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Once Upon a Time in Hollywood[a] 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 an international co-production between the United States and the United Kingdom. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, and Al Pacino. They and others comprise a large all-star cast who perform in "multiple storylines in a modern fairy tale tribute to the final moments of Hollywood's golden age".[5][6] The film is set in 1969 Los Angeles, where an actor (DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Pitt) navigate the changing Hollywood film industry.[7]

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood poster.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byQuentin Tarantino
Produced by
Written byQuentin Tarantino
Narrated byKurt Russell
CinematographyRobert Richardson
Edited byFred Raskin[1]
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • May 21, 2019 (2019-05-21) (Cannes)
  • July 26, 2019 (2019-07-26) (United States)
  • August 14, 2019 (2019-08-14) (United Kingdom)
Running time
161 minutes[2]
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
Budget$90–96 million[3]
Box office$329.7 million[4]

Announced in July 2017, it is the first Tarantino film not distributed by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, with Tarantino having cut ties following the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein that October. After a bidding war, the film was distributed by Sony Pictures, which met Tarantino's demands including final cut privilege. Pitt, DiCaprio, and Robbie, and Tarantino regulars such as Zoë Bell and Kurt Russell joined the cast between January and June 2018. Principal photography lasted from that June through November around Los Angeles. It is the last film to feature Luke Perry, who died in March 2019.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premiered at the 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, 2019. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that critics had "an overall positive view" of the film, calling it "Tarantino's love letter to '60s L.A." and praising its casting choices and setting, though some were "divided on its ending".[8]


In February 1969, Hollywood actor Rick Dalton, former star of 1950s Western television series Bounty Law, fears his career is over. Casting agent Marvin Schwarzs advises him to make Spaghetti Westerns, which Dalton feels is beneath him. Dalton's friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth a war veteran who lives in a trailer with his pit bull, Brandy drives Dalton around town because Dalton's high-functioning alcoholism has resulted in too many DUIs. Booth struggles to find film work since the death of his wife, whom he is rumored to have murdered. Actress Sharon Tate and her husband, director Roman Polanski, have moved into the house next door to Dalton's. Dalton dreams of befriending the couple to restore his status. That night, Tate and Polanski join Jay Sebring at a celebrity-filled party at the Playboy Mansion.

The next day, Booth repairs Dalton's TV antenna. He reminisces about a sparring contest he had with Bruce Lee on The Green Hornet set, which resulted in Booth being fired on the spot. Charles Manson stops by the home of Polanski and Tate looking for record producer Terry Melcher, who used to live there, but is turned away by Sebring. While driving Dalton's car, Booth picks up a young hitchhiker, "Pussycat". He drops her off at Spahn Ranch, where Booth once filmed Bounty Law. Booth is suspicious of the large number of hippies living on the property (the Manson Family), and suspects they are taking advantage of the owner, George Spahn. Booth insists on checking on Spahn despite objections from "Squeaky" Fromme. Spahn dismisses Booth's fears. Returning to the car, Booth discovers that "Clem" Grogan has slashed a tire; Booth beats him and forces him to change it. "Tex" Watson, who had met Booth briefly, is called back to aid "Clem" but arrives when Booth is driving away. Tate goes for a walk and stops at a movie theater to watch herself in The Wrecking Crew.

Dalton lands the role of a villain in the pilot of a new series, Lancer, and strikes up a conversation with his eight-year-old co-star, Trudi Fraser. During one scene, Dalton, hungover, struggles with his dialogue. After having a breakdown in his trailer, Dalton returns to the set and delivers a powerful performance that impresses Fraser and the director, Sam Wanamaker, bolstering Dalton's confidence. After watching Dalton's guest performance on an episode of The F.B.I., Schwarzs books him to star as the lead of Sergio Corbucci's next Western, Nebraska Jim. Dalton takes Booth with him for a six-month stint in Europe, during which he appears in two additional Westerns and a Eurospy comedy, and marries Italian starlet Francesca Capucci.

Returning to Los Angeles, Dalton informs Booth he can no longer afford his services, and they agree to part ways. They go out for drinks and return to Dalton's home, where Capucci is sleeping. Booth smokes an acid-laced cigarette and takes Brandy for a walk. Meanwhile, Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel park outside in preparation to murder everyone in Tate's house. Dalton hears the car and angrily orders them to leave. Changing their original plans, they decide to kill Dalton instead after Atkins reasons that Hollywood "taught them to murder". Kasabian drives off, deserting the other three. The others break into Dalton's house and confront Capucci and Booth, who recognizes them from Spahn Ranch. Booth orders Brandy to attack, and together they kill Krenwinkel and Watson and severely injure Atkins. Atkins, gun in hand, stumbles outside, alarming Dalton, who was listening to music on headphones, oblivious to the mayhem. He retrieves a flamethrower kept from a film shoot and incinerates Atkins. After Booth is hospitalized and Capucci goes back to sleep, Sebring engages Dalton in conversation. Tate invites Dalton over for drinks with her houseguests Sebring, Abigail Folger and Wojciech Frykowski.


Character background

Fictional characters

Rick Dalton is an actor who starred in the television Western series Bounty Law from 1958 to 1963, based on Wanted Dead or Alive, which starred Steve McQueen.[12] His attempt to transition to film failed. Dalton's relationship with Cliff Booth is based on Burt Reynolds' and his longtime stunt double Hal Needham.[13] The character of Dalton was inspired by actors who started their career in Classical Hollywood, but faltered in the 1960s, such as Ty Hardin who went from starring in a successful TV Western to making Spaghetti Westerns. Also by Ralph Meeker.[14][15][16][17] Though not mentioned in the film, Dalton suffers from undiagnosed bipolar disorder inspired by Pete Duel.[18]

Cliff Booth, Dalton's stunt double and best friend, is a World War II veteran, Green Beret and "one of deadliest guys alive."[19][20] Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt modeled Booth after Tom Laughlin's portrayal of Billy Jack.[21] The character is inspired by Gary Kent, a stuntman for a film made on Spahn Ranch while the Manson Family lived there,[22] and Gene LeBell, who worked on The Green Hornet after complaints by other stuntmen that Bruce Lee was "kicking the shit out of the stuntmen."[23]

Trudi Fraser, the precocious child actor working on Lancer, is inspired by an actual character from that series.[24] Marvin Schwarzs is Dalton's agent. Tarantino wrote the role specifically for Al Pacino.[25] Francesca Capucci, an actress who marries Rick Dalton, is influenced by 1960s Italian starlets Sophia Loren and Claudia Cardinale.[15][26] Billie Booth is Cliff's late wife, who's death echos Natalie Wood's.[27]

Some roles portrayed like the stunt coordinator and make-up artist portrayed by Zoe Bell and Heba Thorisdotter, were portrayed by individuals who performed those jobs for the film.

Historical characters

Sharon Tate, who is both portrayed in the film by Margot Robbie and featured in a clip from The Wrecking Crew (1968)

Sharon Tate was an actress married to film director Roman Polanski, and is Dalton's neighbor in the film. Margot Robbie read Polanski's autobiography Roman by Polanski, in preparation for the role.[28][29]

Jay Sebring was Tate's ex-boyfriend, with whom he remained close. He was also friends with Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee, who were his clients. Sebring helped Lee get started in Hollywood.[30][15] Sebring and Tate once attended a party at Mama Cass' house, in which Charles Manson was also in attendance.[31] Abigail Folger was an heir to the Folgers coffee fortune and Tate's friend. Wojciech Frykowski was Folger's boyfriend and a friend of Tate, Sebring and Polanski. Roman Polanski is a film director whose credits include Rosemary's Baby and The Fearless Vampire Killers, where he first met Tate.[32]

James Stacy was an actor who starred on Lancer.[33] He is last shown in the film leaving the show's set on a motorcycle; Stacy was in a motorcycle accident which resulted in the death of his passenger and him losing an arm and a leg. His ex-wife, actress Connie Stevens, who is also portrayed in the film, organized a fundraiser for his recovery.[34][15] Wayne Maunder an actor who starred on Lancer,[33] died during the filming of the movie and Luke Perry, who portrays him, died shortly afterwards. This is Perry's last screen appearance.[35] Luke's son, Jack Perry, appears with his father in the film.[36] Sam Wanamaker directed the real pilot of Lancer, in which the Land Pirates were actual characters.[37]

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.[30]

Mama Cass and Michelle Phillips were members of The Mamas and the Papas. The sheet music for their song "Straight Shooter" was found on the grand piano at the murder scene inside the Tate/Polanski residence. It is also used in this film's trailer.[38] Polanski had an affair with Phillips while he was married to Sharon Tate.[39] Harvey "Humble Harve" Miller was a Los Angeles radio DJ, who was convicted of killing his wife.[40]

Tim Roth, James Marsden, and Danny Strong shot scenes that were cut: Marsden portrayed Burt Reynolds while Strong portrayed Dean Martin, with Roth playing Sebring's English butler.[41][42][43][44]

The Manson Family

"Tex" Watson, Manson Family member portrayed in the film by Austin Butler

George Spahn was an 80-year-old nearly blind man who rented his ranch out for Westerns. The Manson Family lived with Spahn on the ranch. Spahn gave many of the Family members their nicknames. Burt Reynolds was cast in the role, but died before his scenes could be filmed.[45][46] Reynolds did a rehearsal and script reading as Spahn, his last performance as an actor. After reading the script and learning that Pitt would be portraying Booth, he told Tarantino, "You gotta have somebody say, 'You're pretty for a stunt guy'". The line appears in the movie, spoken to Booth by Bruce Lee.[47]

Charles Manson was a criminal and cult leader of the Manson Family, a commune based in California. Members of the Family committed a series of nine murders in July and August 1969.[48] Damon Herriman, who portrays Manson, also portrays him in Mindhunter. Manson died during production of the film.

"Pussycat" is a composite character. Her nickname is based on Kathryn Lutesinger's. She is modeled after Ruth Ann Moorehouse. Lutesinger was nicknamed "Kitty Cat". Manson would frequently send Moorehouse into the city to lure men with money back to Spahn Ranch.[49] Lutesinger met Manson and the Family in 1969 through her boyfriend, Bobby Beausoleil.[50] There is also someone only called Pussycat in The Family by Ed Sanders. According to those interviewed for the book, Pussycat underwent an exorcism in San Francisco, with Manson present. The real identity of Pussycat is never revealed.[51]

"Squeaky" was Lynette Fromme's nickname. She was given the name by Spahn because of the sound she made when he touched her.[52] Fromme was the main caretaker of Spahn and would tend to his needs, sexual or otherwise.[49] Madisen Beaty, the actress who portrays Krenwinkel, previously portrayed her on Aquarius. Catherine Gillies died during the filming of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.[53]

Straight Satan David is a member of the Straight Satans Motorcycle Club, who were associates of the Manson Family, acting as their security. [48] Bill "Sweet William Tumbleweed" Fritsch was a Hells Angels member, member of the Diggers, Manson Family associate. In the film, he appears on Spahn Ranch.[citation needed] There is a character in the film named Connie who is a horseback riding customer on Spahn Ranch. As one way of earning their keep on Spahn Ranch, the Manson Family gave horseback riding tours to people visiting the ranch.[49] . Sean Baker, Daniel Callister, Sami Henry, Tea Jo, Riley Lucente, Harold Smith, Sarah May Sommers, and Zack Whyel also play members of the Manson Family.

"Tex" was Charles Watson's nickname. Spahn gave him the name because of his Texas accent. Watson is from Texas. Sadie was Susan Atkins' nickname. Manson gave everyone fake ID's. The name on Atkins' was "Sadie Mae Glutz". Atkins was called "Sexy Sadie" after The Beatles' "The White Album" came out with the song of the same name, which some of the Family members may have believed was about Atkins.[48] Katie was Patricia Krenwinkel's nickname because of the name on her ID.[52] "Flower Child" was not the nickname of any member. However, the character in the film is Linda Kasabian, as she was the fourth person to go to Tate's house.[49] A flower child is a hippie who advocates love, beauty, and peace.[54]

"Snake" was Dianne Lake's nickname. Lake rolled around on the grass pretending to be a snake. She told others, and Manson gave her the nickname. "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." "Gypsy" was Catherine Share' nickname. Share gave herself the nickname after meeting a man named Gypsy. They had the same birthday and she thought he was her cosmic twin.[52] Catherine Gillies was nicknamed "Capistrano" by Spahn, but was called "Cappy" for short.[48] In the film, her name is "Happy Cappy". "Lulu" was one of the nicknames of Leslie Van Houten and "Clem" was one of Steve Grogan's nicknames.[49]

The character "Top Hat" is Bobby Beausoleil. In his book, Turn Off Your Mind, Gary Lachman mentions that "tophat" was an alias of Beausoleil's and writes, "Beausoleil had a style; a top hat that set him apart from the usual hippie fare."[55] 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." He goes on to say that as soon as he put it on ideas floating in his head came together.[56] The character of "Sundance", the Manson Family member who goes to fetch "Tex" on horseback, was named by Cassidy Hice, the actress who portrays her. Hice wrote, "I was asked to name my character by Quentin himself".[57]



Around 2009, Tarantino discovered the centerpiece for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood while filming a movie with an actor that had the same stunt double for 20 years. Even though there was nothing but a small bit for the stuntman to do, Tarantino was asked to use him, and he agreed. The relationship fascinated Tarantino and inspired him to make a film about Hollywood.[16]

Tarantino first created the Cliff Booth character, including giving him a massive backstory, and says he could make five movies on Booth's WWII experiences. He then created the actor Booth was the stunt double for, Rick Dalton. Tarantino decided to make them Sharon Tate's next door neighbors in 1969. The first plot point he developed was the ending, then moved backwards, this being the first time Tarantino had worked this way. He first thought of doing an Elmore Leonard-type story, but realized he was confident enough in his characters to let them drive the film and just let it be a day in the life of Booth, Dalton, and Tate. He would use sequences from Dalton's films for the action, inspired by Richard Rush's The Stunt Man, a dark character comedy tha made use of the scenes from the WWI movie they were making within the film as the action.[58]


On July 11, 2017, it was announced that Quentin Tarantino's next film would be about the Manson Family murders. Harvey and Bob Weinstein would be involved, but it was not known whether The Weinstein Company would distribute the film, as Tarantino sought to cast before sending out a package to studios. Tarantino approached Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence to star in the film. It was also reported that Margot Robbie was being considered for Sharon Tate.[59] Samuel L. Jackson was also in talks to portray a major role, and Pitt was in talks to portray the detective investigating the murders.[60]

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations, Tarantino cut ties with Weinstein and sought a new distributor, after having worked with Weinstein for his entire career. At this point, Leonardo DiCaprio was revealed to be among a short list of actors Tarantino was considering for the film.[61] A short time later, reports circulated that studios were still bidding for the film set in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and early 1970s, that Tom Cruise was in talks for one of two lead male roles, and that David Heyman had joined as a producer, who would produce along with Tarantino and Shannon McIntosh.[62]

On November 11, 2017, Sony Pictures announced they would distribute the film, having beaten Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Annapurna Pictures and Lionsgate.[63] Tarantino's demands included a $95 million budget, final cut privilege, "extraordinary creative controls", 25% of first-dollar gross,[64] and the stipulation that the film rights revert to him after 10 to 20 years[65]


In January 2018, DiCaprio signed to star in the film, taking a pay cut to collaborate with Tarantino again.[66][67] It was also revealed that Al Pacino was being considered for a role.[68] On February 28, 2018, the film was titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with Pitt cast in the role Cruise was also up for.[69] DiCaprio and Pitt were each paid $10 million.[70] In March 2018, Robbie, who had expressed interest in working with Tarantino,[71] signed to co-star as Sharon Tate, while Zoë Bell confirmed that she would also appear.[72][73][74] In April 2018, Jessica Lange was in talks to play Mary Alice Schwarzs, but she dropped out and Brenda Vaccaro replaced her. In May 2018, Burt Reynolds, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and Michael Madsen joined the cast with the latter three in small roles.[75] Timothy Olyphant was also cast.[76] In June 2018, Damian Lewis, Luke Perry, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning, Clifton Collins Jr., Keith Jefferson, Nicholas Hammond, Pacino, and Scoot McNairy joined the cast.[77][78][79]

Spencer Garrett, James Remar, Brenda Vaccaro, and Mike Moh were announced in July.[80] In August 2018, Damon Herriman as Charles Manson, and Lena Dunham, Austin Butler, Danny Strong, Rumer Willis, Dreama Walker, and Margaret Qualley were cast in supporting roles.[81][82][83][84]

When casting the three leads, Tarantino invited Pitt, DiCaprio, and Robbie to his house to read the only copy of the full script, in order to prevent any leaks. When Butler auditioned he didn't know what character he was auditioning for. Tarantino told him it was for a villain or a hero on Lancer, when in fact it was for "Tex" Watson. To prepare for her audition, Maya Hawke practiced with her father, actor Ethan Hawke. She said the audition process was unlike any other except maybe auditioning for drama school, and that during the audition they worked on the scene in many different ways and with many different combinations of people. Willis initially auditioned for two roles, neither of which she got. Later she was offered the part of Joanna Pettet, which she accepted. Sydney Sweeney said initially everyone she auditioned with auditioned for the same character. Then they were told they could do extra credit. She says some people did art work and she wrote a letter in character. Julia Butters says the sitcom she is starring on, American Housewife was on in the background while Tarantino was writing her character, Trudi Fraser. He looked up and said, "Maybe she can try this."[85]

Filming and design

Principal photography began on June 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, California, and wrapped on November 1, 2018.[86][87] Reynolds died in September 2018 before filming any of his scenes; Bruce Dern was cast as George Spahn in his place.[46]

Tarantino's directive was to turn Los Angeles of 2018 into Los Angeles of 1969 without CGI. It required months of collaboration with city planners, business owners, set decorators, and construction crews. While filming at Musso & Frank Grill, the owners brought out the original plates. In order to film at the Pussycat Theater, production designer Barbara Ling and her team covered the building's LED signage and reattached the theater's iconic logo to the front, rebuilding the letters and neon. Ling said the lettering on every marquee in the film is historically accurate. To restore Larry Edmund's Bookshop, Ling reproduced the original storefront sign and tracked down period-appropriate merchandise, even recreating book covers. For the Bruin and Fox Village theaters Ling and her team had to restore the theaters and their marquees, as well as the storefronts around them. Stan's Donuts, across the street from the Bruin got a complete makeover.[88]

For Bounty Law, Ling went for a dusty, dirty, early Deadwood look. Ling and her team found one of the last great living Italian artists to do two of the film's posters. Other posters used in the film, as well as the mugs, are part of Tarantino's personal collection. Movie poster artist Steven Chorney created the poster for the film, as a reference to The Mod Squad. He also created the posters for Nebraska Jim, Operation Dyn-O-Mite, Uccidimi Subito Ringo Disse il Gringo, Hell-Fire Texas, and Comanche Uprising, which was reprinted for Dalton's home parking spot. Mad Magazine caricaturist Tom Richmond created the covers of MAD and TV Guide featuring Dalton's Jake Cahill for the film. For them, he looked at Jack Davis's work. Spahn Ranch was recreated in detail on an empty lot over about a three-month period. The Playboy Mansion scene was shot at the actual mansion.[89][90][91]

Tarantino told cinematographer Robert Richardson, "I want it to feel retro but I want it to be contemporary." Richardson shot in Kodak 35 millimeter with Panavision cameras and lenses, in order to weave time periods. They discussed using 65mm but it proved too difficult and costly with the use of zooms. For Bounty Law they shot in black and white, and brief sequences in Super 8 and 16mm Ektachrome. Richardson achieved high color saturation. In the film, Lancer was shot on a retrofitted Western Street backlot at Universal Studios, designed by Ling, who watched episodes of the show. Richardson crossed Lancer with Alias Smith and Jones to find the retro-future look Tarantino wanted. The way they filmed Lancer wouldn't have been possible in 1969, but Tarantino wanted to put his personal touch on it. Richardson said that filming the movie touched him personally, "The film speaks to all of us... We are all fragile beings with a limited time to achieve whatever it is we desire... that at any moment that place will shift... So take stock in life and have the courage to believe in yourself."[92][89]

For the scene where Cliff Booth pulls up to his trailer and we see an overhead shot of the Van Nuys drive-in theater, a miniature set was used, including toy cars. For some of the driving scenes, Los Angeles freeways were shut down for hours in order to fill them with vintage cars.[93]

Pop culture references

A sequence in the film is set in and around the Fox Bruin Theater in Los Angeles

Archive footage from many films is included in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, including C.C. and Company, Lady in Cement, Three in the Attic, and The Wrecking Crew, in which Sharon Tate appears as Freya Carlson, as well as audio from Batman.

There are three additional scenes that appear but are digitally altered in order to replace the original actors with Rick Dalton. One is from an episode of The F.B.I., entitled "All the Streets Are Silent," in which Dalton appears as a character portrayed by Burt Reynolds in the episode. The second is from Death on the Run, in which Dalton's face is imposed over Ty Hardin's, and the third is from The Great Escape, in which Dalton appears as Virgil Hilts, the role made famous by Steve McQueen.[94][95][96] For 14 Fists of McCluskey, a WWII film within the film starring Rick Dalton, footage and music from Hell River is used.[97] Additionally, Martin Abrahams, Brioni Farrell, Victor Freitag, Nancy Kwan, Dean Martin, Hannes Messemer, Gordon Mitchell, Rod Taylor, Burt Ward, and Adam West also appear via archive footage and sound.

Many famous Los Angeles area locations appear, including the Fox Westwood Theater, the Fox Bruin Theater, the Cinerama Dome, El Coyote Cafe, where Tate and her friends ate dinner on August 8, 1969, the Musso & Frank Grill, and the Playboy Mansion. Corriganville Movie Ranch appears as well, which stands in for Spahn Ranch. The Capitol Records Building appears behind Cliff Booth when he picks up "Pussycat".

The 1959 Ford Galaxie driven by the Manson Family in the film is a detailed replica of the car used in the Tate/La Bianca murders. Car coordinator Steven Butcher was able to find the actual car used in the murders. He had a meeting with Tarantino about using it and they decided not to because it would be too creepy.[98]

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is filled with many references to the world of entertainment. The title itself is a reference to Once Upon a Time in the West and Once Upon a Time in America, both directed by Sergio Leone. Rick Dalton makes films with directors Sergio Corbucci and Antonio Margheriti. A scene from Dalton's film The 14 Fists of McCluskey, where his character burns Nazis with a flamethrower, is a reference to Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds. Cliff Booth is a reference to Brad Pitt's character in Inglourious Basterds, Aldo Raine, who takes the cover of a stuntman. In a scene where Sharon Tate goes into Larry Edmunds Bookshop, she purchases a copy of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. In real life, Tate gave a copy of the book to Roman Polanski shortly before her death. Years later, Polanski directed the film adaptation of the book, entitled Tess, and dedicated it to Tate. In the bookstore, there is a replica of the Maltese Falcon. The song being sung by members of the Manson Family on the streets of L.A. is "I'll Never Say Never To Always", which was written by Charles Manson. There is a cover of an issue of Mad Magazine featuring Jake Cahill, Dalton's character in Bounty Law. When Cliff Booth is visiting George Spahn, and tells Spahn his name, Spahn responds, "John Wilkes who"?, a reference to John Wilkes Booth.[96][24][99]

Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie are mentioned by Allen Kincaid as his guests on his TV program next week. Sam Wanamaker mentions The Big Valley and Bonanza when speaking to Rick Dalton. There is an ad on a bus for Combat! and bus bench ads for Hobo Kelly and George Putnam. A poster for The Golden Stallion hangs on Dalton's wall. Ron Ely is mentioned by Dalton and Marvin Schwarzs, who also mentions Mannix. Robert Goulet is seen singing "MacArthur Park" on TV. Ads on the radio include one for The Illustrated Man and one for Helena Rubinstein's perfume, Heaven Sent. Dalton compares Tex Watson to Dennis Hopper. Dalton appears on Hullabaloo. An issue of Kid Colt Outlaw appears in Cliff Booth's trailer. Dalton is said to have appeared in an episode of Land of the Giants. Randy mentions Andrew V. McLaglen. The Night They Raided Minsky's and Romeo and Juliet are listed on the marquee of a movie theater. George Peppard, George Maharis, and George Chakiris are mentioned by Dalton. Tate is seen playing tracks from Paul Revere & the Raiders' album The Spirit of '67, who she acknowledges are not as cool as Jim Morrison and the Doors. John Wayne appears on the cover of an issue of Time Magazine.[94]

There are also references to Rosemary's Baby, Pretty Poison, The Virginian, Valley of the Dolls, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Candy, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Pendulum, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and The Killing of Sister George. There is a poster for Don't Make Waves at Sharon Tate's house and one for The Mercenary at the Fox Bruin Theater in Westwood. On the wall of the Columbia Pictures studio, where Dalton films Lancer, there is a giant poster for Funny Girl.[100]

Dalton mentions he owns his house on the advice of "Eddie O'Brien". Tate and Polanski's Yorkie Terrier in the film is named "Sapirstein", which was the name of Tate's Yorkie in real life. She named it after the Satan-worshipping doctor portrayed by Ralph Bellamy in Rosemary's Baby. The floral velvet carrier Tate puts the dog in, is the same own she actually owned. There is a billboard for Tora! Tora! Tora!. The TV show members of the Manson Family are watching on Spahn Ranch is Happening '68. The song being performed is Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon. There is a poster for Joanna. The outfit Margot Robbie is wearing in the Bruin Theater scene is the same outfit Tate wears in Eye of the Devil. One of the films Dalton makes in Italy is Nebraska Jim, which is a riff on Nevada Smith. Another is Kill Me Now Ringo Said the Gringo, inspired by A Pistol for Ringo and The Return of Ringo. Sadie Atkins mentions that the only wholesome TV show in the 1950s was I Love Lucy.[101][99][95]

Mark Lindsey, lead singer of Paul Revere and the Raiders, whose songs are featured throughout the film, once lived with Terry Melcher and Candice Bergen at 10050 Cielo Drive. There is a radio ad for Love, Hate, and Dishonor, and one for guest stars on a show. The stars named are Bill Cosby, Nancy Sinatra, and the Smothers Brothers. The names Clint Ritchie and Henry Wilcoxon appear on the screen of Marvin Schwarzs' home theater. There is a pin-up poster of Anne Francis in Booth's trailer. There's an issue of TV Guide in his trailer with Jack Davis caricatures of Martin Landau and Peter Graves. Wanamaker tells Dalton he should be able to walk into London Fog. In George Spahn's cabin there is a poster of Linda and Abilene. Dalton has a collection of Hopalong Cassidy mugs. On the poster of Dalton's film, Red Blood Red Skin, inspired by Land Raiders, he appears with Telly Savalas. The posters for the two films are the same, except with Dalton replacing George Maharis. The movie advertised at the Cinerama dome is Krakatoa, East of Java. The movie Voytek Frykowski is watching is Teenage Monster.[102][95]

References to other Tarantino films

When Booth and Dalton are interviewed on the set of Bounty Law, the filming location is Melody Ranch.[103][24][104] Parts of Tarantino's Django Unchained were also filmed there.[105] When Dalton and Booth get back from Italy they walk by the blue mosaic wall in LAX, the same wall that the title character in Tarantino's Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) moves past in the opening credits of that film.[100]

In the film, Lee engages in a fight with Cliff Booth on the set of The Green Hornet. Booth refers to Lee as Kato leading up to the fight.[106][100] The Green Hornet theme song is featured in Tarantino's Kill Bill: Volume 1. The masks worn by the gang, the Crazy 88's in that film are the same as the mask worn by Lee as Kato in The Green Hornet.[citation needed] The car Booth drives is a 1964 blue Volkswagen Karmann Ghia convertible. It is the same year, color, make, and model of the car that Beatrix "the Bride" Kiddo (portrayed by Uma Thurman) drives in Kill Bill: Volume 2.[101]

Tarantino described Daisy Domergue (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in his film, The Hateful Eight as "a Manson girl out West, like Susan Atkins."[107] In Tarantino's original screenplay for Natural Born Killers, there is a scene, which made it into the film, where Mickey Knox (Woody Harrelson) is told his TV ratings have outdone every serial slayer except for Charles Manson. Knox replies, "Well, it's pretty hard to beat the king."[108]

Ralph Meeker serves as DiCaprio's biggest influence for Rick Dalton.[17] Meeker's performance in Kiss Me Deadly was the inspiration for Butch Coolidge (portrayed by Bruce Willis) in Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.[109]

On July 25, 1969, Beausoleil, along with Atkins and Mary Brunner, went to the home of Gary Hinman, eventually murdering him.[110][48] During the incident, Hinma was tortured and tied up. Manson arrived and slashed his cheek and cut his ear off.[48] In the Tarantino film, Reservoir Dogs a man is tortured, tied up, and has his cheek slashed and his ear cut off.[111] Also in that film, characters are assigned the names of colors.[112] Manson gave each woman in his inner circle names of colors. Fromme was red, Krenwinkel yellow, Van Houten green, Atkins violet, Pitman gold, Gillies silver, and as mentioned earlier Good was blue.[113] Rick Dalton's 1966 Cadillac de Ville is exactly the same car driven by Vic Vega aka Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs. It is owned by actor Michael Madsen, who portrayed Mr. Blonde.[98]

A Tarantino invented fast food chain, Big Kahuna Burger appears on a billboard. He also introduces two new Tarantino universe brands, Chattanooga Beer, and Wolf's Tooth dog food, which may be a reference to Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe (portrayed by Harvey Keitel) in Pulp Fiction. The final scene features Rick Dalton in a commercial for Red Apple cigarettes, a fictional brand invented by Tarantino and appearing in many of his films.[96][94][24][101]



Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
Various Artists
GenreRock and roll
Quentin Tarantino film soundtrack chronology
The Hateful Eight
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (soundtrack)

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is also the name of the soundtrack to the film. Pitchfork said the music was "a highlight" and an "oft-disquieting mixtape of golden-age rock’n’roll, radio DJ patter, and period-specific commercials."[114][115]

The film's soundtrack includes three songs by Paul Revere & the Raiders

Track listing

  1. Treat Her RightRoy Head and the Traits
  2. Ramblin’ Gamblin’ ManBob Seger System
  3. HushDeep Purple
  4. Hector – The Village Callers
  5. Son of a Lovin’ Man – Buchanan Brothers
  6. Paxton Quigley's Had The Course – Chad & Jeremy
  7. Hungry – Paul Revere & the Raiders
  8. Good Thing – Paul Revere & the Raiders
  9. Choo Choo Train – The Box Tops
  10. Jenny Take A Ride – Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
  11. Kentucky Woman – Deep Purple
  12. The Circle Game – Buffy Sainte-Marie
  13. Mrs. RobinsonSimon & Garfunkel
  14. Bring a Little Lovin’Los Bravos
  15. Hey Little Girl – Dee Clark
  16. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation ShowNeil Diamond
  17. Don't Chase Me Around – Robert Corff
  18. Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon (feat. Mark Lindsay) – Paul Revere & the Raiders
  19. California Dreamin’José Feliciano
  20. Dinamite Jim – I Cantori Moderni Di Alessandroni
  21. You Keep Me Hangin’ On – Vanilla Fudge
  22. Miss Lily Langtry – Maurice Jarre
The Mamas and the Papas, whose female members are portrayed in the film and whose songs are featured, including a cover by José Feliciano that appears on the soundtrack


Chart (2019) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[116] 14
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[117] 18
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[118] 17
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[119] 98
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[120] 35
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[121] 68
French Albums (SNEP)[122] 49
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[123] 29
Hungarian Albums (MAHASZ)[124] 35
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[125] 13
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[126] 15
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[127] 16

Additional music

There are other songs included in the film. Which include "The Letter" by Joe Cocker, "Summertime" by Billy Stewart, "Victorville Blues" by The Harley Hatcher Combo, "Ready for Action" by Syd Dale, "Funky Fanfare" by Keith Mansfield, "The House That Jack Built" by Aretha Franklin, "Time for Livin'" by The Association, "I Can't Turn You Loose" by Otis Redding, "Soul Serenade" by Willie Mitchell, "Out of Time" by The Rolling Stones, "Straight Shooter" by The Mamas and the Papas, "Twelve Thirty (Young Girls are Coming to the Canyon)" by The Mamas and the Papas, "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron" by The Royal Guardsmen, "Straight Shooter" performed by Samantha Robinson as Abigail Folger, and "The Green Door" performed by Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton.[128][129]

Music by Bernard Herrmann originally created for Torn Curtain is used in the Spahn Ranch scene.[130] Herrman's music from the film included in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is "The Killing", and "The Radiogram". Other music of his that is used is "The Rocks", and "The Return" (from Have Gun Will Travel). Other music used are the themes from Hell River by Vojislav Borisavljevic, Against a Crooked Sky by Alexis de Azevedo, Apocalypse Joe by Bruno Nicolai, and Mannix by Lalo Schifrin. Also, "Paxton Quigley's Had the Course" (from Three in the Attic), "The Bed" by Ennio Morricone (from Danger: Diabolik), "Ecce Homo" (from Sartana Does Not Forgive)and "Mexican Western" (from Any Gun Can Play) by Francesco De Masi, "Cooler" by Elmer Bernstein (from The Great Escape), "Freya Bangs", "Freya", "Karate Dance", and "TV Screen" (from The Wrecking Crew,) "Theme from It's Happening" by Paul Revere and the Raiders, "Dalton Gang Ride Entrance" performed by Tom Slocum, John Bird, and the Cattle Annie Band (from Cattle Annie and Little Britches), the "Batman Theme" (from Batman), the "FBI Theme and Score Cues" (from The FBI), and "Miss Lilly Langtry" and "Judge Roy Bean's Theme" by Maurice Jarre (from The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean).[129]


Tarantino and Robbie at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2019.[131][132] It was released theatrically in the United States on July 26, 2019, by Sony Pictures Releasing.[133] The film was originally scheduled for release on August 9 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Tate–LaBianca murders.[134]

A teaser trailer was released on March 20, 2019, featuring 1960s music by The Mamas & the Papas ("Straight Shooter") and by Los Bravos ("Bring a Little Lovin'").[135] The official trailer was released on May 21, 2019 and featured the songs "Good Thing" by Paul Revere & The Raiders, and "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" by Neil Diamond.[136] All-in-all, the studio spent around $110 million marketing the film worldwide.[3]


Box office

As of September 17, 2019, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has grossed $137.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $192.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $329.7 million.[4] By some estimates, the film will need to gross around $400 million worldwide in order to turn a profit.[137] Other estimates put the break-even point at about $250 million.[138]

In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross $30–40 million from 3,659 theaters in its opening weekend, with some projections having it as high as $50 million or as low as $25 million.[139][140] The week of its release, Fandango reported the film was the highest pre-seller of any Tarantino film.[141] The film made $16.9 million on its first day, including $5.8 million from Thursday night previews (the highest total of Tarantino's career). It went on to debut to $41.1 million, finishing second behind holdover The Lion King and marking Tarantino's largest opening. Comscore reported that 47% of audience members went to see the film because of who the director was (compared to the typical 7%) and 37% went because of the cast (compared to normally 18%).[3] The film grossed $20 million in its second weekend, representing a "nice" drop of just 51% and finishing third, and then made $11.6 million and $7.6 million the subsequent weekends.[142][143][144] In its fourth weekend the film made $5 million, bringing its running domestic total to $123.1 million, becoming the second-highest of Tarantino's career behind Django Unchained.[145] In its ninth weekend, its global total earnings reached $329.4 million, surpassing Inglourious Basterds to become Tarantino's second highest global grosser behind Django Unchained.[146]

Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 85% based on 499 reviews, with an average rating of 7.81/10, and is the most-reviewed film on the site. The site's critical consensus reads, "Thrillingly unrestrained yet solidly crafted, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tempers Tarantino's provocative impulses with the clarity of a mature filmmaker's vision."[147] Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 83 out of 100, based on 61 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[148] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 4 out of 5 stars and a 58% "definite recommend."[3]

The Hollywood Reporter said critics had "an overall positive view" of the film. Some called the film "Tarantino's love letter to '60s L.A.'" and praised its casting choices and setting, though others were "divided on its ending."[8] Writing for ReelViews, James Berardinelli awarded the film 3.5 stars out of 4 and said it was "made by a movie-lover for movie-lovers. And even those who don’t qualify may still enjoy the hell out of it".[149]'s Brian Tallerico gave the film four out of four stars, calling it "layered and ambitious, the product of a confident filmmaker working with collaborators completely in tune with his vision".[150] Writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper described it as "a brilliant and sometimes outrageously fantastic mash-up of real-life events and characters with pure fiction", also giving it full marks.[151] Writing for Variety, Owen Gleiberman called the film a "heady engrossing collage of a film—but not, in the end, a masterpiece".[152] Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film five out of five stars, praising Pitt and DiCaprio's performances and calling the film "Tarantino's dazzling LA redemption song".[153] Steve Pond of TheWrap said: "Big, brash, ridiculous, too long, and in the end invigorating, the film is a grand playground for its director to fetishize old pop culture and bring his gleeful perversity to the craft of moviemaking."[154] Peter Travers of Rolling Stone awarded the film 4.5 out of 5 stars, remarking that "All the actors, in roles large and small, bring their A games to the film. Two hours and 40 minutes can feel long for some. I wouldn't change a frame."[155]

Katie Rife of The A.V. Club gave the film a B+, calling it Tarantino's "wistful midlife crisis movie".[156] Richard Brody of The New Yorker called the film an "obscenely regressive vision of the sixties" that "celebrates white-male stardom (and behind-the-scenes command) at the expense of everyone else".[157] In Little White Lies, Christopher Hooton described the film as "occasionally tedious" but "constantly awe-inspiring", noting that it did not seem to be so much a "love letter to Hollywood" as an "obituary for a moment in culture that looks unlikely to ever be resurrected".[158]

Awards and honors

Award Category Nominee Result Ref(s)
Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm for Best Film Quentin Tarantino Nominated [159]
Palm Dog Award Sayuri Won [160]
Golden Trailer Awards Best Teaser Sonny, Buddha Jones Won [161]
Best Summer Blockbuster Poster Nominated [161]
Locarno International Film Festival Variety Piazza Grande Award Quentin Tarantino Nominated [162]
People's Choice Awards Favorite Drama Movie Pending [163]
Favorite Drama Movie Star Leonardo DiCaprio Pending [163]
Favorite Drama Movie Star Brad Pitt Pending [163]
California on Location Awards Assistant Location Manager of the Year - Feature Film Scott Fitzgerald Nominated [164]
International Cinephile Society Awards Best Screenplay Quentin Tarantino Won [165]


Portrayal of Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee, portrayed in the film by Mike Moh

The depiction of Bruce Lee drew criticism. Fans and contemporaries of Lee took issue with his braggart portrayal.[166][167] Lee's daughter, Shannon, stated: "[Lee] was continuously marginalized and treated like kind of a nuisance of a human being by white Hollywood, which is how he's treated in the film by Quentin Tarantino."[168] Tarantino had not contacted Shannon, who said: "when I know that he reached out to other people but did not reach out to me, there’s a level of annoyance".[169] Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who trained under Lee and appeared with him in Game of Death, stated: "Of course, Tarantino has the artistic right to portray Bruce any way he wants. But to do so in such a sloppy and somewhat racist way is a failure both as an artist and as a human being."[170]

Mike Moh, who played Lee, said he was conflicted about the portrayal at first: "Bruce in my mind was literally a god. ... Bruce didn't always have the most affection for stuntmen; he didn't respect all of them."[171] Moh also stated: "Tarantino loves Bruce Lee; he reveres him."[172] According to Lee's friend and The Green Hornet stuntman Gene LeBell, Lee had a reputation for "kicking the shit out of the stuntmen. They couldn't convince him that he could go easy and it would still look great on film."[23] According to Lee biographer Matthew Polly, "Bruce was very famous for being very considerate of the people below him on film sets, particularly the stuntmen. ... So in this scene, Bruce Lee is essentially calling out a stuntman and getting him fired because he's the big star. And that's just not who Bruce Lee was as a person."[106]

Tarantino responded that Lee was "kind of an arrogant guy" and asserted that Lee's widow, Linda, wrote in Bruce Lee: The Man Only I Knew that he could beat Muhammad Ali. The passage was Linda quoting a critic.[167] She wrote, "Even the most scathing critics admitted that Bruce's Gungfu was sensational. One critic wrote, 'Those who watched him would bet on Lee to render Cassius Clay (Ali) senseless if they were put in a room and told anything goes.'"[173] Tarantino stated, "If people are saying, 'Well [Lee] never said he could beat up Muhammad Ali,' well yeah, he did."[174] In 1972, Lee himself stated: "Everybody says I must fight Ali some day. ... Look at my hand. That's a little Chinese hand. He'd kill me."[175] Lee's protégé and training partner, Dan Inosanto, also rejected the film's portrayal of Lee.[167] Polly further stated that Lee "revered" Ali and that Tarantino's film "is not only completely inaccurate, it turns Lee into a disrespectful blowhard and jerk."[106] Shannon responded to Tarantino by stating: “It’s a little disingenuous for him to say, 'Well, this is how [Lee] was, but this is a fictional movie, so don't worry too much about it.'"[167]

Portrayal of Sharon Tate

Sharon Tate was murdered by the Manson Family in 1969. Tarantino gave an early script to a representative of Roman Polanski, Tate's husband, hoping to assure him that "he didn’t have anything to worry about". Tarantino stated: "When it comes to Polanski, we're talking about a tragedy that would be unfathomable for most human beings."[176]

Debra Tate, Sharon's sister, initially opposed the film, saying it was exploitative and perpetuated mistruths: "To celebrate the killers and the darkest portion of society as being sexy or acceptable in any way, shape or form is just perpetuating the worst of our society."[177] After Tarantino contacted her and showed her the script, she withdrew her opposition, saying: "This movie is not what people would expect it to be when you combine the Tarantino and Manson names." She felt that Tarantino was a "very stand-up guy"; after visiting the set, she was especially impressed with Robbie, and lent her some of Sharon's jewelry to wear in the film.[177]

After the Cannes premiere, Tarantino was challenged by Farah Nayeri over the portrayal. When Nayeri posited that Robbie had few lines, Tarantino responded: "I reject your hypothesis". Robbie responded, "I think the moments on screen show those wonderful sides of [Tate] could be adequately done without speaking."[178][179] Tarantino stated: "I thought it would both be touching and pleasurable and also sad and melancholy to just spend a little time with [Tate], just existing...I wanted you to see Sharon a lot."[180]

The Manson Family

Charles Manson was convicted of the murders of Tate and four others, despite not being present, due mostly to a theory prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi presented in which Manson was trying to instigate an apocalyptic race war, in the end leaving only black Muslims and the Manson Family. The black Muslims would eventually look to Manson to lead them. According to Bugliosi and others, Manson referred to the race war as Helter Skelter. Manson got the name from the song of the same name on the White Album.[48][181]

Musician and filmmaker Boots Riley criticized Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for not portraying Helter Skelter or depicting the Family as white supremacists.[182]

However, according to several members of the Family, including Bobby Beausoleil, the murders were not committed to start Helter Skelter, but rather to appear as copycat murders of Gary Hinman, in order to convince the police that the killer of Hinman was still at large. Beausoleil was in jail and charged with the murder of Hinman. The Family was attempting to get him released.[183] According to Jay Sebring's friend, protege, and business partner, Jim Markham, the murders were about a drug deal gone bad, rather than a race war. He believes Manson was at Tate's house the day before the murders to sell cocaine and marijuana to Sebring and Voytek Frykowski, but the deal ended in the two of them beating Manson up.[184] In his interview with Truman Capote, Beausoleil said, "They burned people on dope deals. Sharon Tate and that gang."[185]

Fact and fiction

In the film, Tate goes to see a film she stars in, The Wrecking Crew, at the Bruin Theater in Westwood. She convinces the theater's employees that it is actually her who is in the movie after they fail to recognize her. When a film Tarantino wrote the screenplay for, True Romance, was released, he went to see it at the Bruin Theater, where he was eventually able to convince the theater's employees that he was the one who wrote the script.[93]

On the set of Batman while filming a crossover episode with The Green Hornet there was a fight scene scripted in which Kato loses to Robin portrayed by Burt Ward. When Lee received the script he refused to film it. It was rewritten as a draw. When the cameras rolled, Lee stalked Ward until Ward backed away. Lee laughed and told Ward that he was "Lucky it is a TV show."[186] In the film, Lee engages in a fight with Cliff Booth on the set of The Green Hornet, which also ends in a draw. Booth refers to Lee as Kato.[106]

According to Rudolph Altobelli, who rented the house on Cielo Drive to Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate on March 23, 1969 Charles Manson showed up to the house looking for Terry Melcher, who had moved out. A friend of the Polanskis, Shar okah Hatami also said he saw Manson enter the grounds that day. Hatami approached Manson and asked him what he wanted. He told Hatami he was looking for Melcher. Hatami responded the house was the Polanski residence and perhaps Melcher lived in the guest house. Altobelli said he told Manson that Melcher no longer lived there.[187] This happens in the film , but with Sebring in place of Altobelli and Hatami.

On the night of August 8, 1969 Patricia Krenwinkel, Charles Watson, and Susan Atkins broke into Roman Polanski's and Sharon Tate's house. Polanski wasn't home, but an eight-and-a-half months pregnant Tate was. Also present were Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Abigail Folger. Watson, Atkins, and Krenwinkel murdered all of them. In the film they show up to Tate's house to commit the murders but instead end up breaking into Dalton's house after he interrupts them.[48] Linda Kasabian went along to the home of Sharon Tate on that night because she was the only Family member with a valid driver's license. However, she did not murder anyone and stayed outside the whole time. In the film, she also goes along with them and does not participate.[48]

On the night of the Tate murders, Watson told his victims, "I'm the Devil, and I came to do the devil's business." In the film, it is a line he says to Cliff Booth.[188] In the film, Atkins convinces fellow Family members to seek revenge by killing Rick Dalton, star of a TV Western. She says that since TV taught all of them to kill, it is only fitting they go back and kill the guy from TV and, "My idea is to kill the people who taught us to kill!"[189][190] In real life Manson Family member Nancy Pitman once said, "We are what you have made us. We were brought up on your TV. We were brought up watching Gunsmoke and Have Gun Will Travel."[191] Sandra Good said, "You want to talk about devils and demonic and immorals and evil, go to Hollywood. We don't touch the evil of that world. We don't even skim it."[192]

On August 9, 1969, the night after the Tate murders, Leslie Van Houten along with Manson, Steve Grogan, and the four from the previous night drove to the house of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. There Watson, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten murdered the married couple. Afterwards, Manson directed Kasabian to drive to an apartment complex in order to commit more murders. After arriving there, Manson took off in the car alone, deserting the others and forcing them to hitchhike back to Spahn Ranch. In the film it is Kasabian, not Manson who drives off deserting the group. Watson mentions they can hitchhike back.[48]

Steve Grogan was convicted of the murder of stuntman Donald "Shorty" Shea on Spahn Ranch, which he committed with Manson, Watson, and Bruce Davis. Grogan repeatedly beat Shea with a lead pipe. In the film Grogan is instead beat by a stuntman, Booth.[48]

The Manson Family in Hollywood

Charles Manson once approached McQueen with a script he had written, hoping that McQueen would produce it. When McQueen turned him down, an altercation took place in which McQueen broke Manson's nose.[193] On the night of the Tate murders, Jay Sebring invited McQueen over to Tate's house; however, McQueen's date wanted to stay in.[194] Afterr the Tate murders, it was reported that the police found a Manson Family hit list with McQueen's name on it.[195]

Bobby Beausoleil was an actor and porn star. He appeared in the documentary film Mondo Hollywood also featuring Sebring. Catherine Share became part of the Family through the film industry. She met Beausoleil on the set of the softcore porn film Ramrodder, in which they both appeared. Beausoleil would later introduce Share to Manson.[196] Atkins met Manson in San Francisco, where she had been working as an actress, portraying a topless vampire on Anton LaVey's Witches Sabbath Club Show.[197] LaVey is reported to have been connected to the Manson Family and Roman Polanski through the film industry, appearing with Beausoleil and Bill Fritsch in the film Lucifer Rising.[198] LaVey claims to have appeared as the Devil in Rosemary's Baby and as a consultant on that film.[199][200]

See also


  1. ^ Stylized onscreen as Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and in promotional materials as Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood.


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External links