‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ promises lots of terrible fashion from 1969

First look. #OnceUponATimeInHollywood

A post shared by Leonardo DiCaprio (@leonardodicaprio) on

It feels like even diehard Quentin Tarantino fans are sort of meh about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, right? The collective energy around this film is “meh” and “why” and “stop.” What I keep coming back to is that this is supposed to be QT’s historical take on the Manson Family murders and he’s telling the story through two fictional characters, played by Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio. They play Sharon Tate’s neighbors. Just that fact alone screams “we’re telling the story of female victims through the eyes of men!” Well, Leo posted the above Instagram of himself and Pitt “in character” as Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth. Again, I’m not feeling it. Pitt’s trying to do the Robert Redford thing and Leo is… well… um… not releasing any BDE. To go along with the first photo, QT released a statement about the movie:

Quentin Tarantino is wading into controversial territory with his upcoming movie which revolves around Sharon Tate’s brutal murder at the hands of Charles Manson’s cult. The writer-director’s ninth film, titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, has been in the works for years, and on Wednesday, he landed two major stars to play key roles. Leonardo DiCaprio is confirmed to play fictional Western actor Rick Dalton, whose stunt double Cliff Booth will be played by Brad Pitt.

In a statement Wednesday, Tarantino called the film a “story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood. The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognize anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbor … Sharon Tate.”

He added in a release, “I’ve been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles County most of my life, including in 1969, when I was seven years old. I’m very excited to tell this story of an LA and a Hollywood that don’t exist anymore. And I couldn’t be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio & Pitt as Rick & Cliff.”

[From People]

I tend to think it should be either/or: either you tell the story of the Manson murders or you tell the story of Hollywood in 1969. NOT BOTH AT THE SAME TIME. Like, I would love a QT-meets-Mad-Men take on what Hollywood was truly like in 1969, with the rise of independent cinema and experimental European films and more. That would be a great movie. But instead, we’re getting this macabre bulls–t. Remember this too: the film is being released on the 50th anniversary of the murder of Sharon Tate. Ugh.

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Photos courtesy of Getty, Instagram.

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61 Responses to “‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ promises lots of terrible fashion from 1969”

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  1. Maya says:

    Shame on everyone who are involved in this mess.

    Not only releasing on the death anniversary but also they way they are giving the horrible Manson a platform again.

    I am extremely disappointed in Leo, Brad & Margot for being part of this movie. I have officially cancelled all 3 and won’t give them a pound anymore.

  2. Relli80 says:

    Mmm I am not sure I agree. Listening to the story on You Must Remember This, the most intriguing part for me was how entrenched Manson was in hollywood and the people who had connections to him. It’s really a much more complex story than I ever realized and I hate Manson stuff.

    • Save Mueller says:

      Yes, that podcast and the book Manson paint a picture of how he weasled his way into Hollywood during a strange time in America. I imagine this movie will never even show Manson or Sharon Tate, only that the crime will create a problem for the characters in this movie and some scheme they are trying to pull off. Reserving judgment on that aspect, but the choice of release date is tacky as hell.

      • Relli80 says:

        The date is in poor tast but that’s a really interesting take. Especially given that my takeaway from the story presented on YMRT was that Manson’s madness was driven by his lack of acceptance and to be taken seriously as an artist. I wander if the characters Pitt and Leo are playing will be the tie in to the old Wild West movie set the family eventually settled on. But really the tie in could from any connections; The Beach Boys, Doris Day’s son Teri, Candace Bergen even Sharon had her early Hollywood connections in a relationship without Richard Beymer.

    • polonoscopy says:

      The best BEST book based on the Manson Murders is The Girls. It’s about how the young women were lured into the cult because all the other women were so cool (basically, whatever, I’m not writing a paper on it) and then how it slowly turned. I have no interest in any of the men involved.

  3. Mary says:

    So excited! My two favourites!

    • Laura says:

      I’m with you Mary. I’m excited for this movie. I’ve been a QT fan since I saw Pulp Fiction at the tender age of 11, but as an adult, I look at his work in a much different way than the idolization I gave him in my 20s. I am excited for this movie, but the thing I just cannot get by —

      HOW IS BRAD PITT LEO’S STUNT DOUBLE?!? In what world does that work?!?

      I know that a lot of people are judging the before it comes out for various reasons – some of which are completely reasonable – but I am trying to stay open to what story QT wants to tell. This is set in my favorite time of American history and I’m a sucker for the terrible fashion.

  4. DenG says:

    Rock and Cliff? Back up some, sweetie. Right to the edge. This’ll be an awesome shot. Yeah, that’s great–OOPS. Fantastic back flip.

  5. Wood Dragon says:

    Considering the vicious brutality of the crime, filmmakers in the past have shied away from doing anything that would seem too exploitive of the victims, especially Sharon Tate. It’s just cold blooded and wrong. And on the anniversary too? Sheesh! Unless he wants to drive home how monstrous it was, I don’t get it.
    It was tough enough watching the lake shore attack sequence in Zodiac, an excellent film, but I leave the room when that part comes on. It’s just too horrific – because it happened.

  6. Sam says:

    Brad Pitt looks like he’s cosplaying Robert Redford, a Pitt/Redford combination should work in theory…but it just ends up looking a bit meh.

  7. KBB says:

    Leo looks better than he has in a while. I’ll see it if only to support Margot.

  8. Pandy says:

    I’m interested in however will tell this story as I remember the coverage. Can’t wait to see the fashion as well.

  9. Ophelia says:

    No to Budget Redford.

    I remember a film where Redford played opposite Pitt. It was around the time of Peak Pitt too, but man does that film drive home the fact that one is the OG Redford with charisma in spades and the other one will never be. I told my friends to mark my words.

    Fast forward to now… yep. Proof is in the pudding.

  10. Frida says:

    I duno guys, I’m kinda of looking forward to this one, if only to see Leo and Brad work together. Even terribly-written movies can swim with a solid cast, and this has a good one.

  11. Ollie says:

    Wow Leo looks so thin and clean.

    That movie doesn’t look or sound like a Sharon Tate or Manson bio pic kind of movie. Seems we are getting something different and I’m open to that.

  12. Valerie says:

    unpopular opinion: I don’t like Tarantino. However, I am SO excited to see Al and Leo onscreen together. :D

  13. lucy2 says:

    I’m side-eyeing anyone who chose to work on this. It’s exploitative, and against the wishes of the victims’ families. It’s also being helmed by a guy who has zero integrity, and seems to use his “art” as an excuse to abuse women.

  14. Susie says:

    I’ll see it. And I think BP looks pretty good. The only thing … I don’t think Sharon Tate was all that famous then. She’d made a couple of films, but she was just coming into her fame, didn’t that add to the pathos of the story? That she was about to be a big thing? Polanski (spit) was, on the other hand, was the big cheese because of Rosemary’s Baby. So they were living next door to the famous director, not actress. The anniversary thing is morbid and unnecessary.

    • Valerie says:

      Nothing against Tate personally, but I don’t see why she elicits such strong emotion from people. Because she was beautiful? Beautiful people die every day, inside and outside of Hollywood (look at the Black Dahlia). She was a mediocre actress who had barely started her career and probably wouldn’t have had a significant one, apart from being Polanski’s It Girl. I think her death was horrible and senseless, I just don’t understand why this movie has to be made. Let her rest in peace.

      • Pamela says:

        She was young, beautiful, married to a super famous (albeit disgusting) movie director and heavily pregnant. Add all that to the brutality and horror of the murders and it is a compelling(?) story. I think people are horrified and a little intrigued.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      She was a beautiful woman who was an inexperienced and untrained actress at the beginning of her career – so we won’t ever know if she would have lived up to the hype that surrounded her. You should watch Valley of the Dolls, you can see her potential as an actress.

  15. Michelle says:

    Tarantino has always been a douchebag. His films are B movie rip offs. His whole career is funded by weinstein. He thinks raping a 13yr old is fine. He always puts his own foot fetish in his fims. Glorifies violence & is completely tone deaf to the times up movement.

  16. Happy21 says:

    I’m in a minority but I’m looking forward to this movie. As a teen I read anything about Manson and the murders that I could get my hands on and I’m also super interested to see the Taratino take on things. The release on the anniversary of the murders is poor taste and I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets changed the closer we get.

  17. --- says:

    I agree w la!ney. No de at all in that picture. None whatsoever.
    Two very dishonest looking men is all I see.

  18. SJF says:

    That top photo is pretty much a steal of Paul Newman & Robert Redford posing as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in 1969.

    No surprise as everything Tarantino does is a direct rip-off of a film or style done better a generation or more before.

    He cranks the sex & violence up to 11, but it’s never original.

  19. MoAnne says:

    Hard pass for me. All these actors are cancelled for me. They all seem so narcissistic & uncaring. “THIS will be great for my CAREER!” Sure….

    I used to be a fan of Tarantino and made excuses for him, but no more. Tarantino should have been charged for reckless endangerment when he made Uma Thurman drive that rusty, awful car. He didn’t care about putting her in danger. As long as he got the shot! He is a garbage person.

    As if exploting Sharon Tate’s gruesome, tragic death is not enough, they are also making the guys the central focus of the movie. It’s another one of those “pretty dead female body” tropes. Women are nothing but dead bodies for men to contemplate. See also Jack the Ripper, The Black Dahlia, and a million serial killer stories. How nice….blech

  20. perplexed says:

    I think they both look good in the photo, but I’m wondering if the photo was photoshopped. Leo looks as slim as he did when he was 21.

  21. Mina says:

    I hate this project with all my heart, but I’m assuming that this will be more of a “the impact of the Manson Murders on Hollywood culture” story than the Manson Murders themselves OR Hollywood in 1969. If that’s the case, it makes sense to mix them up, because people at first really believed the Family was targeting celebrities and many were scared they would be next.

    That being said, this is Tarantino and I just can’t imagine him doing something truly interesting with that. Unless he goes way off brand, it’ll probably be about DiCaprio and Pitt trying to copycat Manson to be famous or something tasteless like that.

    • Pamela says:

      “but I’m assuming that this will be more of a “the impact of the Manson Murders on Hollywood culture” ”

      Interesting point. Considering Manson wanted to be a famous rock star and went even more off the deep end when what he thought was his big break (through that Beach Boys connection) fell through.

      A tale focused on how the desire for fame corrupts…using some of these real life situations COULD be a compelling film. But like you, I doubt that is where QT is headed. (And I have been a huge fan in the past…..had a very hard dealing with all the information that came out about him, the Uma/car, the choking , the spitting etc)

  22. saltandpepper says:

    Good God, they’re sexy. Can’t wait to see this film.

  23. raincoaster says:

    Leo cleans up amazingly well, considering how he lets himself go between major projects.

  24. Rescue Cat says:

    ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

    And they all lived happily after?

    Shit title.