Learn which movies inspired Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" in this amazing, nearly three-hour podcast.
Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is about to come out. Naturally, he's made sure his notorious Los Angeles movie theater, the New Beverly Cinema, has programming that will put audiences in the perfect mindset for his film.
In the latest episode of the Pure Cinema Podcast from the New Beverly, Tarantino sits down with Elric Kane, Brian Saur, Phil Blankenship, and Jules McLean to discuss Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and how the New Beverly's July lineup inspired his film's characters and plot.
You can follow along as Tarantino goes through the theater's whole July schedule.
The era of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Tarantino explains how he views the 1960s era of filmmaking, which is portrayed in the film through the experiences of Rick Dalton (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). Rick Dalton tries and fails to make a new career in the movies and is reduced to playing a TV villain. Tarantino says:
“What he’s dealing with is even more than the TV-to-movies transition, as big a deal as that is… is the culture has changed underneath him. Like the entire earth has gone topsy turvy as far as he’s concerned, and for a whole era of leading men. So there’s an aspect of Rick Dalton that's made up of a bunch of these guys. So he’s a bit like George Maharis, he’s a bit like Edd Byrnes, he’s a bit like Tab Hunter, he’s a bit like Fabian, he’s a bit like Vince Edwards."
With this in mind, Tarantino decided to program a Rick Dalton-themed month of movies. The schedule features actors who were hot leading men in the 1950s-1960s but saw their careers collapse at the end of the 60s. Some of these films even serve as jumping-off points for Rick Dalton's fictional filmography.
The leading men who inspired Rick Dalton
"Ty Hardin is a perfect example of a Rick Dalton kind of guy, because Ty Hardin was sort of like a poor man's [Steve] McQueen."
Tarantino says his movie directly borrows a car chase sequence from Moving Target, replacing Hardin with Rick Dalton for a scene from his fake movie, Operazione Dyn-O-Mite.
Tarantino reveals that Land Raiders also makes a kind of appearance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The movie's Spanish title was Red Blood Red Skin, which becomes one of the fake spaghetti westerns from Rick Dalton's career.
Later on in the schedule, there are a couple of Edd Byrnes double features, which include Any Gun Can Play, Wicked, Wicked, The Secret Invasion, and Darby's Rangers. (Wicked, Wicked is interesting for its gimmicky "Duo-Vision" presentation. It uses split-screen throughout.)
According to Tarantino, DiCaprio responded to Edd Byrnes' movies most strongly of the ones the director shared with him.
"So especially when it comes to Rick Dalton's Italian career, I kind of see it very similar to what happened with Edd Byrnes."
Late in the podcast, Tarantino discusses how Al Pacino's talent agent character is trying to lure Rick Dalton to work in Italy.
"In a scene we cut out, the dialogue's there...the Italians want McQueen, but he won't work with them. And no matter what, he says no. No matter how many times they ask, Marlon Brando always says no. No matter how many times they ask, Warren Beatty always says no."
They settle instead for someone like Rick Dalton, Tarantino says.
Tab Hunter and Fabian double features follow in the schedule.
Tarantino explains that Hunter's real-life career is also very similar to Rick Dalton's fictional career, in that the actor fell out of favor with studios and had to start making lower-budget films.
He adds that Hunter's film Gunman's Walk inspires Rick Dalton's fake movie, Tanner. Keep an eye out for the poster in Rick Dalton's house.
Tarantino's other inspirations
You might notice the unique Tab Hunter, Fabian, and Troy Donahue triple feature on July 17 and 18.
The connection to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood should be pretty obvious on this one.
The 1960s "it girls"
Margot Robbie is playing 1960s actor Sharon Tate in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, so it makes sense that the schedule would be a kind of tribute to her, too. Fans of the period's female stars will also have plenty to enjoy at the New Beverly.
A Raquel Welch double feature precedes an Ann-Margret double feature July 5-8. Jane Fonda's Cat Ballou is paired with The Chase on July 12 and 13, then the next week you can enjoy Natalie Wood in Gypsy and This Property Is Condemned.
Tarantino points out that Wood was such a star at the time, she would be paired with young up-and-comers like Robert Redford in order to launch a new generation of male talent.
What's next? Enjoy more of Tarantino's insight!
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. It arrives in theaters July 26, but if you're in LA, you'll be able to see it on film at the New Beverly. It closes out the month's schedule, starting July 25.
Will you be in the audience opening night? What are you most excited to see? And will you check out any of Tarantino's other recommendations? Let us know in the comments!