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Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) Poster

Trivia

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Brad Pitt ad-libbed the line, "You're Rick fucking Dalton! Don't you forget that." Pitt based that line on an actor who told him the same thing when he was a budding actor in the early nineties.
The producers had some initial difficulties convincing Hollywood Boulevard vendors to allow their premises to be fitted with period facades to better reflect the 1960s. However, after the production wrapped that section of the shoot, most of these same people asked if they could leave the facades in place, since they now much more preferred that period 'look.'
Margot Robbie, who portrays Sharon Tate, wears some of Sharon Tate's real jewelry, provided by Tate's sister Debra Tate.
Donald "Shorty" Shea was a ranch hand employed by George Spahn. He had tried to warn Spahn about the dangerous nature of the Manson family. At some point he was jumped and then killed, with various body parts being buried around the ranch. One of the killers was Steve "Clem" Grogan - the hippie who knifes the tire and is confronted by Cliff. As he starts to change the tire you can see a cowboy in a corral in the background. As Shorty was the only ranch hand, this would have been him in the shot. His body was not found until 1977 when Clem agreed to show the police where the remains could be found.
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The Maltese Falcon seen in the book store visited by Tate is the real Maltese Falcon, now owned by Leonardo Dicaprio.
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When Cliff recognizes the Manson Family members from his visit to the Spahn Ranch, he can't remember Tex Watson's name. Tex responds saying, "I'm the devil, and I came to do the devil's business." The real-life Tex Watson said this exact phrase to the victims at Sharon Tate's house before they were murdered.
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When Sharon goes to a showing of her movie The Wrecking Crew (1968), the filmmakers chose to use the actual film rather than recreating the scenes with Robbie. The real Sharon Tate briefly appears on screen.
The cream Cadillac Brad Pitt drives belongs to Michael Madsen. It also appeared in "Reservoir Dogs (1992)" driven by Madsen. Also, Pitt and Madsen both appeared in "Thelma & Louise" as the title characters' lovers.
Very rare for a Quentin Tarantino film, some scenes contained improvisation, particularly when Rick Dalton forgets his lines when filming a "Lancer" and afterwards rants to himself privately in his trailer. Leonardo DiCaprio had a very difficult time playing the scene as Dalton, rather than as how he himself would, especially since Dalton is supposed to be an actor of limited range. DiCaprio suggested that Dalton forget his lines mid-scene--ironically, to help him stay in character as Dalton. The subsequent scene in the trailer was also unscripted, improvised.
Originally skeptical of the project, Sharon Tate's sister Debra Tate gave the film and Margot Robbie's portrayal of Sharon her blessing after Debra was embraced by Quentin Tarantino himself and she became aware of how her sister would be represented within the film. Debra referred to Margot as a "dedicated craftsman" and praised the actress's research of Sharon prior to meeting with her.
In an unprecedented film production move, a section of L.A.'s Hollywood Freeway (US-101) was completely shut down from 12pm to 2pm for a sequence populated with period cars. No VFX were used to create this sequence.
China refused the film a certificate for release in the country, strongly hinting that the issue was the way the film portrayed Bruce Lee and that an edit which eliminated the Lee-related material would get approval for release. Quentin Tarantino responded by publicly stating he would not edit any of the film to ensure its release in China.
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As the Tate party enters the El Coyote restaurant for dinner, Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring discuss a movie premiere they can see taking place further down Beverly Blvd at an erotic movie theatre. "They have premieres for dirty movies?" asks Sharon. The theatre in question is the Eros, a real adult theatre of the time. The building still exists, though it is now a repertory cinema called The New Beverly, and it is owned by Quentin Tarantino.
Steve McQueen, played in the film by Damian Lewis, had reportedly planned to visit Sharon Tate on the evening she was killed but ultimately didn't.
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In one scene, a framed issue of MAD Magazine (dated October 1965) is visible in Dalton's apartment, with a drawing of Dalton himself on the cover. As a tie-in with the movie, the October 2019 issue of MAD Magazine was billed as a "Special Tarantino Time-Warp Issue" with a 1960s style contents page, the first 12 pages in black and white, a parody of "Bounty Law" and Rick Dalton on the front cover (different from the cover seen in the movie).
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The character Flowerchild, who is shown having cold feet on going through with the murders, and who flees the scene in the 1959 Ford Galaxie, is based on Linda Kasabian, who became a witness for the prosecution in the murder trial of Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Susan Atkins. In real life Kasabian was ordered by Tex Watson to wait in the car, during which she heard the murders inside the Tate residence take place and witnessed the murder of Wojciech Frykowski outside the house. Kasabian claimed she wanted to drive away, but was too scared.
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One of the Italian films in which Rick stars is said to be directed by an Antonio Margheriti. In "Inglourious Basterds (2009)," "Antonio Margheriti" is the alias used by Donny Donowitz to sneak into the premiere of "Nation's Pride."
Bruce Lee's line about Cliff being pretty for a stuntman was suggested by Burt Reynolds during a script reading. Tarantino said "had the line not been Burt's, it never would've made it in the film. Brad doesn't like characters pointing out how good looking he is. But because Burt suggested it, how could he say no to including it."
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Quentin Tarantino did not approach Roman Polanski, he admitted at the press conference in Cannes. But Tarantino asked for and received help from Sharon Tate's sister Debra Tate, who is thanked in the credits. He also gave Debra Tate a script to read early on, went to visit her in Santa Barbara and spent a weekend with her. She even came on set when the Bruin [Theatre in Westwood] sequence was being shot.
The party sequence at the Playboy Mansion was actually filmed there, Tarantino having been a guest of Hugh Hefner on a number of occasions.
The casting of Kurt Russell and Zoë Bell as the man and wife stunt coordinators on The Green Hornet (1966) is a double inside joke to Tarantino's films. Russell previously played "Stuntman Mike" in Death Proof (2007), in which Bell, a real-life stunt performer, also appeared playing herself. Zoë Bell served as Uma Thurman's stunt double in Kill Bill, and Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) featured the theme to The Green Hornet on its soundtrack.
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Burt Reynolds was originally cast as George Spahn, the ranch owner, but he died before he was scheduled to shoot his scenes. Bruce Dern replaced him in the role. When Rick and Cliff are watching The F.B.I.: All the Streets Are Silent (1965), the actor who played the Rick Dalton role in the actual TV episode was Burt Reynolds.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt got along so well during the production that they confirmed at the film's Cannes premiere that they would love to team up again on another film.
This is Luke Perry's last film. Perry suffered a massive stroke in late February 2019, and died March 4th. Scott Lancer is an homage to Wayne Maunder and his role in Lancer (1968). Maunder died on November 11, 2018, ten days after filming wrapped on this movie. The film was released on July 26th, 2019.
Sharon Tate ( Margot Robbie ) visits a book store to pick up a copy of "Tess of the d'Urbervilles". The real Sharon Tate gave her husband Roman Polanski a copy of the book while in Europe, just before she returned to the USA, saying that it would make a great film in which she herself would love to star. This was the last time that Polanski saw Tate alive. He would later adapt the book as Tess (1979), dedicated to his murdered wife.
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Leonardo DiCaprio has said that he was starstruck to be on-set with one of his teenage idols Luke Perry, a star he'd felt, at the time, was the new embodiment of James Dean. Leo was particularly delighted to be able to reminisce with Luke about the Hollywood of his youth and about where their career paths had taken each of them.
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On Sunday night, Rick and Cliff sit down to watch "Rick's episode" of The F.B.I. (1965). The audience is later told that the episode is The F.B.I.: All the Streets Are Silent (1965). That is a real episode of the television show, and the ensuing clip is the actual opening to that episode, with one important difference - Rick Dalton has been edited into the place of the guest star villain, "Michael Murtaugh." In reality, the role of Murtaugh in the episode was played by Burt Reynolds, who was known for open-mouthed gum-chewing, which is a likely reason why Rick and Cliff refer to the gum chewing as "strong".
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While scouting for locations, Tarantino visited Lee Van Cleef's home. While there, he noticed a giant poster of Van Cleef's face hanging in his garage. Tarantino thought this was both funny and strange, and decided to give Rick Dalton the same thing on his driveway.
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In addition to his on-screen role, Kurt Russell provides the voice of the off-screen narrator.
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In the movie they show James Stacy leaving the set of Lancer on his motorcycle. On September 27, 1973, Stacy was taking his girlfriend Claire Cox for a ride on his motorcycle in the Hollywood Hills when a drunken driver struck them. She died and Stacy lost his left arm and leg.
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Quentin Tarantino described Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as "the most exciting star dynamic duo since Robert Redford and Paul Newman."
Before the film's world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Quentin Tarantino begged of Cannes crowds to avoid spoilers for later audiences in a statement made on social media; "I love cinema, You love cinema. It's the journey of discovering a story for the first time. I'm thrilled to be here in Cannes to share 'Once Upon A Time...in Hollywood' with the festival audience. The cast and crew have worked so hard to create something original, and I only ask that everyone avoids revealing anything that would prevent later audiences from experiencing the film in the same way. Thank you."
Sharon Tate puts her feet up on a seat in the theater while watching The Wrecking Crew (1968). If one looks closely you can see that her feet are rather dirty. In real life, Tate hated wearing shoes and would take any possible opportunity to not wear any in public unless the situation absolutely called for it. Tate would even go as far as wearing rubber bands on her feet to give the illusion of wearing sandals while out eating at restaurants.
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This movie is one of two 2019 projects in which Damon Herriman plays Charles Manson, the other one being season two of Netflix's Mindhunter (2017).
Cliff and Rick watch an episode of The F.B.I. (1965) in which an Army truck is hijacked. A producer went to a local source for film vehicles searching for a similar truck to recreate the scene and, to his surprise, he was taken to the actual truck used in the TV show. They cleaned it up, gave it a fresh coat of paint and used it in this movie.
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Quentin Tarantino has said he worked on the screenplay for five years.
Eager to work with Quentin Tarantino again and to keep within the budget, Leonardo DiCaprio took a 25% pay cut from his usual $20 million salary.
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Quentin Tarantino considers the screenplay of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as "probably his most personal."
As Sharon Tate is trying to convince the movie theater cashier that she's Sharon, the cashier mentions Valley of the Dolls (1967) which visibly makes her wince. In real life, Tate hated the novel and the script, thinking they were terrible. She only accepted the role of Jennifer North because she knew that it would bring her nationwide attention and boost her career.
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When Charles Manson goes to the Polanski house and Jay tells him that Terry and Candy aren't there, he was talking about Doris Day's son, record producer Terry Melcher and his then girlfriend, actress Candice Bergen. Manson also mentions Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson. Dreaming of a career in music, Manson had played and sang some of his songs to Wilson and one of them ended up being recorded by the Beach Boys. The song, originally entitled Cease to Exist, appeared as a single with the name Never Learn Not To Love.
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Quentin Tarantino told the crew that he wanted the Spahn Movie Ranch sequence to feel like the early scenes in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), particularly in terms of sound design and production design.
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Margot Robbie accidentally took home one of Quentin Tarantino's "on-the-day" shot lists from one of her days of filming. She discovered it months later and was afraid to say anything in case Quentin asked for it back. When she revealed this to Quentin, he told her he practically throws them away when he's done with them, and offered her many more.
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The title is an homage to Sergio Leone, who directed both Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Quentin Tarantino has cited Leone as one of his favorite filmmakers and an influence throughout his career.
After Rick and Cliff leave the bar in the beginning of the movie, a news bulletin can be heard coming from the car radio. It is about Sirhan Sirhan, who murdered Senator Robert F. Kennedy who won the Democratic primary in California in 1968 and was shot after giving his victory speech. The events in the scene play on February 8, 1969, which was two days before Sirhan pled guilty to first-degree murder.
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Quentin Tarantino spent five years writing Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as a novel before realizing a film script would better suit the material.
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Award-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson has said that one of the most gratifying experiences for him on the shoot was filming Al Pacino for the very first time. He'd seen all Pacino's films, but having the rare opportunity to shoot him with Brad and Leonardo in the same space was a milestone in his career.
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Editor Fred Raskin's first assembly of the film was four hours, 20 minutes.
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Quentin Tarantino was scheduled to make the film for The Weinstein Company but severed the ties when the sexual assault allegations against co-chairman Harvey Weinstein were revealed in the press. To avoid a repeat of the script leak incident that almost cost him The Hateful Eight (2015), he wrote a memo to all theatrical studios, summoning them to send one representative to his agent's (The William Morris Endeavor) office in Beverly Hills to read his Manson script in person at an arranged time and date. The memo also mandated that each representative was required to sign a heavy non-disclosure agreement, read the script in person (they were not allowed to copy or take the script back), and present the list of demands and conditions to the studio management. This project was already one of the most anticipated and promising projects on the board at the time. After reading the script, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Annapurna Pictures, and Lionsgate were welcome to make a bid for the theatrical rights before a second round of bids pitched to Tarantino himself. Sony won the theatrical rights in the bidding war, outbidding its closest rival Warner Bros., making it the first David Heyman production not to be distributed by Warner.
During the mid-credits Red Apple Tobacco commercial, Rick Dalton says, "Take a bite and feel all right." Quentin Tarantino previously used this phrase in his published screenplay for From Dusk Till Dawn (1996); it is spoken by Seth Gecko (George Clooney) during that film's climactic fight, but was not included in the final cut.
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Quentin Tarantino stated that the story consists of multiple parallel stories and that it is the closest in narrative form to his earlier film Pulp Fiction (1994).
The real life sister of Sharon Tate was so moved by Margot Robbie's portrayal of Tate she claimed she "cried real tears, I had a big wet patch of tears down the front of my shirt. It was like having my sister back again, after 50 years."
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Quentin Tarantino considers himself one of the luckiest directors in the history of Hollywood for being able to cast Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt at the same time.
For Quentin Tarantino, Sharon Tate has an angelic presence throughout the movie. He even considers Tate an angelic ghost on earth, with Tarantino's own words, "to some degree, she's not in the movie, she's in our hearts".
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The design on the wall in the airport is identical to the design on the wall in the airport shown in the opening scene of Jackie Brown (1997).
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Quentin Tarantino curated and presented a "Swinging Sixties Movie Marathon" of films that influenced Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which was broadcast on TV in 80 countries in the run up to the film's release. Tarantino said, "Sony Pictures made their Columbia Pictures catalogue available to me so that I could select a series of films representative of the era in which Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is set, The Swinging Sixties. I'm thrilled to host these movies so we can enjoy them together." The ten films included were: Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), Cactus Flower (1969), Easy Rider (1969), Model Shop (1969), Battle of the Coral Sea (1959), Getting Straight (1970), The Wrecking Crew (1968), Hammerhead (1968), Gunman's Walk (1958), and Arizona Raiders (1965). (Not all films were shown in all countries.)
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The fictional "Red Apple" brand of cigarettes is the brand that Tarantino uses in every movie. In the Rick Dalton commercial the art on the pack has been changed to give the worm a cowboy hat. As Rick Dalton says at the end of the Red Apple shoot during the end credits, these are truly awful cigarettes.
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Received a seven-minute standing ovation at Cannes premiere.
This film was originally scheduled to be released on August 9, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the murder of Sharon Tate and friends by members of Charles Manson's "Family," before Sony changed the release date to July 26, 2019. Joan Didion in her collection of essays titled "White Album" theorized that August 9, 1969 was the day the "Hippie" movement, the free love era, and the 1960s as a whole came to an abrupt end as a result of these murders.
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Leonardo DiCaprio undertook a strict workout routine in order to convincingly play an action star, giving up pasta and desserts and doing hundreds of push-ups a day.
British Chinese martial arts actor and choreographer J. Cheung was offered the role of Bruce Lee, but turned it down, citing its lack of respect to Bruce Lee and his spirit. Cheung had previously turned down the role of Bruce Lee in Birth of the Dragon (2016) for similar reasons.
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Shot on 35 mm film as with almost every Tarantino picture (some sequences shot on 8mm and 16mm).
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Quentin Tarantino claimed to have written the role of fictitious Hollywood agent Marvin Schwarz specifically for Al Pacino.
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The TV at George Spahn's house has one of the earliest unwired remote controls, the Zenith "Space Command" remote3. Rather than using infrared or similar technology from later years, it uses ultra high frequency sound. The remote features four buttons, each which trips a spring-loaded hammer that strikes a metal reed. Each of the reeds is at a separate pitch, all of which are inaudible. One button was for turning the TV on, another for turning it off, one for raising the channel and one for lowering it. As each button press makes a loud click, many people simply referred to the device as a "clicker". A rather humorous failing of this system is that if you jingled your car keys it could cause the TV to turn on.
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Premiered in competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, 25 years after Quentin Tarantino brought Pulp Fiction (1994) to the festival in 1994 and won the Palme d'Or.
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Quentin Tarantino thinks of this movie as "his memory piece". He even compares it to Alfonso Cuarón's Roma (2018).
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Rick Dalton is portrayed as a Steve McQueen wannabe. Rick Dalton starred in the fictional 1950s western TV series "Bounty Law," while Steve McQueen starred in the actual 1950s western TV series, Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958), which was about a bounty hunter. In his final film The Hunter (1980), McQueen played real-life bounty hunter Ralph Thorson.
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In the scene at Spahn Ranch the name Randi Starr can be seen as a sign on the main street buildings. Starr was a real ranch hand and stunt man who worked at the ranch. He died during the Tate La Bianca trial.
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At the film's world premiere screening at the Cannes film festival, the scene where Brad Pitt, 55, takes off his shirt to show off his still-muscular stuntman physique drew gasps and spontaneous applause from the audience, as reported by the BBC and Indiewire.
The scene in which Dalton as DeCoteau blows his lines, then throws a fit in his trailer was suggested by Leonardo DiCaprio. Quentin Tarantino wanted to shoot straight western scenes but DiCaprio wanted to emphasize Dalton's fading star and asked if he could intentionally blow the lines. Tarantino was initially resistant and shot it both ways, but after seeing DiCaprio's performance with those lines, Tarantino was sold. He agreed that this was important, as it demonstrated the "drunken has-been" theme of the Dalton character.
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The final version of the film is slightly longer than the cut that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Most notably, the scene where Rick Dalton appears in a clip from The Great Escape (1963) (which required the use of digital effects and thus could not be completed in time for Cannes) and the mid-credits Red Apple commercial were absent at the world premiere.
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DIRECTOR'S TRADEMARK: female bare feet prominently featured in a shot. Three times. Once when Sharon Tate watches herself in the theatre, second when Squeaky is watching TV at Spahn Ranch and the other when Pussycat hitches a ride with Cliff.
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Roman Polanski calls his dog 'Dr. Sapirstein'. This was the name of a character in Rosemary's Baby (1968), his latest film at the time.
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Brad Pitt was reportedly in talks for an unspecified role in the film, which was rumored to be a detective investigating the murders, and was eventually turned down by Pitt. Negotiations stopped for a couple of months as it was assumed Pitt wasn't interested. Quentin Tarantino then tried to consider Tom Cruise for a role as many assume it was the same role (it has not been confirmed) that Pitt declined, but matters never materialized with Cruise. Tarantino then went back to Pitt months later for a role, but this time the role was confirmed for being the stuntman character, Cliff Booth, which Pitt would sign on to do.
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The scenes of DiCaprio's character in the The Great Escape (1963) digitally inserted. Tarantino is known not to be a lover of CGI effects but this was the only practical way to accomplish this iconic scene as there was no realistic way to recreate it due to the age of the film and death of all the original actors in the scene.
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There are strong indicators that Cliff Booth was based on Hal Needham. As the highest paid stuntman in the world, Needham broke 56 bones, broke his back twice, punctured a lung, and knocked out a few teeth. His career included work on 4,500 television episodes and 310 feature films as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, 2nd unit director and ultimately, director. One of the major films he directed was Smokey and the Bandit (1977), which starred Burt Reynolds who was the actual actor in the episode of The F.B.I. (1965) that Rick Dalton supposedly played.
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Tim Roth, James Marsden and Danny Strong were cut from the film.
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Car coordinator Steven Butcher found the actual 1959 Ford Galaxie used in the Tate murders and had an exact replica built for the film.
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As mentioned in 'The Rewatchables' podcast, Quentin Tarantino describes how the Spahn ranch sequence was influenced by the Robert Duvall helicopter scene in Apocalypse Now (1979). Once Coppola introduces this scene with the helicopters, every subsequent scene before they head up the river needed to include helicopters in the background of each shot for it to work thematically. Quentin does the same for the Spahn ranch scene, but instead uses dogs. The aim for Tarantino in this sequence was to make sure that dogs can be seen in every shot at Spahn ranch wandering around.
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The Lancer (1968) episode being filmed within the movie appears to be Lancer: The High Riders (1968) with DiCaprio's character in the part played by Joe Don Baker, complete with long mustache. This episode was indeed directed by noted Shakespearean actor Sam Wanamaker (hence the reference to Hamlet).
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According to Quentin Tarantino, whenever he referred to the project of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, he referred to it as his "Magnum Opus".
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Quentin Tarantino was so determined to avoid the typical clichés of a sixties period piece that he even considered shooting the film in black & white.
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WILHELM SCREAM: The movie opens with a clip from the fictional Rick Dalton series "Bounty Law." A man is shot and falls off a roof, at which point he lets out a big Wilhelm scream, an inside joke in the movie industry which pops up in several other Tarantino films.
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Damian Lewis, who plays Steve McQueen, was the star of HBO's Band of Brothers (2001). When being cast for Band of Brothers, the casting agent thought he looked like a young Steve McQueen as mentioned in the DVD extras for that show.
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The Columbia Pictures Release intro at the beginning of the film is authentic for the 1960s. It was recycled from an unknown Columbia Pictures film from the same period and wasn't even remastered in order for it to keep its scratched, slightly faded look. The only nod to modernity is the (digital) addition of the Sony name at the bottom of the screen (Sony acquired Columbia Pictures in the early 1990s). As an additional piece, Columbia Pictures television arm of the era, Screen Gems, is also name-checked in the film.
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The ending was deliberately omitted from copies of scripts in order to keep it secret from everyone including the studio. The only persons who really knew the ending right at the beginning of production apart from Quentin Tarantino were the lead actors themselves and a close friend of Roman Polanski whom Tarantino showed the entire script. Robert Richardson said that he and other main crew members were only told of it two months prior to filming the climax. Others knew much later into filming or during post-production; an example would be that Margaret Qualley only found out through Brad Pitt while filming at the Spahn Ranch set.
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Quentin Tarantino based the Dalton / Booth relationship on that of a real life duo. During one interview, while not revealing who it was, Tarantino said that he got the idea when watching the interaction of an actor with his stuntman. While Kurt Russell's name as been put forward as the inspiration for Dalton, the strongest argument is for Burt Reynolds and his long-time stuntman, Hal Needham.

Before making a huge impact in Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Reynolds had spent many years kicking around in TV shows, mostly playing villains and his career was going nowhere. Tarantino based his film on his experience growing up in Los Angeles in the sixties and seventies. Reynolds did not leap from obscurity until Tarantino was 14 years old. It is interesting that Dalton supposedly played the bad guy role in the featured episode of The F.B.I. (1965) - a role that was played in real life by Burt Reynolds.
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To portray a hippie follower of the Manson Clan, Margaret Qualley let her armpit hair grow out over the course of the shoot for her 'Pussycat' character.
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Director's trademark: Mexican standoff. Many Tarantino films have featured Mexican standoffs (scenes where characters point guns at each other at the same time). This film has one too, but with a twist: Tex points his revolver at a stoned Cliff, who responds by making a mock gun with his hand and pointing it back at Tex.
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When Sharon goes to the Bruin theatre to see the film she is in, a poster of The Mercenary (1968) can be seen. "The Mercenary" starred Franco Nero, who stood alongside Jamie Foxx at the bartop in Django Unchained (2012). Franco Nero was the original Django.
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Leonardo DiCaprio was courted for several months to take on one of the two primary characters in the film. The role was revealed to be the character of Rick Dalton, a washed up former television western star, for which DiCaprio would eventually be convinced to sign on for his second collaboration with Quentin Tarantino, their first being Django Unchained (2012).
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In the special features interviews Kurt Russell refers to the film illustrating the Hollywood that he knew when he was growing up. During the time that this movie takes place, Russell was featured in a number of movies as well as guested on a number of TV shows. Meanwhile, his father Bing Russell was also guesting or playing a recurring character on various highly popular TV westerns and other shows.

When Rick is talking with Trudy he says that in fifteen years she would be washed up as well as him. Kurt Russell was one of an extremely small number of child stars who continued to have a strong career through adulthood. In fact, he was the only one to end up with high-profile roles into his senior years, having made this particular film at the age of 68.
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Quentin Tarantino based the Rick Dalton character on a number of actors of the era. The most obvious influence is Steve McQueen who, like Dalton, found early success on the 1950s western series Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958). Unlike Dalton, McQueen made a successful transition from television to films and would remain an A list star throughout the 1960s. Other influences were Edd Byrnes, Ty Hardin, whom Tarantino referred to as "a poor man's Steve McQueen", and Pete Duel. Like Dalton, Duel was the star of a western television series, Alias Smith and Jones (1971), had issues with alcohol and had his driver's license revoked after arrests for drunk driving. Similar to Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), Duel's stand-in, Harold 'Hal' Frizzell, acted as Duel's chauffeur.
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The arrival at Playboy Mansion is accompanied by "Hush" with Deep Purple. Deep Purple performed this at the Mansion in one of their first TV appearances.
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Not counting the 'archive footage' interview on the set of Bounty Law at the beginning, Cliff Booth's first and last lines in the 'present' 1969 portion of the film are the same - "I try." In both instances, it is in response to someone telling him he is a good friend to Rick.
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Dalton questions Wanamaker about how the public will recognize him as villain Caleb DeCoteau due to the disguise created for it. It's loosely inspired by Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), where Henry Fonda, as the villain, was given unusually dark makeup in order to distance himself from the familiar and friendly person that was so well known to the audience..
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The director of of Rick Dalton's film Operazione Dyn-O-Mite, Antonio Margheriti, wasn't just the name of an alias used previously in Inglourious Basterds (2009). Antonio Margheriti was actually a real Italian filmmaker who did most of his directing in the 1960s and 1970s.
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Shannon Lee, daughter of legend Bruce Lee, was most disappointed with the way her father was portrayed by actor Mike Moh under Quentin Tarantino's direction. She felt he was sorely misrepresented as an arrogant blowhard who was full of hot air.
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Quentin Tarantino's wife Daniella Pick has a brief cameo as one of Rick Dalton's leading ladies during his Italian period.
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At the beginning of the film's third act, Rick Dalton is served a cocktail on a flight by a Pan Am stewardess. This stewardess is, in fact, played by Margot Robbie. Only her hands, arms, and part of her uniform are shown. Margot Robbie also starred in the TV mini-series Pan Am (2011).
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For Quentin Tarantino, this movie is his love letter to L.A.
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When Cliff Booth drives home from Rick Dalton's, the camera goes over a "Drive-In Theatre" while Keith Mansfield's "Funky Fanfare" is heard on the soundtrack, which is the music used behind the "Our Feature Presentation" clip seen in several other Quentin Tarantino films. This music can be heard at the start of every movie at all Alamo Drafthouse Theaters.
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Cliff Booth is suspected of killing his wife, while KHJ boss jock Humble Harve Miller, heard on the car radio in several scenes, actually did kill his wife in 1971.
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When Sharon comes to the door and sees Charles Manson, that door represents the door on which the word "pig" would, in real life, be written in Sharon's blood. The actual door was taken and replaced in 1993 by a later resident of the Tate / Polanski house, Trent Reznor of the band Nine Inch Nails. It now serves as the front door of what was once his recording studio in New Orleans.
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Cameo (Perla Haney-Jardine): The hippie who sells Cliff an acid-dipped cigarette. She previously appeared as B.B. in Tarantino's Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004).
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Initially Leonardo DiCaprio was scheduled to sing either "Green Door" (a 1956 hit for radio personality Jim Lowe), or Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In" (popularized by singing cowboy Roy Rogers). They went with "Green Door" in the end.
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Photos on the wall in Spahn's house include Zorro and The Lone Ranger and Tonto. Both series used Spahn's ranch for filming locations some fifteen years earlier.
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When Michelle Philips, a member of The Mamas and the Papas, arrives at the Playboy Mansion party, she is seen meeting up with her band mate, Cass. (The band's song California Dreamin' later turns up on the soundtrack, albeit not their version, as well as "Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)".)
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Rumours have circulated that Jennifer Lawrence was being considered for the role of Manson Family member Susan Atkins, who was played in this film by Mikey Madison. In 2014, Quentin Tarantino considered Lawrence for the role of Daisy Domergue in The Hateful Eight (2015), which ultimately went to Jennifer Jason Leigh. In interviews around that film's release date, Tarantino described Daisy as "a Manson girl out West, like Susan Atkins or something," suggesting that Tarantino has had Lawrence in mind for a part like this for some time.
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Retired NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar strongly criticized the film for what he felt was an offensive and insulting portrayal of Bruce Lee. Abdul-Jabbar and Bruce Lee worked together on The Game of Death (1974) and remained friends up to the time Lee died.
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KHJ radio advertisements are spread throughout the movie. When Cliff (Pitt) picks up Dalton (DiCaprio) from the day of shooting on "Lancer" the building seen in the background is the former headquarters of KHJ radios. It is now part of the Paramount Studios Complex.
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The Cannes premiere of the film made such a splash that a large number of people, including film executives, weren't able to get in. Journalists queued for two hours before the film's 4:30 p.m. press screening. When the attendants came to the entrance barrier at the theater at about 3:50 p.m. to start admitting attendees, a round of applause went up from some in the crowd. The crush and jostle to get in became such a heaving mess of sharp elbows that the staffers had to admonish people not to push their way into the theater.
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The background song in the teaser trailer is 'Bring a Little Lovin', published on 1968 by the Spanish group Los Bravos.
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The character "Francesca Cappucci" was most likely named after a real-life Los Angeles media personality who gained notoriety in the 80s and 90s, first as a news reader for radio station KLOS, then as the on-air music reporter for sister station KABC.
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Margaret Qualley's character 'Pussycat' is based on Manson Family member Ruth Ann Morehouse.
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The Trudi Fraser (child actor) character bears a strong resemblance in appearance and professionalism to child actor Margaret O'Brien, who took her craft very seriously and displayed the same level of maturity.
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On June 12, 2018, moviegoers were surprised to see that scheduled 70mm screenings of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) inside the legendary Cinerama Dome appeared to suddenly been replaced by another film from that period, Krakatoa: East of Java (1968) In fact, 2001 had been relocated to another screen inside the ArcLight Hollywood and the marquees for Krakatoa: East of Java were part of the second unit work required for Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (2019) to recreate the look of 1969 Los Angeles.
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At one point, a theater marquee can be seen advertising a movie which is Rated "M," The original MPAA ratings for film content, which would have come into effect not long before the time the film is set, were G (General Audiences, still in use today), M, (Mature - parental discretion advised) R (Restricted, still in use today), and X (Adults Only). As the M rating confused audiences (they didn't know if an M or an R movie was stronger in its content), the M rating was eventually changed to GP, and not long thereafter, to PG (Parental Guidance Suggested), which is still in use today.
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Considering the FBI episode featuring Rick Dalton as a guest star actually featured Burt Reynolds in the role, Dalton's character is an amalgam of Reynolds and other actors. Although Reynolds never starred in his own TV western, he did appear on 50 episodes of Gunsmoke (1955) and he did star in two police detective series, Hawk (1966) and Dan August (1970). During the sixties and early seventies he guest starred on a number of series, usually as the bad guy, and did not reach serious stardom until the blockbuster film Smokey and the Bandit (1977). As for spaghetti westerns, Dalton is most closely related to Clint Eastwood, whose career seemed to have peaked as a regular on Rawhide. During the summer break before the final season, he flew to Spain to film the iconic film A Fistful of Dollars (1964). As with Eastwood, Dalton's spaghetti westerns appear to have turned his career around.
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David Heyman, British producer of all the Harry Potter films, has said that working on this, his very first collaboration with Quentin Tarantino, was the most enjoyable production experience of his career.
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Quentin Tarantino stated in an interview that the director whose work most resembles this film is that of French filmmaker Claude Lelouch.
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In the scene where Cliff Booth gathers tools from Rick Dalton's work-shed in order to repair Rick's fallen antenna, the flamethrower can be seen on the floor, leaning against the wall.
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Rick's use of "beaner" as a derogatory term for Mexicans is not anachronistic; the term first appeared in print in 1965 and is said to date back to the 40s. Of course, it would be anachronistic for the TV show "Lancer" (set in the Old West) to feature the word, but such shows were often filled with historical inaccuracies anyway.
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When the casting calls went out in L.A., it was listed as 'Magnum Opus', but no other information was given.
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When Cliff picks up Rick Dalton from Columbia Studios, the building itself is an entrance to a Studio Tour for the public at Paramount Studios.
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The billboard outside Pantages theater announces the movie "3 in the Attic", starring Yvette Mimieux. This is the last name used by Shosanna Dreyfus for her disguise as theater's owner Emmanuelle in Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds (2009) .
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Madisen Beaty, who plays Patricia Krenwinkel (Katie) in this movie, previously played the same role on the TV series Aquarius (2015).
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The song from the very beginning of the teaser trailer is 'Straight Shooter' by The Mamas and the Papas.
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The ticket seller at the movie theater uses a plastic Kodak Instamatic camera. Rather than using film on rolls, the film is loaded into a plastic cassette that the user can drop into the camera, give the lever a couple of cranks and be ready to shoot. It also uses a disposable plastic flash cube. This contains four small flash bulbs and is designed to rotate 90º with each film advance. This system was wildly popular in the late sixties and early seventies.
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Clifton Collins Jr., who plays the Lancer ranch hand, has a strong connection to Hollywood of the fifties and sixties. His grandfather was character actor Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez who was discovered by John Wayne when he was an inadvertently hilarious guest on the game show You Bet Your Life (1950) and who subsequently played supporting roles in a number of Wayne's movies.
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When discussing wardrobe, Wanamaker says Dalton's "hippie jacket" should look so that it would fit into London of the time. Wanamaker was a political exile in the UK who had moved there during the McCarthy days to avoid blacklisting and would pop back for roles in such films as Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 hours 11 minutes (1965). He would eventually receive an honorary knighthood there for his work in Shakespearean theatre and by rebuilding the Globe theater on its original site. His direction of the Lancer (1968) pilot was during one of these visits back to the States.
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In the 'Rick Dalton double feature' flashback, the first film, running the opening credits, is Against a Crooked Sky (1975) starring Richard Boone, Henry Wilcoxon, and Clint Ritchie.
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In the final segment of the movie Voytek is reading a TV Guide with character actor Andrew Duggan on the cover. Duggan played the title character in the real TV show Lancer, in which the fictional Rick Dalton guest-starred in the Pilot.
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One of the Spaghetti Westerns Rick Dalton stars in while in Italy is directed by Antonio Margheriti. In Tarantino's 2009 film Inglourious Basterds (2009), Eli Roth uses the alias "Antonio Margheriti" while undercover as a member Italian film crew that is planning to infiltrate the premier of a Nazi propaganda film in Paris. Roth's character is part of a unit nicknamed the "Basterds," commanded by Lt. Aldo Raine, played by Brad Pitt.
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Another song by The Mamas and the Papas, "Twelve Thirty" ("young girls are coming to the canyon") is heard later in the film. This song is about Laurel Canyon, where a lot of '60s musicians lived, including Jim Morrison, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Peter Tork, as well as Crosby, Stills, and Nash. There are, of course, a lot of young girls in this film. The Tate/Polanski house was in Benedict Canyon, but another massacre, the Wonderland murders, took place in Laurel Canyon in 1981.
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During the scene in which George Spahn is struggling to identify Cliff Booth, he mishears his name as John Wilkes Booth. John Wilkes Booth was the man who assassinated president Abraham Lincoln on April 15 1865. The woman who questions Cliff before allowing him to enter, and sitting one room away from this exchange, is infamous Charles Manson acolyte Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme. On September 5 1975, Fromme made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford. Interestingly, Lincoln was assassinated in Ford's Theatre in Washington DC, and Fromme's attempt on Ford was in Capitol Park after he had entered from Lincoln street in Sacramento, California.
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Similar to the DiCaprio character in this film, actor/director Clint Eastwood early in his career starred in a black and white TV cowboy series, Rawhide (1959) (playing 'Rowdy Yates'), when on nearing its close (1964) went on to achieve major fame through starring in three of Italian director Sergio Leone's 'Dollars' trilogy films: director of this film, Tarantino has oft stated his admiration for Leone's film-making.
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Dalton is listening to the 1966 song Snoopy vs. the Red Baron by the Royal Guardsmen. In the mid-sixties, a recurring element in the Peanuts comic strip was of the dog Snoopy fantasizing about being a World War I fighter pilot battling the German ace Baron von Richthofen. This novelty song was based on that theme. It made it all the way to number two on the charts, right below I'm a Believer by the Monkees.
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The song that Sharon plays is Good Thing by Paul Revere & The Raiders from their album, Spirit of '67. Raiders singer and producer Mark Lindsay was good friends with record producer Terry Melcher and for a while the two shared a house; a place that was ideal for parties. After Melcher moved out, this was the house where Tate would live and which, because of Melcher, was targeted for attack by Charles Manson. It is possible that Tate knew that the record she was playing was sung and produced by the former resident of her home.
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The portrayal of Sam Wanamaker is of an extremely arty, imaginative man, which is very much like Wanamaker was in real life. Being strongly influenced by his many years playing Shakespeare characters on the British stage, he tended to be overly-theatrical. In the pilot episode of Lancer (1968), a fair amount of this weirdness shows through.

The opening scenes show two good guys responding to a late-night horse theft and riding off without cowboy hats, making the audience wonder if this was present-day. Presumably Wanamaker rationalized this hatless aspect as depicting haste, yet he forgot about how this might be interpreted by an audience. Also, they were both wearing plaid shirts, with was also odd. Plus much of the camera work, angles, sudden zooms and the like were very strongly influenced by TV detective shows of the day. These were reflections of Wanamaker's personality, which no doubt were noted by Quentin Tarantino when scripting and directing the Wanamaker portrayal.

It might also be noted that Leonardo DiCaprio's scruffy, shaggy-haired, mustachioed hippie-villain in this film was very closely modeled on the look that Wanamaker designed for the original actor, Joe Don Baker.
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Samuel L. Jackson was in talks for a role.
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In one scene, Roman Polanski walks to his car sporting a blue velour suit with ruffled white cravat. Django wears almost the exact same outfit in Tarantino's earlier film Django Unchained (2012).
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Given the nostalgic references to Hollywood lore threaded throughout the film, it could be implied that Cliff Booth's killing of his wife Natalie on a boat over a drunken quarrel is a reference to the death of Natalie Wood in 1981, which is often speculated to have been caused by her actor husband Robert Wagner under similar circumstances. Tarantino has stated that this scene is in no way a reference to the late Wood. Curiously both last names Booth and Wood share identical phonetic.
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Nicholas Hammond, who plays TV director Sam Wanamaker, was one of the "familiar face without a name" character actors seen in minor guest roles on television. Those among the audience who were around in the 1970s will remember him for playing Peter Parker in the live action series, The Amazing Spider-Man (1977).
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During the scene where Sharon Tate goes into the movie theater, she enters during a trailer for C.C. & Company (1970) a biker film starring Joe Namath, Ann-Margret and features a musical cameo by Wayne Cochran, "The White Knight of Soul", and the C.C. Riders.
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Charlie Day was asked to audition for the role of Charles Manson but turned down the opportunity in order to continue work on his own feature film 'El Tonto'.
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In one part of the movie, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) goes to see her own movie in the theater. When the cast was asked in an interview if they've ever done the same thing, Director Quentin Tarantino revealed he has. He admitted to once taking a date out to see True Romance (1993), which he wrote the screenplay for. Ironically, Tarantino revealed he has also gone to the Bruin Theater, the same place Sharon Tate goes to in the movie.
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According to Scoot McNairy, he is the only actor that Quentin Tarantino has cast without meeting first.
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The sound of the milk carton placed on the pick up truck bed represents the Chinese gong, meaning the fight is on.
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The Champion spark plugs T-shirt was definitely a familiar item during the time in which this film was set. High performance street cars were extremely popular at the time and drag racing was at its absolute peak of popularity. The most popular T-Shirt designs, however, were Ford (Mustang) and Chevy (Camaro) T-shirts, with Pontiac (Firebird) and Dodge (Charger) just behind them. At the time, the average car enthusiast was very much in either the Ford camp or the Chevy camp. Culturally, it was the Windows vs Mac rivalry of its day.
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Of all the actors in the film, the one who was most familiar with the Hollywood of the day was Kurt Russell. In addition to his years as a child actor in films and guest starring on TV shows in the 1950s and 1960s, his father Bing Russell had also spent many years guest starring on shows, as well as being playing a repeating role as a deputy sheriff in Bonanza (1959). Bing was an actor who was never lucky enough to have his own series like Rick Dalton but he found his niche and hung in there, largely in roles as film extras. This makes Kurt Russell the ideal person to cast as the narrator of this film.
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In one scene, Roman Polanski walks to his car sporting a blue velour suit with ruffled white cravat. Django wears almost the exact same Fauntleroy outfit in Quentin Tarantino's earlier film Django Unchained (2012), created by costumer Sharen Davis as a tribute to Thomas Gainsborough's painting "The Blue Boy."
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The music from Day the Earth Stood Still, can be heard while Cliff is walking back to see George Spawn in room to make the scene more tense.
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In an interview with film critic Elvis Mitchell, Quentin Tarantino compared the characters of Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth to the famous Beat Generation duo Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. In the late '90s, Francis Ford Coppola had an "On The Road" film moving down the pipeline with Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp as the proposed two leads. With this film's casting, Tarantino just manifested two master directors' casting visions.
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The white R&B singer in the trailer for the feature film, C.C. & Company (1970) was Wayne Cochran. A friend of Otis Redding and heavily inspired by his friend James Brown, he was known for his white hair and weird hairstyles (such an an overblown combination of a pompadour and a women's "beehive"). He led a band known as the C.C. Ryders. He typically played clubs in the south and midwest, never achieving major stardom.
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While it is not indicated in the film, the characters Johnny Madrid and Scott Lancer are half-brothers.
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Ava Roosevelt contested the accuracy of this film's depiction of Jay Sebring, whom she dated for a time, and Sharon Tate.
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The reason why the scene in which Rick Dalton talks to himself in his trailer is presented in jump cuts is so Leonardo DiCaprio could improvise his lines freely in every take without worrying about continuity.
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At the beginning of the movie, Roman Polanski's character called his dog Saperstein. That was the name of the Dr that delivered Mia Farrow's baby in the movie Rosemary's Baby (directed by Roman Polanski).
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Towards the end of the movie when Rick Dalton confronts the hippies in their car, he refers to their car as a "Mechanical A$$hole". That verbage to describe a beat up car was originally used in the move Christine(1983) by Darnell, the owner of Darnell's junkyard to describe Christine.
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In one of the scenes, when everyone is leaving the set after filming Lancer... James Stacy played by Timothy Olyphant, rides away on a motorcycle in real life in 1973 a drunk driver hit James Stacy and his girlfriend. The accident ultimately killed his girlfriend and caused his left arm and leg to be amputated
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One of the many movies that are playing in theaters in the background is Romeo and Juliet (1968). Leonardo DiCaprio starred in another version of Romeo + Juliet (1996).
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The brief scene with Bruce and Jay was filmed at 9810 Easton Drive, in Beverly Hills, CA. This was the very home in which Jay Sebring lived at the time. Prior to the end of their relationship, Sharon Tate lived at the residence with Jay Sebring.
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In the promo for Bounty Law, Rick Dalton says anyone who tries to bring in a bounty alive, when dead is an option, is an idiot. This directly contrasts with Kurt Russell's character in The Hateful Eight: a bounty hunter who prides himself on bringing in his bounties alive, so as not to cheat the hangman. Both this film and The Hateful Eight were written by Quentin Tarantino.
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Martial arts legend Chuck Norris had his first movie appearance in a scene in Sharon Tate's film 'The Wrecking Crew' (1968)). In real life Norris was also a good friend and acquaintance of Bruce Lee (who is depicted in this film) and would appear opposite him four years later in 'Way of the Dragon' (1972).
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The Coyote restaurant was filmed only 3 miles from a Mexican Restaurant in Falling Down (1993).
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This film and Forrest Gump (1994) share two songs in common on their soundtrack. One is California Dreamin' by The Mamas and the Papas and the second is Mrs. Robinson by Simon & Garfunkel.
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A ~2:10:29, Larry Vincent as "Seymour" appears on TV.
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Rumer Willis plays Joanna Pettet, fellow actor and friend of Sharon Tate. Her father, Bruce Willis, starred in Pulp Fiction, also directed by Tarantino.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

A flashback shows Rick Dalton training to use a flamethrower, and recoiling from the heat it generates. This was Leonardo DiCaprio's genuine reaction to the flamethrower. Tarantino thought it was funny, and left it in the movie.
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The music after Cliff kills the intruders, the police arrive and Rick goes to meet Sharon Tate is from The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972) directed by John Huston and starring Paul Newman in the title role. It's appropriate because the title card at the beginning of that movie is "Maybe this isn't the way it was... it's the way it should have been."
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This is the first of Quentin Tarantino's films in which Michael Madsen plays a character who doesn't die. Madsen claimed that after filming The Hateful Eight (2015) he jokingly complained to Tarantino about how every character he has him play ends up dying. Tarantino gave him a brief role in this film as a response.
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The movie is revisionist fiction, with several made-up characters interacting with existing ones, thereby changing the course of real-life history. In this case, the infamous Sharon Tate murders by members of Charles Manson's 'family' are disrupted by the presence of Rick Dalton ( Leonardo DiCaprio ) and Cliff Booth ( Brad Pitt ). The film accurately shows Charles Manson ( Damon Herriman ) visiting Tate's house early in the film, looking for music producer Terry Melcher (the previous renter) because he felt that Melcher owed him the record deal that he was once promised. After learning that Melcher had moved on, Manson decided that it was still good location because he had been in the house before and he knew the layout of the main house very well. (He was unaware, however, of the guest house in which a groundsman lived; one who later said that he had not heard the screams but whose visitor that night had been the first to be killed). Six months later Manson instructed four of his followers to go to the house and to kill all the occupants. The four drove over there, briefly parked on the driveway to cut the phone lines to Tate's house, then proceeded to park the car at the bottom of the hill, went back to the house on foot and killed five people (Tate, three of her friends who happened to be at the house, and the friend of the groundsman who had responded to a personal ad for a radio for sale). The first significant point of divergence between the real and fictional account is the fact that Dalton notices the four as they are parked on the driveway. He gets out, verbally abuses them and sends them away. This angers Tex ( Austin Butler ) and the three women to the point where they decide to come back and invade Dalton's house instead. This incident also causes the woman called Flower Child ( Maya Hawke ) to get cold feet, and leave with the car (in real life, this was Linda Kasabian, who accompanied the others all the way but did not participate in the killings). In the end, the fatal mistake on the part of the killers is invading Dalton's house, not counting on the resistance of Booth and his dog, and Dalton himself. Flower Child was played by the daughter of Tarantino favorite Uma Thurman.
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Bruce Dern and Brad Pitt appear together on screen. Bruce Dern is the father to actress Laura Dern. Laura Dern was once engaged to Billy Bob Thornton, who left Laura to marry Angelina Jolie. Jolie would go on to marry Pitt. And this film mentions and shows a movie poster featuring Telly Savalas. Savalas was godfather to actress Jennifer Aniston, who was married to Pitt.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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