Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood (2019)
July 8, 2019 5:11 PM - Subscribe

A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) make their way around an industry they hardly recognize anymore. The ninth film from the writer-director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age (Margot Robbie, Emile Hirsch, Margaret Qualley, Timothy Olyphant, Austin Butler, Dakota Fanning, Bruce Dern, Luke Perry and Al Pacino).

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2019, and is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on July 26, 2019 and on August 14, 2019 in the United Kingdom.

In 1969 Los Angeles, actor Rick Dalton, the former star of the Western television series Bounty Law, finds his career faltering due to ongoing alcoholism issues. Dalton dwindles into a drawling functional binge alongside Cliff Booth, his best friend and stunt double, lamenting that his career is over. By contrast, Booth, a Vietnam War veteran who lives in a derelict trailer next to a drive-in in Van Nuys, seems happy and satisfied. Booth is rumored to have murdered his wife and gotten away with it.

Booth participates in a fists-meets-martial-arts duel on the set of The Green Hornet with Bruce Lee and wins. Later, Dalton, playing a black-hatted villain on a new series called Lancer, gets into a philosophical chat about acting with his 8-year-old costar, a budding feminist and method actress.

Meanwhile, Sharon Tate and her husband, Roman Polanski, have rented their new home next to Dalton's at 10050 Cielo Drive. At a party at the Playboy Mansion, fellow actor Steve McQueen fills in Dalton on the backstory of Tate, Polanski, and their friend Jay Sebring, a hairdresser who is in love with Tate and, according to McQueen, is hanging around to bide his time and wait for Polanski to sabotage his marriage.

After his performance in Lancer receives positive reviews, casting agent Marvin Schwartz offers Dalton the opportunity to shoot a Spaghetti Western in Rome. The prospect fills Dalton with despair; he thinks Spaghetti Westerns are the bottom rung of the entertainment totem pole. Dalton takes Booth to the six month shoot in Rome, making several films while eventually marrying an Italian crew member, Francesca Cappucci.

Back in Los Angeles, while escorting a flirtatious girl named Pussycat to the Spahn Movie Ranch, Booth learns she is a member of the Manson Family led by cult leader Charles Manson. Suspiciously, Booth and Dalton arrive at the ranch where they walk into a murder plot as the Manson Family have kidnapped Tate, Sebring, Abigail Folger, Voytek Frykowsi, and several other hostages, intending to kill them. Bruce Lee arrives onto the scene unannounced, ready to fight, saying he had been observing the family for days and suspected them of possible violence. Together, Dalton, Booth and Lee brutally defeat the Family in a shoot-out/kung-fu showdown. Manson arrives to briefly check in on the family, stunned that his murder plot was thwarted, but is killed by Booth before he has a chance to react to the change of events. Tate and the others are saved, but Booth dies from fatal injuries sustained in the fight. Despite his career having not amounted to his ambition, Dalton acknowledges that it is the end of the 1960s, and the Hollywood spirit will live on.
posted by I_Love_Bananas (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Holy spoilers Batman!
posted by Sphinx at 12:46 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]

It's Fanfare! Spoilers are more than ok :)
posted by Carillon at 1:35 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

I haven't seen it yet, but the trailers had me feeling very uneasy about seeing it without spoiling it first. That is to say, I didn't want to see it unspoiled. I wanted to know if he was actually going to fictionalize the Manson murders. I'm really uncomfortable with this premise, and with Tarantino revising history this way. It was weird that he did that with World War 2, and I feel like this is even weirder, but maybe it's a super-awesome genius move. I don't know. I'll see the movie but I'm skeptical.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:40 PM on July 9 [4 favorites]

Now just when was the first McDonald's built in Paris? Will there be a 'Royale with cheese' joke?
posted by sammyo at 7:16 PM on July 9

I was surprised to see this pop up a few weeks before the movie gets wide release. Why so early?
posted by jzb at 6:30 AM on July 10

I thought spoilers were not "more than ok", and referring to the Fanfare Faq, it specifically says to not spoil future episodes, which I believe that since this movie hasn't been seen outside of Cannes could and should apply.

But that's just me. However, I'm a little disinclined to actually view the movie when the entire fucking plot has been revealed here.
posted by Sphinx at 10:45 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

I, for one, am really not surprised by the ending. After his Inglorious Basterds; I was kinda expecting this ending anyway, when I heard he was incorporating the Manson family in the movie.

I am going to watch the movie more for the dialogue, cinematography, production design aspects of it. His story telling has always been a framework for him to do his fanboy pastiche/homage to the genres he likes anyway. I still think the set pieces in Inglorious Basterds, especially the Farm Scene in the beginning and the Pub Scene in the middle; can almost be turned into one act plays.
posted by indianbadger1 at 11:02 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Don't click the link on fanfare then? There was just a meta on this as well.
posted by Carillon at 12:29 PM on July 11

I believe the "below the fold" synopsis should simply have been

A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood's Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles.

Isn't that the convention?
posted by Clustercuss at 4:21 PM on July 11

Ah and I see now that was the above-the-fold on the post. I clicked in from the new-look Fanfare which lists titles only
posted by Clustercuss at 4:24 PM on July 11

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