Rick loved being a star in Italy and married a native named Francesca. The second time, I flat-out loved it. If it doesn’t, by all means laugh it off and never think of it again. As the scene opens, most viewers probably think they are watching a movie within a movie but as the camera zooms out we realize that the larger than life character we see is merely real life Bruce Lee. They then walk directly in front of Cliff and Rick stopped at a stop sign, making it clear that while it was Sharon Tate’s murder on August 9, 1969 that cast a light on the dark underbelly of Hollywood and the counterculture, it was staring everyone in the face for all to see far earlier. Rick stars in three other movies while in Italy: Kill Me Quick, Ringo Said the Gringo; Red Blood, Red Skin; and Operazione Dyn-O-Mite!, leading me to imagine an alternate reality where the walls of my TV room are graced by the movie posters from Rick Dalton’s quartet of Spaghetti Westerns. Cliff was at the Spahn Ranch six months earlier. As Cliff departs, he says, “And away we go.” The trip has officially commenced. The duo proceeds to compare notes on the books they are reading. The film opens with Cliff and Rick driving in reverse as they exit Rick’s driveway where they were parked opposite a giant Rick Dalton mural, cross-cut with Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski Return to Los Angeles via Pan Am. KHJ Boss Radio’s Batphone Secret Number Contest (1966). 6. Before the Manson Family shows up, we see that Rick and Cliff have been set adrift as the 1970s loom. He stops Tex’s stabbing motions without breaking a sweat. In the car, the hippies realize that the angry rich guy is the star of Bounty Law. 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Lewis burns a group of Nazis alive with a flamethrower and quips “anyone want fried sauerkraut?”, 17. Hippie girls wear revealing blouses with no bra. This violent, unexpectedly comic climax felt incongruous with the meandering, melancholic movie that proceeded it. Go see the movie already and then come back. While most outsiders think of rising stars (like Tate and Polanski) or seasoned veterans (like Rick Dalton) when they think of Hollywood, the reality is that most of its population is made up of Cliff Booths: no-name crew members who do the heavy lifting while the stars get the credit, people who are desperate for a job and who live with their dog in a trailer behind Van Nuys Drive-In Theater. Manson’s significance as an “end of the innocence” signpost for the ’60s is self-evident. However, even many of those who didn’t think the film quite worked have praised the acting performances and a number of its individual set pieces. Because while a second chance at life for Sharon Tate and her baby are wonderful to think about, it changes nothing about the realities of the Vietnam War, the Nixon administration, the collapse of the studio system or the myriad other real world conditions for which the die had already been cast. Well, if you thought we were done arguing about this movie, you were sorely mistaken. In fact, one of the main criticisms I have heard is that while the movie has great individual scenes, they don’t quite add up to a cohesive whole. On the set of Lancer, James Stacy asks Rick to confirm a rumor he heard that Rick almost got the lead role in The Great Escape. I will likely see it again in the next week or so. Still, one can’t help but notice a recurrence of violence coming to life throughout the film (particularly the way the pretend action and violence from Rick’s movies bleeds into the real life of his stuntman) and wonder if there’s an extent to which Tarantino is admitting that the criticism partially rings true. Rick Dalton’s (Leonard Dicaprio) failure to keep up with a generation that was about to pass him by is underlined by his forgettable appearance singing “Green Door” on this rock ’n’ roll variety show. Of course, Lee is just as (if not more) responsible for provoking the fight but nobody says a word to him because he’s the star of the show, not a dispensable stuntman. Chastising himself for ruining the scene and for his alcoholism, he swears to redeem himself and show everyone else on set who the real Rick Dalton is. The narration here is a bit sloppy and can have the effect of taking the viewer out of the movie. 2: There might not be a worse sentence to see on the internet than “I have a theory about a Quentin Tarantino movie.” This is not an attempt to “solve” Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. As Cliff and Brandy walk down Cielo Drive, they pass the car carrying the Manson killers. He repeatedly slams a hippie girl’s head against a wall. “You’re a good friend,” Rick says. It’s at this moment that Polanski and Tate arrive home from the airport. Sharon Tate Goes To The Movies (February 9, 1969). A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles. Rick is reading a Western about a character named Tom “Easy” Breezy, a cowboy whose story mirrors Rick’s own: “he’s not the best anymore.”, 2. Neil Diamond. He moved to Italy and starred in Nebraska Jim, directed by Sergio Corbucci, a real life director who happened to make a little old film called Django. The acid cigarette is the key that opens the door to understanding the whole thing. If there is a greater symbol of the excessive indulgences of Hollywood life than the Playboy Mansion, it’s beyond me. Do the killers see him? Kurt Russell’s narration takes on a true crime vibe here, as he recounts the minute-by-minute details of what the audience recognizes as the last night of Sharon Tate’s life. Sharon Tate has the unfortunate distinction of being a person who is most famous for her death but for a few minutes in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood she comes to life. After returning from Spahn Ranch and the set of Lancer, respectively, Cliff and Rick sit down to watch an episode of FBI (“All The Streets Are Silent”) in which Rick made a guest appearance and in which real-life Burt Reynolds (who was originally supposed to be both an actor and a character in the movie) . The Polanskis Party At The Playboy Mansion (February 8, 1969). Rick Gets An Acting Lesson (February 9, 1969). In Hollywood (2019) Sex & Nudity (5) Mild; ... Several scenes of girls in short shorts, buttocks peeking through, one scene where a girl bends over leaning over in the car, camera focusing on her buttocks with short shorts. Of course, it was his type (and not Rick Dalton’s) that John Sturges was looking for when he cast McQueen in the lead of The Great Escape. After that, Cliff performs feats of super-human strength against the killers. Some critics have questioned why Tarantino chose to juxtapose this story of two fictional late-’60s show-biz lifers against the real-life Manson murders. Rick took the advice he got in the opening scene from producer Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino). Roman Polanski (Rafał Zawierucha) is fresh off directing Rosemary’s Baby and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) is a rising star, a duo that personifies everything that Dalton is not: young, magnetic and on the way up. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood could have been longer had some scenes been kept, and here’s every deleted scene and what they are about. While Marvin Schwarz meets with Rick, we get a brief glimpse of this fictional World War II action-adventure film directed by Paul Wendkos and starring Van Johnson, Rod Taylor, Sal Mineo and Rick Dalton as Sgt. This scene got an uproarious reaction from my audience, a mixture of cheering and laughter signaling a cathartic release after 140 minutes of dread for what we assumed this climactic scene would entail. He stares into a wall mirror, which stares right back at us as he declares “if you don’t get these lines right, I’m gonna blow your fuckin brains out.”, 5. The first time I saw it, I mostly liked it, but I left feeling a little unsatisfied. Rick is amazed that he lives right next door to the director of “Rosemary’s Fucking Baby,” the 1968 horror phenomenon about true evil driven by a cult existence, leading him on a rant about how the true measure of importance in Hollywood is owning real estate in town so that you’re not just a visitor. In one of the funniest scenes of the movie, Rick Dalton bursts outside wearing nothing but a robe and wielding a margarita pitcher to confront the deadly Mansons he confuses for “fucking hippies” making a ruckus on the private road outside his home. In one of my favorite moments of the film, Polanski and Tate drive carelessly and haphazardly through the Hollywood Hills to a party at the Playboy Mansion as Deep Purple’s “Hush” blares in the background. Meanwhile, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) is a charming, effervescent presence. Rick and Cliff get to feel useful again by dispatching with these dirty hippies. Her presence in the film is Hitchcock’s bomb under the table, instilling us with a sense of foreboding dread through every frame. Hollywood Director Howard Hawks once said that, when he made movies, the most he expected to achieve, besides entertaining the audience, was to produce two or three great scenes. Av Sinensky talks about movies on the 32 Fans Movie Podcast and writes about them on Letterboxd. I’ve taken the liberty of breaking down the movie into its individual scenes and ranking them from worst to first. Indeed, the real life Charles Manson appropriated pop culture and the glamour of celebrity life to allure vulnerable young girls under his influence. But in Cliff’s acid-addled imagination, they’re about to be players in a hyper-violent revenge story vindicating him and his good buddy Rick. Rick returns after having a meltdown in his trailer, approaching the set as a Western hero ambling towards a climactic showdown with deadly stakes (“If you don’t get these lines right, I’m gonna blow your fuckin brains out”). Cliff knows it well, leading Pussycat to wonder whether he is “some old cowboy guy that used to make movies there.” Cliff is surprised at how accurate that description is. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’s ending saw Manson family members Tex (Austin Butler), Sadie (Mikey Madison), and Katie (Madisen Beaty) breaking into Rick’s house to kill him, but they weren’t counting on Rick and Cliff defending themselves in unconventional ways. (Cliff isn’t actually at the house anyway. In Hollywood (2019) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. “I try,” says Cliff, forever the cowboy shrugging off any suggestion that he’s a hero. 4. Rick pumps up Red Apple cigarettes as better than competing brands because they have “better drag, more flavor, less throat burn.” Of course, as soon as the director calls cut, Rick breaks character and complains that Red Apple cigarettes “tastes like shit!”, 14. (Where is Cliff? 27. Cliff buys it for 50 cents from a hippie girl in February, and then he leaves it at Rick’s house so he can trip while wandering around in the woods nearby. Rick and Cliff decide to have one last night out and go for dinner at Casa Vega, get drunk and take a cab home. What follows is one long spoiler. Sony Pictures Quentin Tarantino shooting a "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" scene with Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. Rick tells Cliff that he can’t afford to employ Cliff anymore because he’s decided to sell the Cielo Drive house, buy a condo in Taluca and “live off the money,” ending his dream of being a Hollywood real estate owner. But they’re now implanted in his brain as he goes out to wander the woods and the outer reaches of his consciousness. You love cinema. Cliff stores away his recently purchased acid cigarette for another time and we cut to Marvin Schwarz who is also watching FBI and calls someone to tell them to turn on the show because “I’m watching your Nebraska Jim as we speak.” He was right. Cliff Fixes the TV Antenna (February 9, 1969). And it made me love the movie unequivocally. Rick Breaks Down In His Trailer (February 9, 1969), Leonardo Dicaprio is as tender and vulnerable as we have ever seen him, portraying Rick having a total meltdown in his trailer after screwing up his lines in a scene in Lancer. The mid-credits scene features a hilarious flashback to Rick Dalton acting as Jake Cahill in a commercial for Red Apple cigarettes, one of the sponsors of his hit NBC series Bounty Law and a brand that has popped up in a number of Tarantino films, including The Hateful Eight, Inglourious Basterds, Kill Bill, Pulp Fiction,Grindhouse, From Dusk Till Dawn, and Four Rooms. In a flashback/memory from the mind of Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), we see Rick trying to convince a stunt coordinator named Randy (Kurt Russell) to let Cliff work on the TV show, Green Hornet. Though Cliff is also clearly tripping his balls off. 7. Turns out they all love Bounty Law! Cliff sics his dog on them, and with Francesca’s help, violently disposes with two of the three, leaving the final Manson for Rick to take care of in the pool with the use of Chekhov’s flamethrower. Shooting The Pilot of Lancer, Take 2 (February 9, 1969). As I watched Once Upon A Time In Hollywood for the first time, the ending didn’t quite land for me. Quentin Tarantino has cited Leone as one of his favorite filmmakers and an influence throughout his career. But that brings us finally to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood… The racist scene in question involves Bruce Lee, a real world Hollywood icon known for his martial arts skill. They not only know Bounty Law, but Jay even remembers the flame-thrower from The 14 Fists Of McClusky. He appreciates Rick’s gesture, but Cliff’s purpose in life is to carry Rick’s load. Disclaimer no. And then Rick, incredibly, sees a wish expressed at the start of the movie fulfilled: He’s invited to the Polanski residence for a meet-and-greet with rising star Sharon Tate. 9. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch. "I love cinema. Lee’s claim that he could beat Cassius Clay in a fight gets a laugh out of Cliff and the two agree to a best two out of three melee. Then the hippies burst in. Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show. This also sets up one of the central dichotomies of the film: Hollywood stars who coast through life and the men and women around them who carry their load. Rick arrives on set and is given a breakdown from director Sam Wanamaker about the Tarantino-esque pastiche he wants for the show. The result is a non-linear (it is a Tarantino film, after all), scene-by-scene breakdown of everything I loved about this magnificent movie. Rick Arrives On The Set Of Lancer (February 9, 1969). In the “real world,” these hippies are about to murder Sharon Tate and her housemates. What he didn’t love was the Italians’ way of making movies (he thought “the post-sync every actor speaks their own language Tower of Babel shooting style of European movies was ridiculous”). Once Upon a Time in Hollywood takes place in the Dream Factory circa 1969, fairy-tale title and all. Most importantly, we recall that this entire scene is a Cliff memory from the present, leaving us to wonder how much of the scene actually happened as we saw it and how much is Cliff’s selective memory and/or wish of what could have been. Why in the world would Rick still have the flame-thrower? Rick portrays Caleb DeCoteau, a villain who has kidnapped Mirabella Lancer (being played in Lancer by Trudi Fraser and in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood by the magnificent Julia Butters), while Luke Perry portrays Wayne Maunder starring as the show’s protagonist, Scott Lancer. After going to a bookstore to pick up a copy of “Tess of the d’Urbervilles” by Thomas Hardy (which her surviving husband would later adapt into the movie Tess), Sharon spontaneously decides to go see The Wrecking Crew, in which she played the part of Freya Carlson aka “the klutz.” Using her charm and her role in the movie, she scores a free entry and all it costs her is a photo-op (plus a slight bruise to her ego when the ticket collector asks her to stand by the poster “so people will know who you are”). (#OscarsSoWhite comes to mind.) Like a lot of people I know, I saw Once Upon A Time In Hollywood multiple times this weekend. Cliff then leaves but the trip continues for the audience. This film is filled with nostalgia for a lot of things but none more than a time when people of all different kinds shared a monoculture that represented a starting point for co-existence. Motions without breaking a sweat in preparation for this film, and Patricia )... 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