Once Upon a Time in Hollywood References guide

From The Quentin Tarantino Archives

Welcome to the movie and pop culture references guide and trivia resource for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. As is the tradition at The Quentin Tarantino Archives, our international network of movie geeks is compiling a guide of pop cultural references that will make enjoying Tarantino's latest a special delight for geeks and aspiring cinephiles.

  • For Once Upon A Time in Hollywood Trivia click HERE

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Hollywood 1969

The movie is set in the Realer than Real World Tarantino alternate Universe. Like Inglourious Basterds, it features a mix of real and fictional characters. To get a sense of the cinematic era of the time, also check out the Furious Cinema article: 1969: Entering New Hollywood.

Fictional and Real Brands

  • A new Tarantino Universe brand: Wolf's Tooth dog food (Raccoon, Bird & Rat flavor) appears.
  • A new Tarantino Universe brand: Old Chattanooga Beer appears.
  • A new Tarantino Universe brand Hot Waxx Records appears.
  • An ad for Red Apple cigarettes appears on a bus billboard. Rick Dalton stars in a TV ad for the brand.
  • An ad for Big Kahuna Burger appears on a bus billboard
  • Heaven Sent: A KHJ radio spot for the Helena Rubinstein perfume brand
  • Numero Uno: A KHJ radio spot for the mens cologne
  • Pan Am: The airline is featured.
  • KHJ Radio

Movies (Advertised or Referenced)

  • The Great Escape (Dir: John Sturges): A 1963 WWII film starring Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Garner, James Coburn.
  • Secret Agent Super Dragon (Dir: Giorgio Ferroni) A 1966 spy film (it stars Ray Danton, which already sounds close to Rick Dalton, and Margaret Lee) is an inspiration for a non-existing Rick Dalton movie called "Operazione Dyn-O-Mite!" starring him and Margaret Lee. Learn more about it at GCDb
  • Kiss The Girls and Make Them Die (Dir: Henry Levin/Arduino Maiuri) - A 1966 spy film. One of QTs favorite 60s James Bond spoofs also co-starring Margaret Lee. It's alt title is Operazione Paradiso. It was shown at QT Fest in Austin. Learn more about it at GCDb
  • The Illustrated Man (Dir: Jack Smight): A 1969 sci fi/fantasy film starring Rod Steiger. Radio spot on KHJ.
  • The 14 Fists of McCluskey: A fictional WWII/ Dirty Dozen style action film starring Rick Dalton.
  • Tanner: Rick Dalton fictional Made For TV Western.
  • Linda & Abilene (Dir: Herschell Gordon Lewis): Poster hanging in George Spahn's house. Learn more about it at GCDb
  • Targets (Dir: Peter Bogdanovich): Shot of trailer for this 1968 thriller behind drive-in theater screen near Cliff's trailer.
  • Against A Crooked Sky (Dir: Earl Bellamy): Footage from the 1975 film is used as Tanner for part of Marvin Schwarzs' Rick Dalton double feature.
  • White Heat (Dir: Raoul Walsh): Shot of Cliff's car driving into the drive-in theater references this 1949 gangster film starring James Cagney.
  • The Legend of Lylah Clare (Dir: Robert Aldrich): This 1968 film is playing on Cliff's TV.
  • Giant (Dir: George Stevens): The Manson family girls walk by a giant painted mural for this 1955 epic after they go dumpster diving.
  • Django Unchained - The Western town set (Melody Ranch) is used for Bounty Law and can be seen during the interview with Rick & Cliff.
  • Lady in Cement (Dir: Gordon Douglas) - A 1968 neo noir starring Frank Sinatra & Raquel Welch. Playing at Van Nuys Drive-In.
  • Pretty Poison: A 1968 romantic thriller starring Tony Perkins and Tuesday Weld. Playing at Van Nuys Drive-In.
  • The Killing of Sister George (Dir: Robert Aldrich) - A bus billboard for the 1968 black comedy starring Beryl Reid, Susannah York and Coral Browne.
  • The Possessed (Love Hate & Dishonor) (Dir: Luigi Bazzoni)- KHJ radio spot for this 1960s Euro-thriller. Learn more about it at GCDb.
  • Joanna (Dir: Mike Sarne): A swinging 60s film starring Geneviève Waïte. Theatrical poster.
  • House of Cards (Dir: John Guillermin): A 1968 film starring George Peppard, Inger Stevens.
  • The Big Sleep (Dir: Howard Hawks) - Sharon's scene in the bookstore could be a reference to a similar scene in this film.
  • The Maltese Falcon (Dir: John Huston): Theres a replica of this bird in the bookstore Sharon visits.
  • Tora! Tora! Tora! (Dir: Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku, Toshio Masuda) - Billboard for the 1970 WWII film. A billboard can be seen in Cliff's Bruce Lee flashback.
  • The Golden Stallion (Dir: William Witney): The poster for the 1949 Roy Rogers western hangs on Rick’s wall. A clip was previously seen in a scene from Kill Bill.
  • Eye of The Devil (Dir: J. Lee Thompson): Sharon's black and white outfit is modelled after the one she wears in this 1966 thriller.
  • Don't Make Waves (Dir: Alexander Mackendrick): A 1967 sex comedy featuring Sharon Tate. Co-starring Tony Curtis and Claudia Cardinale. Poster seen in Sharon's house.
  • Valley of The Dolls (Dir: Mark Robson): The 1967 drama starring Sharon Tate is referenced.
  • C.C. & Company (Dir: Seymour Robbie): A 1970 biker film starring Joe Namath, Ann Margret, William Smith and Sid Haig. Playing with The Wrecking Crew. Learn more about it at GCDb
  • The Mercenary (Dir: Sergio Corbucci)]: A 1968 spaghetti western starring Franco Nero & Tony Musante. Poster hangs at The Wrecking Crew theater. Learn more about it at SWDB
  • Cattle Annie & Little Britches (Dir: Lamont Johnson): Score is used from this 1981 film.
  • Gas-s-s-s (Dir: Roger Corman): Score is used from this 1970 counterculture film.
  • The Strawberry Statement (Dir: Stuart Hagmann): Score is used from this 1970 counterculture film
  • Dynamite Jim (Dir: Alfonso Balcázar): Score is used from this 1966 Eurowestern (Learn more about it at the SWDb)
  • The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (Dir: John Huston): Score is used from this 1972 Western
  • Danger: Diabolik (Dir: Mario Bava): Score is used from this 1968 crime film. Learn more about it at GCDb
  • Sartana Does Not Forgive (Dir: Alfonso Balcázar): Score is used from this 1968 Eurowestern (Learn more about it at the SWDb)
  • Any Gun Can Play (Dir: Enzo G. Castellari): Score is used from this 1967 Eurowestern (Learn more about it at the SWDb)
  • Apocalypse Joe (Dir: Leopoldo Savona): Score is used from this 1971 Eurowestern (Learn more about it at the SWDb)
  • Turn Curtain (Dir: Alfred Hitchcock): Score is used from this 1966 thriller
  • Model Shop (Dir: Jacques Demy): Theater billboard for the 1969 film set in Los Angeles. Starring Anouk Aimée, Gary Lockwood and Alexandra Hay
  • Moving Target (Dir: Sergio Corbucci): A 1967 Euro Spy film. Footage is featured in the film. Learn more about it at GCDb
  • Sweet Charity (Dir: Bob Fosse) - Theater billboard for the 1969 musical comedy starring Shirley Maclaine and Ricardo Montalban.
  • The Sergeant (Dir: John Flynn) - Theater billboard for the 1968 drama starring Rod Steiger.
  • 3 in the Attic (Dir: Richard Wilson) - Theater marquee and TV spot for the 1968 bedroom farce starring Christopher Jones and Yvette Mimeux.
  • Ice Station Zebra (Dir: John Sturges) - Theater billboard for the 1968 espionage action-adventure film starring Rock Hudson. Coincidentally, in the beginning the lead character is at a pub called McCluskey's (see The 14 Fists of McCluskey). The movie was presented in Cinerama and shot in Super Panavision.
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (Dir: Stanley Kubrick) - Theater billboard for the 1969 space adventure classic.
  • Hells Angels '69 (Dir: Lee Madden) - Theater billboard for the 1969 biker exploitation classic. Learn more about it at the GCDb
  • Romeo & Juliet (Dir: Franco Zefferelli) - Theater marquee/poster for the 1968 Shakespeare romantic drama starring Olivia Hussey.
  • The Wrecking Crew (Dir: Phil Karlson) - Footage/Theater Marquee/Billboard poster for the 1968 spy comedy starring Dean Martin, Elke Sommer and Sharon Tate. Learn more about it at GCDb
  • Spaghetti Westerns: Quite a number of US TV actors in the 60s went to Europe to star in usually lower budget westerns. The most famous case is Clint Eastwood, who after starring in the US TV series Rawhide went to Italy and made the Dollars movies which made him famous internationally, before returning to the US where his career as actor and director continues to date. Rick Dalton is in a way modeled after that. Posters for Nebraska Jim, Tanner & "Uccidimi Subito Ringo, disse il Gringo" are such fictional Rick Dalton movies.
  • Candy (Dir: Christian Marquand) - Billboard for the 1968 psychedelic sex comedy starring Ewa Aulin. Learn more about it at GCDb
  • Funny Girl (Dir: William Wyler) - Billboard poster for the 1968 musical comedy starring Barbara Streisand.
  • Oliver! (Dir: Carol Reed) - Billboard poster for the 1968 musical starring Ron Moody and Oliver Reed
  • Pendulum (Dir: George Schaefer) - Billboard and marquee for the 1969 crime thriller starring George Peppard and Jean Seberg.
  • Mackenna's Gold (Dir: J. Lee Thompson) - Billboard poster for the 1969 Western adventure starring Gregory Peck and Telly Savalas
  • Sam Whiskey (Dir: Arnold Laven): Theatrical poster for the 1969 comedy western starring Burt Reynolds and Angie Dickinson.
  • They Came To Rob Las Vegas (Dir: Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi): Billboard poster for the 1968 crime film starring Gary Lockwood, Lee J. Cobb and Elke Sommer. Learn more about it at the GCDb
  • The Boston Strangler (Dir: Richard Fleischer)- Billboard for the 1968 crime-thriller film starring Tony Curtis.
  • The Night They Raided Minsky's (Dir: William Friedkin) - playing at the Vogue theater in the Summer of 1969
  • Krakatoa: East of Java (Dir: Bernard L. Kowalski) - playing at the Hollywood Cinerama Dome in the Summer of 1969
  • Teenage Monster: The film is featured on Fright Night w/ Seymour's TV show in the movie. Learn more about it at GCDb
  • Babette & The Turn On! playing at The Pussycat Theater (a now defunct adult theater located on Hollywood Boulevard)
  • The Crook (Dir: Claude Lelouche)

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Restaraunts, Stores, Theaters

  • Mann's Chinese Theater - sign featured
  • Eros Theater: The porn theater which later became the New Beverly (owned by QT).
  • The Pussycat Theater - building featured
  • Cinerama Dome - building featured
  • Vine Theater - building featured
  • Chili John's: restaraunt featured
  • Der Weinerschnitzel: restaraunt sign featured
  • The Supply Sergeant: Hardware Store sign featured.
  • El Coyote: Mexican restaraunt featured
  • Casa Vega: Mexican restaraunt featured
  • Pandora's Box: A popular Night Club & Coffee House on the Sunset Strip can be seen.
  • Musso & Frank Grill: Popular restaraunt known as "the genesis of Hollywood."
  • Taco Bell: Popular Tex-Mex fast food chain featured
  • Peaches Records & Tapes: A now defunct record store in Hollywood
  • London Fog: Popular LA Music club referenced by Sam Wanamaker

TV Shows (Advertised or Referenced)

  • Bounty Law is a fictional western TV series that is featured in the film.
  • Lancer a real TV series that is featured in the film. Rick Dalton guest stars.
  • The Big Valley: Western TV series referenced by Sam Wanamaker on the set of Lancer
  • Bonanza: Western TV series referenced by Sam Wanamaker on the set of Lancer.
  • Have Gun - Will Travel: Score from this TV Western series is used.
  • Zorro (1957): In George Spahn's room there's a picture of Guy Williams as Zorro on the wall.
  • The Green Hornet: An action series starring Van Williams and Bruce Lee. In the film Cliff is doing stunts for Rick, who is guest starring on the show. QT has referenced it before, most notably in Kill Bill.
  • Land of the Giants: Rick mentions he guest starred on this 60s sci fi adventure show.
  • Batman: The 60s cult TV super hero show starring Adam West and Burt Ward. Referenced by Marvin Schwarzs and in a radio spot on KHJ-BOSS Radio (see OST).
  • The Man From UNCLE: A 60s spy TV series starring Robert Vaughn and David McCallum. Mentioned by Marvin Schwarzs.
  • The F.B.I.: A crime show that aired from 1965-1974. Rick Dalton guest stars.
  • Mannix: A detective series starring Mike Conners that aired from 1967-75. Playing on Cliff's TV.
  • Combat!: A WW2 themed TV series starring Vic Morrow and Peter Jason that aired from 1962-67. Bus billboard.
  • It's Happening: Music variety show hosted by Paul Revere & The Raiders
  • Hullabaloo: A 60s pop music variety show, similar to American Band Stand or Shindig. The character Rick Dalton is a guest. (Dance choreography by Toni Basil dancer/actress/musician. Toni worked on the similar 60s TV music shows Shindig! and The T.A.M.I. Show)
  • Dark Shadows - A horror themed TV series (1966-71). Bus Stop Ad.
  • The Invaders - A sci-fi themed TV Show (1967-68) starring Roy Thinnes. Billboard. Created by Larry Cohen (Black Caesar, The Stuff)
  • Honey West- A TV series (1965-66) starring Anne Francis. A bus billboard ad. Also mentioned in Reservoir Dogs.
  • The Rosie Grier Show: A talk show (1966) starring the football player/actor. A bus stop billboard ad.
  • Fright Night with Seymour: A billboard ad for LA TV late night horror movies show. A clip is in the film.
  • Hobo Kelly: A children's show that aired on Los Angeles TV in the 1960s. Bus stop ad.

Books & Magazines

  • MAD Magazine: Rick Dalton/Bounty Law are spoofed in the popular cartoon magazine.
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles: Thomas Hardy’s 1891 novel is bought by Tate as a gift for Polanski. A decade after her death, he filmed it with Nastassja Kinski.
  • Kid Colt: An Atlas/Marvel comic book seen in Cliff's trailer
  • Sgt Fury & His Howling Commandos: A Marvel comic book seen in Cliff's trailer. QT regular Sam Jackson plays Nick Fury in the MCU.

Radio Stations

People

The movie features or mentions a lot of real-life entertainment people, some of them are:

  • Sharon Tate: Actress and late wife of Roman Polanski- murdered by Manson followers
  • Roman Polanski: Actor/Director- husband of Sharon Tate
  • George Spahn: Owner of Spahn Ranch. Home of the Manson family (Also, check out this thread in our forums "Who is George Spahn?")
  • Charles Manson: Leader of the Manson family
  • Steve McQueen: Actor known as The "King of Cool"
  • Jay Sebring: Hairdresser to the stars. murdered by Manson family members.
  • Voytek Frykowski: Friend of Polanski/Tate - murdered by Manson followers
  • Abigail Folger: Friend of Polanski/Tate/Frykowski - murdered by Manson followers
  • Bruce Lee: Martial Arts icon/Actor/Fight choreographer. Friend of Polanski/Tate/McQueen
  • Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme: Member of the Manson family.
  • Catherine "Gypsy" Share: Member of the Manson family
  • Charles "Tex" Watson: Member of the Manson family
  • Sam Wanamaker: Actor and Director
  • Sergio Corbucci: Director of Italian Westerns and various genre films.
  • Hopalong Cassidy: Western star. Rick own's mugs with his image on them
  • Connie Stevens: Singer/Actress
  • Joanna Pettet: Actress
  • Mama Cass - Member of The Mamas & The Papas
  • Michelle Phillips: Member of The Mamas & The Papas, in the movie shown standing next to Steve McQueen and Jay Sebring at the Playboy Mansion
  • James Stacey - actor on TV show Lancer. In the film, Stacey is shown driving away on his motorcycle. He later lost his arm and leg in a bike accident.
  • Wayne Maunder- actor on TV show Lancer
  • Edmond O'Brien: An actor of the 50s and 60s. A friend of Rick Dalton.
  • Morey Amsterdam and Rose Marie: The actors who played the star’s sidekicks on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” are mentioned as next week’s guests by Allen Kincaid (Spencer Garrett), a fictional Hollywood journalist who opens the movie by interviewing Rick and Cliff.
  • Ron Ely: Referenced by Marvin Schwarzs. Star of TV series Tarzan, which Rick Dalton guest stars on.
  • Fabian: Singer/Actor of the 60s that dropped out of The 14 Fists of McCluskey (due to shoulder being broken while appearing on The Virginian) which Rick Dalton co-starred in.
  • Anne Francis: Pinup picture on Cliff's wall. Starred on TV show Honey West (referenced in Reservoir Dogs).
  • Robert Goulet: The singer is seen singing “MacArthur Park” on TV.
  • Dennis Hopper: Referenced by Cliff Booth to Tex Watson.
  • Andrew V. McLaglen: A producer/director is referenced by Randy.
  • George Peppard: Star of Breakfast at Tiffanys and Pendulum.
  • George Maharis: Star of Route 66 TV series.
  • George Chakaris: Star of West Side Story.
  • Telly Savalas: Co-star of Rick's fictional western Red Blood, Red Skin.
  • George Putnam: LA Newsman seen on bus stop billboard.
  • Bill Cosby: Mentioned in radio ad
  • Nancy Sinatra: Mentioned in radio ad
  • The Smothers Brothers: Mentioned in radio ad
  • Audie Murphy: War hero turned actor. Referenced by Rick.
  • Donald Shea: A former stuntman, this ranch hand on the Spahn estate (mentioned but not seen in the film) was killed by the Manson cult.
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