Quentin Tarantino portrays Hollywood at the time of the Manson murders in the late 1960s in a crime drama starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.
1969 was a historic year: The moon landing astonished the world, Willy Brandt became Federal Chancellor and Richard Nixon President of the United States, the Vietnam War, the Woodstock Festival and the Manson murders dominated the media. The latter and the general mood of change in the Hollywood dream factory takes cult director Quentin Tarantino as the occasion for his ninth film.
The story of the new Tarantino film revolves around the unsuccessful Western actor Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio), who desperately tries to break into the movie after several TV shows. Dalton is accompanied by his best friend and stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt). Even Dalton’s longtime agent Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) is not much help, because he has only roles in the unpleasant genre of Italo-Western ready.
Rick Dalton lives in close proximity to the actress, style icon and Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie). On the night of August 8 to 9, 1969, four members of the Manson Family forcibly gain access to the mansion, killing the heavily pregnant Tate and four other individuals, including Tate’s hairstylist Jay Sebring (Emile Hirsch). The murders rock Hollywood. Tate’s close friends like acting icon Steve McQueen (Damian Lewis) now live in fear.
Investigations in the case of the Tate murders are taking place across the film industry. Even the young stunt double Bruce Lee (Mike Moh) is suspected. Meanwhile, the members of the Manson Family have retreated back to their ranch in Death Valley, which is provided free of charge by the 80-year-old and blind George Spahn (Burt Reynolds) in return for sex with young members like Lynette “Squeaky “Pious (Dakota Fanning). Will Dalton and Booth get the sect on track?
Cult director Quentin Tarantino, who announced some time ago that he would retire after his tenth film, produced his ninth and penultimate epic with “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood”. The title alone suggests a bitter tale, a satire of the film industry. Originally it was thought that the film should start on August 9, 2019 in the US, ie to the day exactly 50 years after the Tate murders. Sony decided to bring the theatrical release two weeks forward. In Germany, the film will be on view from 15 August 2019.
Already in the early stages of the film, the director has made a sensational promise to his fans: He told the Hollywood Reporter, his new film should be as close to the cult classic “Pulp Fiction”, as none of his previous works. Thus, Tarantino goes back to its own origins. His latest work is also a very personal homage to the golden age of Hollywood and therefore peppered with allusions and quotations of famous classics.
At least with respect to the cast of “Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood” Tarantino relies on familiar faces. Both Brad Pitt (“Inglourious Basterds”) and Leonardo DiCaprio (“Django Unchained”) are not Tarantino newbies. In addition, the director relies on the skills of old companions such as Tim Roth (“Reservoir Dogs – Wild Dogs”), Kurt Russell (“Death Proof”) and Michael Madsen (“Kill Bill”), who appeared in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood “will take on minor minor roles.
A true Tarantino freshman is the acting icon Al Pacino (“Short Process – Righteous Kill”). The work with
the actor was obviously so important to Tarantino that he wrote Al Pacino the role of agent Marvin Shwarz directly on the body. A controversy had triggered the cast of Margot Robbie (“I, Tonya”) as Sharon Tate. The fact that Tate would be at the center of the story made for some observers for mixed feelings, after all, the actress was murdered when she was very pregnant.
Also in attendance is Dakota Fanning, who will play the role of Lynette Squeaky Fromme, a young member of the Manson Family. Altstar Burt Reynolds (“Love and Other Obstacles”) in turn plays the blind landlord of the Manson Ranch in Death Valley. In the wake of the tartar scandal, Tarantino has decided to leave his old production company. “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” is now being produced under the Sony umbrella.