stunt double as they navigate the rapidly changing film industry, with the looming threat of the Tate murders hanging overhead. It features "multiple storylines in a modern fairy tale tribute to the final moments of Hollywood's golden age."

Announced in July 2017, it is the first Tarantino film not to involve Bob and Harvey Weinstein, as Tarantino ended his partnership with the brothers following the sexual abuse allegations against the latter. After a bidding war, the film was distributed by Sony Pictures, which met Tarantino's demands including final cut privilege. Pitt, DiCaprio, Robbie, Zoë Bell, Kurt Russell, and others joined the cast between January and June 2018. Principal photography lasted from June through November around Los Angeles. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the final film to feature Luke Perry, who died on March 4, 2019, and it is dedicated to his memory.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2019, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 26, 2019 and in the United Kingdom on August 14. The film grossed $374 million worldwide and received praise from critics for Tarantino's direction and screenplay, the performances (particularly from DiCaprio and Pitt), cinematography, soundtrack, sound design, costume design, and production values. Organizations such as the National Board of Review and the American Film Institute named Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as one of the top ten films of 2019. The film was nominated for ten awards at the 92nd Academy Awards, winning two, and received numerous other accolades.

A novelization, written by Tarantino in his debut as an author, was published on June 29, 2021. A television series titled Bounty Law, based on a TV program depicted in the film, is currently being developed by Tarantino.


In February 1969, Hollywood actor Rick Dalton, star of 1950s TV Western series Bounty Law, fears his career is fading, with his recent roles being guest appearances as villains. His agent Marvin Schwarz advises him to make Spaghetti Westerns in Italy, which Dalton considers beneath him. Dalton's best friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth – a war veteran who lives in a trailer with his pit bull, Brandy – drives Dalton around due to his DUI arrests and driver's license suspension. Booth struggles to find stunt work because of rumors he murdered his wife. Actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, have moved next door to Dalton, and Dalton dreams of befriending them to revive his career. That night, Tate and Polanski attend a celebrity-filled party at the Playboy Mansion.

The next day, Booth recalls a sparring contest he had with Bruce Lee on the set of The Green Hornet resulting in Booth's firing. Meanwhile, Charles Manson stops by the Polanski residence looking for Terry Melcher, who used to live there, but is turned away by Jay Sebring. As Tate runs errands, she stops at the Fox Bruin Theater to watch herself in The Wrecking Crew.

Dalton is cast as the villain in the pilot for the TV Western Lancer and strikes up a conversation with eight-year-old co-star Trudi Frazer. During filming, Dalton struggles to remember his lines and suffers a breakdown in his trailer. He subsequently delivers a strong performance that impresses Frazer and the director, Sam Wanamaker.

Booth picks up a hitchhiker, "Pussycat" and takes her to Spahn Ranch, where he once worked on the set of Bounty Law. He observes the many "hippies" living there. Suspecting they may be taking advantage of the ranch's elderly owner, George Spahn, Booth insists on checking on him despite "Squeaky" 's objections. Booth speaks with the nearly blind Spahn, who dismisses his concerns. Upon leaving, Booth discovers that "Clem" has punctured a tire on Dalton's car. Booth beats "Clem" and makes him change the tire. "Tex" is summoned to deal with the situation, but arrives as Booth is driving away.

After watching Dalton's guest performance on an episode of The F.B.I., Schwarz books him as the lead in Sergio Corbucci's Spaghetti Western Nebraska Jim. Dalton takes Booth with him for a six-month stint in Italy. During this period Dalton films three additional movies; marries Italian starlet Francesca Capucci; and informs Booth he can no longer afford his services.

Returning to Los Angeles on August 8, 1969, Dalton and Booth go out for drinks to commemorate their time together, then go back to Dalton's house. Meanwhile, Tate and Sebring go out for dinner with friends, then return to Tate's house. Booth smokes an LSD-laced cigarette purchased earlier and takes Brandy for a walk while Dalton prepares drinks. "Tex", "Sadie", "Katie", and "Flowerchild" arrive outside in preparation to murder everyone in Tate's house, but Dalton hears the car's muffler and orders them off the street. Recognizing him, the four change their plans and decide to kill him instead, after "Sadie" reasons that Hollywood has "taught them to murder". "Flowerchild" deserts them, speeding off with their car.

Breaking into Dalton's house, they confront Booth and Capucci. "Tex" aims his pistol at Booth. Now tripping on the LSD, Booth chats with the intruders, remembering them from Spahn Ranch. Booth signals Brandy to attack "Tex". "Sadie" lunges at Booth with a knife. Booth throws a can into her face and signals Brandy to attack "Sadie". Capucci punches "Katie" and runs away. "Katie" dives at Booth after he fights and kills "Tex". Realizing that "Sadie"'s knife is stuck in his thigh, Booth kills "Katie" by smashing her face against household decor, then passes out. "Sadie" stumbles outside into the pool firing "Tex"'s pistol. Dalton, floating in the pool, listening to music on headphones, oblivious to the chaos inside, is alarmed. He retrieves a flamethrower retained from The 14 Fists of McClusky and incinerates "Sadie". Booth later regains consciousness and is taken away in an ambulance, and Sebring and Tate invite Dalton over for a drink, which he accepts.


  • Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton
  • Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth
  • Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate
  • Emile Hirsch as Jay Sebring
  • Margaret Qualley as "Pussycat"
  • Timothy Olyphant as James Stacy
  • Julia Butters as Trudi Frazer
  • Austin Butler as "Tex"
  • Dakota Fanning as "Squeaky"
  • Bruce Dern as George Spahn
  • Mike Moh as Bruce Lee
  • Luke Perry as Wayne Maunder
  • Damian Lewis as Steve McQueen
  • Al Pacino as Marvin Schwarz
  • Nicholas Hammond as Sam Wanamaker
  • Samantha Robinson as Abigail Folger
  • Rafał Zawierucha as Roman Polanski
  • Lorenza Izzo as Francesca Capucci
  • Costa Ronin as Wojciech Frykowski
  • Damon Herriman as Charlie
  • Lena Dunham as "Gypsy"
  • Madisen Beaty as "Katie"
  • Mikey Madison as "Sadie"
  • James Landry Hébert as "Clem"
  • Maya Hawke as "Flowerchild"
  • Cassidy Hice as "Sundance"
  • Victoria Pedretti as "Lulu"
  • Sydney Sweeney as "Snake"
  • Kansas Bowling as "Blue"
  • Danielle Harris as "Angel"
  • Harley Quinn Smith as "Froggie"
  • Rumer Willis as Joanna Pettet
  • Dreama Walker as Connie Stevens
  • Rebecca Rittenhouse as Michelle Phillips
  • Rachel Redleaf as Mama Cass
  • Rebecca Gayheart as Billie Booth
  • Scoot McNairy as Business Bob Gilbert 
  • Kurt Russell as Randy Lloyd and the Narrator
  • Zoë Bell as Janet Lloyd

Quentin Tarantino portrays the director of Dalton's Red Apples cigarettes commercial and the voice of Bounty Law. He says the line at the end of the episode clip, "Bounty Law, starring Rick Dalton." Musician Toni Basil appears in the opening credits Pan Am scene dancing with Sharon Tate. Margot Robbie also briefly reprises her role as Laura Cameron, a stewardess from the TV series Pan Am. Although her face is not seen, she makes and serves Dalton a cocktail on his flight home from Italy.

Additionally, the film features appearances from Clifton Collins Jr. as a character on Lancer, Omar Doom as a biker on Spahn Ranch, Clu Gulager as a book store owner, Perla Haney-Jardine as an LSD-selling hippie, Martin Kove, Michael Madsen, and James Remar as characters on Bounty Law, Brenda Vaccaro as Schwarz's wife, Corey Burton as the Bounty Law promotional announcer, and Tarantino's wife, Daniella Pick as an actress in Italy. Ex–UFC star Keith Jardine performed stunts on the movie.

An extended cut, released theatrically in October 2019, included an appearance by James Marsden as Burt Reynolds and a voice over by Walton Goggins. Danny Strong and Tim Roth shot scenes that were cut. Strong portrayed Dean Martin and Paul Barabuta (based on Rudolph Altobelli), the homeowner of 10050 Cielo Drive, while Roth portrayed Raymond,  Sebring's English butler. Sebring had a butler in real life named Amos Russell who was interviewed by the police while investigating the Tate murders.

Character details

Fictional characters Rick Dalton

  • Dalton is an actor who starred in the fictitious television Western series Bounty Law from 1959 to 1963,  inspired by real-life series Wanted Dead or Alive, starring Steve McQueen.[20] After Bounty Law Dalton began to appear in supporting film roles, leading to a four-picture contract with Universal Pictures, ending in 1967. His film career never took off and in '67 he started to guest star on TV series as villains.

Cliff Booth

  • Booth, Dalton's stunt double, personal assistant and best friend, is an indestructible World War II hero, a Green Beret specialized in knives and close-quarters combat, and "one of the deadliest guys alive." He is a two-time Medal of Valor recipient, and has killed more Japanese soldiers than any other American soldier. Booth first met Dalton during the third season of Bounty Law in 1961 when he was brought in as his stunt double. A month into the job he saved Dalton's life after he caught on fire while filming an episode.  Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt modeled Booth after Tom Laughlin's portrayal of Billy Jack. Booth had performed stunts on The Born Losers and was paid with the denim outfit worn by Laughlin as Billy Jack, which is what he wears in the film.  Booth is inspired by Gary Kent, a stuntman for a film made at the Spahn Ranch while the Manson Family lived there, as well as stuntman, professional wrestler and two-time national judo champion Gene LeBell, who came to work on The Green Hornet after complaints by other stunt performers that Bruce Lee was "kicking the shit out of the stuntmen." Like Booth, LeBell was suspected of murder but never convicted. Pitt channeled Steve McQueen's stunt double Bud Ekins for his portrayal of Booth. Tarantino also revealed that Booth was inspired by a real stuntman who "was the closest equivalent to Stuntman Mike" (Kurt Russell) from Death Proof. He was "absolutely indestructible ... scared everybody ... [and] killed his wife on a boat and got away with it."
  • Billie Booth is Cliff's wife, whose death in the film – and the ambiguity surrounding it – is a reference to Natalie Wood's, as is Billie's sister being named Natalie. The novelization reveals that Cliff did in fact murder Billie. He shot her with a speargun, almost tearing her in half, which he immediately regretted. There is a connection between Cliff and Robert Blake, to whom Tarantino dedicates the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood novel. Cliff had also murdered three other people, including another stuntman.

Other fictional characters

  • Trudi Frazer (Julia Butters), the precocious child actor who portrays Mirabella on Lancer, is inspired by Jodie Foster,  while Mirabella is inspired by the character Teresa O'Brien from said series, portrayed by Elizabeth Baur. The character is older in the real-life Lancer. Frazer goes on to become an Academy Award–nominated actress. Her third nomination is for Tarantino's 1999 remake of The Lady in Red.
  • Marvin Schwarz of the William Morris Agency  is Dalton's agent, a role that Tarantino wrote specifically for Al Pacino.
  • Francesca Capucci the Italian starlet who marries Dalton is based on 1960s Italian actresses and sex symbols, namely Sophia Loren, Claudia Cardinale, Virna Lisi and Monica Vitti.
  • Some characters, such as Zoë Bell's stunt coordinator Janet Lloyd and Heba Thorisdottir's makeup artist Sonya, were portrayed by individuals who performed the same jobs for the film.
  • Randy Lloyd is the stunt coordinator for The Green Hornet, a position that was held by Bennie Dobbins on the series in real life.
  • Michael Madsen's Sheriff Hackett on Bounty Law is partially inspired by Peter Breck, who also served as Madsen's inspiration for Joe Gage in Tarantino's The Hateful Eight; specifically Breck's role in The Big Valley.
  • Martin Kove's inspiration for his Sheriff on Bounty Law was Henry Fonda's portrayal of Wyatt Earp in John Ford's 1946 film My Darling Clementine. In casting Kove, Madsen, and James Remar for Bounty Law, Tarantino said he cast genre character actors of today to mirror character actors of the 1950s and 1960s who would appear on TV Westerns, such as Claude Akins and Vic Morrow.

Historical characters

  • Sharon Tate was an actress married to film director Roman Polanski, and is Dalton's neighbor in the film. Margot Robbie did not consult Polanski about playing Tate, but read his 1984 autobiography Roman by Polanski in preparation for the role. Tate filmed her last movie, The Thirteen Chairs, in Italy in 1969, at the same time as Dalton films movies there in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
  • Roman Polanski, a film director whose credits include Rosemary's Baby and The Fearless Vampire Killers, where he first met Tate.
  • Jay Sebring was a celebrity hairstylist, Tate's friend and ex-boyfriend, and friend of Bruce Lee (whom he helped get started in Hollywood) and Steve McQueen. Sebring and Tate attended a party at Mama Cass' house which Charles Manson also attended.
  • Abigail Folger, heir to the Folgers coffee fortune, and her boyfriend Wojciech Frykowski were Tate's friends.
  • James Stacy was an actor who played Johnny Madrid Lancer on Lancer. Stacy is last shown in the film leaving the Lancer set on a motorcycle; Stacy was in a motorcycle accident in 1973 that resulted in the death of his passenger and the loss of his arm and leg. His ex-wife, actress Connie Stevens, also portrayed in the film, organized a fundraiser for his recovery.
  • Wayne Maunder, who portrayed Scott Lancer on Lancer, died during the filming of the movie while Luke Perry, who plays him in his last film role, died shortly afterwards. Luke's son Jack Perry appears with him in the film.
  • Sam Wanamaker directed the real pilot of Lancer, as he does in the film. The Land Pirates were characters in the real pilot, who also appear in the pilot within the film. Wanamaker led the restoration of William Shakespeare's Globe Theatre after moving to London while blacklisted from Hollywood in the 1950s. In the film he likens Rick Dalton's character on Lancer to Shakespeare's Hamlet. In a deleted scene Wanamaker says, "You'd be amazed how many Westerns the plot is Shakespearean." He goes on to try to convince Dalton to play his character as Edmund from Shakespeare's King Lear.
  • Business Bob Gilbert (Scoot McNairy) is a character on Lancer being portrayed by Bruce Dern.  (McNairy is playing Dern, playing Business Bob)
  • Bruce Lee was an actor and martial artist who starred as Kato on The Green Hornet. He taught Tate martial arts for The Wrecking Crew and also trained Sebring, Polanski and McQueen.
  • Steve McQueen was an actor and friend of Tate, Sebring, and Lee. On the night of the Tate murders, Sebring invited McQueen over to Tate's house, but his date wanted to stay in. After the murders, the police found a Manson Family hit list including McQueen's name.
  • Mama Cass Elliot and Michelle Phillips were members of the folk band the Mamas & the Papas. The sheet music for their song "Straight Shooter" was found on the piano at the murder scene in the Tate–Polanski residence. The song is also used in the film and teaser trailer. Polanski had an affair with Phillips while he was married to Tate. After the Tate murders, Polanski suspected Michelle's husband, John Phillips of the killings out of revenge for the affair.
  • Connie (Monica Staggs) and Curt (Mark Warrack) are horseback-riding customers at Spahn Ranch. As one way of earning their keep, the Manson Family gave horseback riding tours to people visiting the ranch. Tarantino stated that he thinks his mother and step-father (Connie and Curt) took him horseback riding at Spahn Ranch when he was six years old.
  • Perla Haney-Jardine's hippie girl, who sells the acid-dipped cigarette to Cliff Booth, is based on "Today" Louise Malone, a hippie who appears in the 1968 documentary Revolution.  As in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, she sells the acid cigarettes at a traffic light. Tarantino said the dialogue in the scene is taken from the documentary.
  • Allen Kincade (Spencer Garrett) is a celebrity television interviewer who is based on Wink Martindale. The character was named Wink Martindale in the screenplay but changed to Allen Kincade shortly before shooting due to clearance issues.
  • The bookseller at Larry Edmunds Bookshop being portrayed by Clu Gulager who sells a copy of Tess of the d'Urbervilles to Sharon Tate is Milton Luboviski, who was the real-life proprietor.
  • Harvey "Humble Harve" Miller, portrayed by Rage Stewart, was a Los Angeles KHJ Boss Radio DJ who was convicted of killing his wife.
  • The TV show Hullabaloo Rick Dalton appears on in the film was a real-life show, and one of the go-go dancers portrayed is Lada St. Edmund, who went on to become the highest paid stuntwoman in Hollywood history.

The Manson Family

  • George Spahn was an 80-year-old nearly blind man who rented his ranch out for westerns. The Manson Family lived on the ranch.
  • Charlie is Charles Manson, a convicted felon and cult leader of "the Family" (later dubbed "the Manson Family" by the media), a hippie commune based in California. Members of the Family committed nine murders in the summer of 1969. Damon Herriman, who portrays Manson, also portrays him in David Fincher's Netflix series Mindhunter. Tarantino revealed that, since the Tate murders never happen in the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood universe, neither do the LaBianca murders. The Manson Family gets kicked off Spahn Ranch and splits up, with Manson never becoming a familiar name or cult figure.
  • "Pussycat", aka Debra Jo Hillhouse,  is a composite character, with her nickname based on Kathryn Lutesinger's "Kitty Kat", yet modeled after and most notably based on Ruth Ann Moorehouse. Manson frequently sent Moorehouse into the city to lure men with money back to Spahn Ranch. Lutesinger met Manson through her boyfriend, Bobby Beausoleil. There was a Manson Family member named Pussycat, who is mentioned by Ed Sanders in his book The Family: The Story of Charles Manson's Dune Buggy Attack Battalion; according to those interviewed, Pussycat underwent an exorcism with Manson present. The real identity of Pussycat is never revealed. She is also an homage to Myra (Laurie Heineman) from John G. Avildsen's Save the Tiger.
  • "Squeaky" was Lynette Fromme's nickname, given to her by Spahn because of the sound she made when he touched her. She was Spahn's main caretaker, tending to his needs, sexual or otherwise.
  • "Tex" was Charles Watson's nickname. Spahn gave it to him because of his Texas accent. Within the film's universe the police later theorize that Tex, Sadie, and Katie broke into Rick Dalton's house because they "were frying on acid and were out to perform a Satanic ritual," based on Cliff Booth telling them that Tex said he was "the Devil." 
  • "Sadie" was Susan Atkins' nickname. Manson gave everyone fake IDs, and the name on Atkins' was "Sadie Mae Glutz". Atkins was called "Sexy Sadie" after a track on the Beatles' self-titled album that some of the Family members may have believed was about her.  Mikey Madison, who played Sadie, would later portray a similar character in the 2022 film Scream. Like Sadie, her character Amber Freeman is a knife-wielding psycho killer. Amber decides to murder based on films whereas Sadie does so based on TV. Sadie gets set on fire by Rick Dalton, while Amber is set ablaze by Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox).
  • "Katie" was Patricia Krenwinkel's nickname because of the name on her fake ID. Madisen Beaty, who portrays Krenwinkel, previously portrayed her on the TV series Aquarius.
  • "Flowerchild" is the movie's name for Linda Kasabian, the fourth Family member to go to Tate's house. In 1970, Kasabian was described as a "true flower child."
  • "Snake" was Dianne Lake's nickname, given to her by Manson because she rolled around in grass pretending to be a snake. At 14 she became the youngest member of the Manson Family after being kicked off Wavy Gravy's Hog Farm. Her parents were associates of Manson and her mother had dropped acid with him prior to Lake joining them.
  • "Blue" was Sandra Good's nickname. Manson told her, "Woman, you're earth. I'm naming you Blue. Fix the air and the water. It's your job." Kansas Bowling, the actress who plays her, appears in the film with her sister Parker Love Bowling, who plays Family member "Tadpole." Parker previously portrayed a Manson girl in a reenactment for the Canadian History Channel.
  • "Gypsy" was Catherine Share's nickname, which she gave herself after meeting a man named Gypsy, with whom she shared a birthday and believed him to be her cosmic twin.
  • "Happy Cappy" is based on Catherine Gillies, who was nicknamed "Capistrano" by Spahn because she grew up in San Juan Capistrano and was later shortened to "Cappy" by the Family. Josephine Valentina Clark, the actress who plays her, added the "Happy" while working on the character.
  • "Lulu" was one of Leslie Van Houten's nicknames, and "Clem" one of Steve Grogan's.
  • "Tophat", portrayed in the film by Ronnie Zappa, was an alias of Bobby Beausoleil. In his 2001 book Turn Off Your Mind, Gary Lachman mentions that, "Beausoleil had a style; a top hat that set him apart from the usual hippie fare." Beausoleil wrote: "I spied a felt top hat in the window of a... shop... I couldn't afford (it)... but it felt like it had been made for me... I couldn't resist the temptation to buy it." Beausoleil claimed that as soon as he put on the hat, ideas floating in his head came together.
  • The character of "Sundance" was named by Cassidy Vick Hice, the actress who portrays her. She wrote, "I was asked to name my character by Quentin himself."
  • Straight Satan David, portrayed in the film by David Steen, is a member of the Straight Satans Motorcycle Club, associates of the Family. Manson attempted to recruit them as personal security but, with the exception of club treasurer Danny DeCarlo, was unsuccessful. DeCarlo lived on the ranch as part of the Family.
  • Bill "Sweet William" Fritsch, portrayed by Tom Hartig was a member of the Hells Angels and Diggers and a Manson Family associate. Fritsch worked security for the Altamont Free Concert and acted in deleted scenes of Kenneth Anger's Lucifer Rising.

The soundtrack from the film is a compilation album of classic rock, which includes multiple tracks from Paul Revere & the Raiders, as well as 1960s radio ads and DJ patter. The film also contains numerous songs and scores not included on the soundtrack, including from artists The Mamas & the Papas and Elmer Bernstein.

Related events

1Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse casesHarvey Weinstein sexual abuse cases05.10.2017de, en, fr, lv, ru
2Followers of Charles Manson murdered pregnant Hollywood star Sharon Tate (aged 26) and 4 others in LAFollowers of Charles Manson murdered pregnant Hollywood star Sharon Tate (aged 26) and 4 others in LA09.08.1969en

Sources: wikipedia.org, timenote.info


    Name Born / Since / At Died Languages
    1Sharon  TateSharon Tate24.01.194309.08.1969de, en, fr, lv, pl, ru
    2Robert BlakeRobert Blake18.09.193309.03.2023en, ru