Mike Moh, who played Lee, said he was conflicted at first: "Bruce in my mind was literally a god. ... Bruce didn't always have the most affection for stuntmen; he didn't respect all of them." He stated, "Tarantino loves Bruce Lee; he reveres him." Brad Pitt objected to an extended version of the fight, stating, "It's Bruce Lee, man!" according to stunt coordinator Robert Alonzo. According to Lee's friend and The Green Hornet stuntman Gene LeBell, Lee had a reputation for "kicking the shit out of the stuntmen. They couldn't convince him that he could go easy and it would still look great on film." Lee biographer Matthew Polly stated, "Bruce was very famous for being very considerate of the people below him on film sets, particularly the stuntmen. ... So in this scene, Bruce Lee is essentially calling out a stuntman and getting him fired because he's the big star."
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 85% based on 540 reviews, with an average rating of 7.84/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Thrillingly unrestrained yet solidly crafted, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood tempers Tarantino's provocative impulses with the clarity of a mature filmmaker's vision." Metacritic assigned the film a weighted average score of 83 out of 100, based on 62 critics, indicating "universal acclaim." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave it an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average of 4 out of 5 stars and a 58% "definite recommend."More Info
In January 2018, DiCaprio signed on, taking a pay cut to collaborate with Tarantino again. Al Pacino was being considered for a role. On February 28, 2018, the film was titled Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, with Pitt cast in the role Cruise was also up for. DiCaprio and Pitt were each paid $10 million. In March 2018, Robbie, who had expressed interest in working with Tarantino, signed to co-star as Sharon Tate, while Zoë Bell confirmed she would appear. In April 2018, Jessica Lange was in talks to play Mary Alice Schwarzs, but dropped out and Brenda Vaccaro replaced her. In May 2018, Burt Reynolds, Tim Roth, Kurt Russell, and Michael Madsen joined the cast. Timothy Olyphant was also cast. In June 2018, Damian Lewis, Luke Perry, Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning, Clifton Collins Jr., Keith Jefferson, Nicholas Hammond, Pacino, and Scoot McNairy joined the cast. Spencer Garrett, James Remar, Brenda Vaccaro, and Mike Moh were announced in July. In August 2018, Damon Herriman as Charles Manson, and Lena Dunham, Austin Butler, Danny Strong, Rafał Zawierucha, Rumer Willis, Dreama Walker, and Margaret Qualley were cast.More Info
The Hollywood Reporter said critics had "an overall positive view," with some calling it "Tarantino's love letter to '60s L.A.," praising its cast and setting, while others were "divided on its ending." ReelViews' James Berardinelli awarded the film 3.5 stars out of 4, saying it was "made by a movie-lover for movie-lovers. And even those who don't qualify may still enjoy the hell out of it." RogerEbert.com's Brian Tallerico gave it four out of four stars, calling it "layered and ambitious, the product of a confident filmmaker working with collaborators completely in tune with his vision". The Chicago Sun-Times, Richard Roeper described it as "a brilliant and sometimes outrageously fantastic mash-up of real-life events and characters with pure fiction," giving it full marks. Writing for Variety, Owen Gleiberman called it a "heady engrossing collage of a film—but not, in the end, a masterpiece." Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave it five out of five stars, praising Pitt and DiCaprio's performances and calling it "Tarantino's dazzling LA redemption song." Steve Pond of TheWrap said: "Big, brash, ridiculous, too long, and in the end invigorating, the film is a grand playground for its director to fetishize old pop culture and bring his gleeful perversity to the craft of moviemaking." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone awarded the film 4.5 out of 5 stars, remarking that "All the actors, in roles large and small, bring their A games to the film. Two hours and 40 minutes can feel long for some. I wouldn't change a frame."More Info
According to Rudolph Altobelli, who rented the house to Polanski and Tate, in March 1969, Charles Manson showed up looking for Terry Melcher. Polanski's friend Shahrokh Hatami also said he saw Manson enter the grounds. Hatami approached Manson, asking him what he wanted. He told Hatami he was looking for Melcher. Hatami responded the house was the Polanski residence and perhaps Melcher lived in the guest house. Altobelli told Manson that Melcher no longer lived there. This happens in the film, with Sebring in place of Altobelli and Hatami.More Info
The scenes involving the Tate–Polanski house were not filmed at Cielo Drive, the winding street where the 3,200 square-foot house once stood. The original house was razed in 1994 and replaced with a mansion nearly six-times the size. Scenes involving the Tate-Polanski house were filmed at three different locations around Los Angeles: one for the interior scenes, one for the scenes showing the exterior of the old house, and a Universal City location for the many scenes depicting the iconic cul-de-sac driveway.More Info
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