Difference between revisions of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood References guide"

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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.

The year 1969 and the era

The movie (set in the Realer than Real World) takes place in 1969 Hollywood, with a Tarantino twist to it. The movie will feature 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.

New: In-depth Furious Cinema article ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD: A Trip Through Tarantino’s Groovy 9th Movie


Movies (Advertised or Referenced)

  • Secret Agent Super Dragon (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.
  • Kiss The Girls and Make Them Die - 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.
  • The 14 Fists of McCluskey: A fictional WWII/ Dirty Dozen style action film starring Rick Dalton.
  • Against A Crooked Sky (Dir: Earl Bellamy): Footage from the 1975 film is featured.
  • 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.
  • 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 Mercenary (Dir: Sergio Corbucci): A 1968 spaghetti western starring Franco Nero & Tony Musante.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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) - Theater Marquee/Billboard poster for the 1968 spy comedy starring Dean Martin, Elke Sommer and Sharon Tate
  • 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.
  • 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 poster 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
  • Babette & The Turn On! playing at The Pussycat Theater (a now defunct adult theater located on Hollywood Boulevard)
  • The Crook (Dir: Claude Lelouche)

Restaraunts, Stores and Night Clubs

  • Pandora's Box: A popular Night Club & Coffee House on the Sunset Strip.
  • Musso & Frank Grill: Popular restarant known as "the genesis of Hollywood."
  • Taco Bell: Popular Tex-Mex fast food chain


  • Peaches Records & Tapes: A now defunct record store in Hollywood

TV Shows (Advertised or Referenced)


Like Inglourious Basterds, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood blends fictional and real characters as well as possible true events that are altered. This becomes especially intriguing with more than one instance of a series within the film.

  • Bounty Law is a fictional western TV series that is featured in the film.
  • Lancer (Update: January 14, unconfirmed) is an existing western TV series that is also featured in the movie. QT bought the rights to it which triggered rumors that the film is a possible starting point for something that could almost be like a reboot. There is a character in the film named Scott Lancer, so the TV series features heavily in the film, which aired long after Bounty Law's supposed run (1968-1970). Scott Lancer was one of the lead characters in Lancer, played by actor Wayne Maunder. In the movie, Luke Perry is credited as "Wayne Maunder/Scott Lancer". Timothy Olyphant (Justified) is playing actor James Stacey/Scott's half brother Johnny Madrid Lancer. Nicholas Hammond is credited as Sam Wanamaker in the movie, who was one of the series directors, but for only one episode ("The High Riders"), so it might be possible to pinpoint exactly what is being filmed possibly in the scenes of the movie that feature Lancer. Bruce Dern, who will play George Spahn in the movie, also appeared in two episodes of the original Lancer. Other actors who appeared in the original Lancer are Bo Svenson, who appeared in Kill Bill and Inglourious Basterds, LQ Jones, Tom Selleck, Tom Skerritt and Joe Don Baker.


  • 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.
  • Combat: A WW2 themed TV series starring Vic Morrow and Peter Jason that aired from 1962-67.
  • 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. 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.
  • Hobo Kelly: A children's show that aired on Los Angeles TV in the 1960s. Bus stop ad.

Radio Stations



The movie features a lot of real-life characters, some of them are:

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