ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD- Karl Sides (Flickfanatics)



Leonardo De Caprio-Rick Dalton

Brad Pitt-Cliff Booth

Margo Robbie- Sharon Tate

Quentin Tarantino opens the door to Classic Hollywood’s back-lot to his fans and gives us a buddy flick with a huge twist in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood!

Quentin Tarantino directs his 9th feature film and this time he targets classic Hollywood in 1969. Tarantino has assembled an A-list ensemble cast headed by Leo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Al Pacino and Margot Robbie to show us what it was like in Hollywood as the 60’s ended and the 70’s were coming in with Hippies, drugs, Spaghetti Westerns were born and one of the most horrific crimes was committed in the Hollywood Hills.


Rick Dalton (DiCaprio) is the classic Hollywood leading man, but famous for his role in a TV western Bounty Law. Rick has been partnered with his stunt double and best friend Cliff Booth (Pitt) who continues to double him, drive and basically be Dalton’s person assistant. Dalton has been cast as the “Heavy” lately opposite young up and coming talent at the studio. Rick and Cliff take a meeting with agent Marvin Schwarzs (Al Pacino), who turns out to be a fan of Dalton and westerns. Schwarzs pitches a new genre to Rick, Italian Westerns called Spaghetti Westerns. Dalton not a fan of leaving Tinseltown but begins to see the end of the road and parts are harder and harder to get. Booth has a harder time to get work away from Dalton with a clouded past that has directors saying no to the accomplished stunt man.

Booth, when he isn’t on set, helps out Rick by driving him and doing things around Dalton’s house in the Hollywood Hills. Dalton lives next to model/actress Sharon Tate (Robbie) and her Husband director Roman Polanski (Rafal Zawierucha). Dalton and Tate have sperate incidents with hippies wandering around their property and having to run them off. These hippies that are infiltrating Hollywood are followers of a cult leader Charles Manson (Damon Herriman) and living outside town on an old movie lot.

Right about now I bet your thinking you know what the rest of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is about….did I mention that Quentin Tarantino directed the film?

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is a Tarantino epic running almost 3 hours and starring almost everyone in Hollywood (Dakota Fanning, Timothy Olyphant, Kurt Russell, Luke Perry in his final performance, Emile Hirsch, Michael Madsen, Bruce Dern, Lena Dunham to name a few) in a supporting role. The characters and acting are incredible and my favorite scene in the film comes from Booth on the set of the TV show Green Hornet laughing at Bruce Lee (Mike Moh) that ends up in a fight with Cliff throwing Lee into the side of the director’s wife’s car, getting him fired. The dialogue is hilarious as Booth explains how the fight began and Lee trying to explain how he didn’t get his ass kicked. One of the best lines from the melee is “Bruce Lee: My hands are registered as lethal weapons. We get into a fight, I accidentally kill you… I go to jail.  Cliff Booth: Anybody accidentally kills anybody in a fight, they go to jail. It’s called manslaughter.”

Tarantino tells a story of two best friends that are aging out of Hollywood and riding out on top until Tex (Austin Butler) and two of Charlie’s girls come calling at Dalton’s house instead of going to the Polanski’s. Having the Manson family going to the wrong house is just one of the changes Tarantino made to history in this film.

Flickanalysis: 4/5 stars.

I love Tarantino films and went into Hollywood expecting to see an “Inglorious Bastards” type film, but ended up seeing a film equal to “Django Unchained” basically it ranks 4th out of 9. My issue was with the story not having the “wow” factor that his other films have had. But in Tarantino style the acting is great and the film has a superior soundtrack!