This article about the film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was originally published on March 18, 2019 and updated on May 19, 2021 following the movie's release. Read on for the original article, with some new changes to reflect the latest updates on this topic.
Quentin Tarantino is going Hollywood … vintage Hollywood. The visionary director of movies like Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2, Django Unchained, and The Hateful Eight is going back in time to 1960s Tinseltown in his newest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a mystery crime drama set during the hysteria of the Manson Family murders.
Here’s everything you need to know about the 10th feature-length movie from Quentin Tarantino (and ninth film, if you, as Tarantino does, count the duo of separate releases for Kill Bill as a single work).
When did Once Upon a Time in Hollywood release in theaters?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was released in theaters on July 26, 2019.
The film was originally scheduled to be released on August 9, 2019, which would have been the 50th anniversary of the murders. But in July 2018, The Hollywood Reporter reported that the film would be moved up two weeks, citing sources that said Sony wanted to give the film “more summer playtime.”
The date change for Hollywood also included other Sony films getting new release dates, including Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the novel Little Women (releasing Christmas Day 2019), Zombieland 2: Double Tap (October 11, 2019), and the first Valiant superhero movie Bloodshot starring Vin Diesel (February 21, 2020).
Is there a trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
Yes! Sony released two trailers for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in 2019. Here’s the final one, posted in May.
What is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood all about?
Set in 1969, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is the story of two best friends with fading careers who wind up near the gruesome events of the murder of real-life former fashion model and actress Sharon Tate.
In the film, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Rick Dalton, a failing Western TV actor considering a move to Italy, home of the spaghetti Western, after Hollywood lost interest in movies about cowboys and gunslingers. Along with his best friend and stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), the two give Hollywood one more shot, only to unwittingly play a part in the grisly story of Sharon Tate.
In real life, Sharon Tate was a promising young actress who starred in films like Valley of the Dolls (1967) and The Wrecking Crew (1969). She was murdered in her home, along with three friends and one 18-year-old visitor, in the late evening hours between August 8 and 9, 1969.
At the time of her death, Tate was eight and a half months pregnant with her son by director Roman Polanski, who was working in Europe. The murders were carried out by acolytes of the infamous cult leader Charles Manson, who died in prison in November 2017.
(Separately, Polanski himself became a criminal in 1977 after being convicted of sexual abuse against a 13-year-old. Polanski has remained a fugitive of the United States ever since.)
What is the poster for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
On March 18, Sony Pictures tweeted the official poster to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which features Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Who stars in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
An easier question might be to ask, “Who isn’t in the movie?” Tarantino’s newest movie is a star-studded feature, packed with A-listers and career character actors whom you’ve definitely seen before. Here are some of the movie’s top stars as well as its most important, or most intriguing, characters.
- Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, a Western TV star whose transition to movies has not worked out. He is a neighbor of rising star Sharon Tate.
- Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth, Rick’s best friend and stunt double.
- Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, a rising film star who is pregnant with her son from her husband, director Roman Polanski. In an interview with IndieWire, Robbie didn’t consult with Roman Polanski for the role. Instead, she read his 1984 autobiography, Roman by Polanski.
- Damon Herriman (Justified) as Charles Manson, the infamous cult leader. Herriman also plays Manson in the upcoming second season of Netflix’s Mindhunter.
- Al Pacino as Marvin Shwarz, Rick Dalton’s agent.
- Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer) as Jay Sebring, a real-life Hollywood hairstylist, friend, and ex-lover of Sharon Tate, who was one of the other victims in the murder.
- Damian Lewis (Homeland) as Steve McQueen, the world-famous actor who was invited to Tate’s home the night of the murders but didn’t show up.
- Bruce Dern (Nebraska) as George Spahn, the elderly landowner of the Spahn Ranch, often rented to movie studios to shoot Westerns. Charles Manson lived on the ranch in exchange for providing women to the nearly blind Spahn. The role was originally intended to be played by Burt Reynolds, who died before production began.
- Dakota Fanning (gen:LOCK) as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, a member of the Manson family who was not involved in the Tate murders.
- Luke Perry (Riverdale) as Wayne Maunder, an actor who co-starred on the Western television series Lancer. This is Perry’s last completed film role prior to his death in March 2019.
- Mike Moh (Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight) as Bruce Lee, the martial arts legend who was, for a time, a personal trainer to Hollywood elite, including Roman Polanski. He served as choreographer of The Wrecking Crew that starred Sharon Tate. A pair of sunglasses left behind at the Tate home led to Lee becoming one of the suspects of the murders.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood contains even more actors in almost a dozen different supporting roles. The film will also feature appearances by Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Kurt Russell, and James Marsden in unspecified roles.
Is Harvey Weinstein involved in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
The movie is Tarantino’s first feature film in his career not to be associated with longtime producer Harvey Weinstein. After sexual abuse allegations against Weinstein surfaced in October 2017, Tarantino severed ties with The Weinstein Company and sought a new distributor for his project.
In November 2017, Sony emerged as the film’s distributors, agreeing to finance the $95 million production budget and hand “extraordinary creative controls” to Tarantino, who also has final cut privilege.
How did Once Upon a Time in Hollywood do at the box office?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood grossed $142.5 million in the United States and Canada, and $231.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $374.3 million. It is currently Tarantino’s second-highest grossing movie of all time, behind Django Unchained.
What did critics have to say about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a score of 83 on Metacritic, and a B on CinemaScore. The movie received praise for Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio’s performances, Tarantino’s directing, and, surprisingly, its representation of moral and theological values.
Did Once Upon a Time in Hollywood win any awards?
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood won two Academy Awards in 2020. Brad Pitt won Best Supporting Actor, while Barbara Ling and Nancy Haigh won for Best Production Design. The film was nominated for eight additional Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor for DiCaprio, and Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for Tarantino. It also won three Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Supporting Actor (Pitt), and Best Screenplay (Tarantino).
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood arrived in theaters on July 26, 2019.
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