We’re nearing the release of Quentin Tarantino’s much anticipated Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and this film is promising all kinds of excitement for film fans.
With it’s 1969 setting, and all the glitz and glam that comes with that we’ve selected five films that you need to watch before you see Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
Check out the full list below:
5. Valley of the Dolls
Holding the center of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is the ravishing Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, the epitome of New Hollywood hippie glam and who at the time was the most captivating woman in the whole world. Key to the attraction for Sharon Tate was her breathtaking beauty. This beauty would be captured in director Mark Robson’s 1967 picture Valley of the Dolls which charts three young women and their rise and fall in the world of show business. Valley of the Dolls is a film that truly showcases the essence of the changing times of the late 1960s, and Tate was able to display her developing talents as an actress at the time.
4. Enter the Dragon
If you’ve seen the trailers for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood you’ll notice that a certain Hong Kong martial arts star named Bruce Lee steals just about every scene that he’s in. While Lee was around the Hollywood scene at this time and was a personal friend to both movie stars Sharon Tate and Steve McQueen and hair stylist Jay Sebring, he had yet to achieve any kind of mainstream success. But that all changed with his seminal martial arts film Enter the Dragon. Released in 1973, this film would showcase the power of Lee’s handling of the martial art of kung fu as he took on an assortment of despicable bad guys, including uber villain Han (Shih Kien) in a series of dramatic fight scenes that changed action cinema forever. Sadly the film would prove to be Lee’s final completed film appearance before his death on 20 July 1973 at age 32. To this day Enter the Dragon still remains as a classic of action cinema and anyone who sees it is sure to be influenced by it.
3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Since the start of production on Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Tarantino has called stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt “the most exciting star dynamic since Paul Newman and Robert Redford.” What he’s referring to is the landmark western Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which when released in 1969 and took the box office by storm and would define outlaw cool for the next decade. Everything about this classic film came together perfectly when it was released in 1969, from its direction by George Roy Hill, the screenplay by William Goldman and the duel complementary performances of stars Newman and Redford who made this film a classic. Still to this day there’s immense power watching this story of two renegade outlaws trying to find their place in a rapidly changing world and a wild west that’s dying out as they attempt to runaway from their growing legend.
2. Easy Rider
In the film’s setting of 1969, the New Hollywood movement is blazing across the Hollywood scene and a whole new generation of directors, writers and stars are coming to the forefront and changing the world while they do it. No film epitomized the New Hollywood movement more than Dennis Hopper’s 1969 road movie Easy Rider, which followed two modern day outlaws Wyatt (Peter Fonda) and Billy (Hopper), and an appearance from a very young Jack Nicholson as alcoholic lawyer George Hanson, as they took a cross country journey across America in a bid to reach New Orleans. With it’s hippie free love vibe, genre bending narrative, wild and excessive production and frequent on camera usage of real drugs, Easy Rider really captures the very essence of 1969 and the summer of love. Still to this day it’s opening scene set to Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to be Wild’ is sure to set your soul alight and make you want to rebel!
1. Smokey and the Bandit
In the creation of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino has been clear that his model for the film’s lead character Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, was inspired by Hollywood legend Burt Reynolds. Tarantino has had a long connection to Reynolds, even being named after his character of “halfbreed” blacksmith Quint Asper on classic TV series Gunsmoke. If there happens to be a quintessential Reynolds performance then it’s undoubtedly his turn as Bo Darville aka The Bandit in 1977’s Smokey and the Bandit as he portrays a modern bootlegger with a real need for speed as he attempts to transport 400 cases of Coors from Texarkana to Atlanta. It’s a perfect showcase for Reynolds explosive supreme acting talent and his turn as this ultimate rebel is sure to inspire your own outlaw style. Reynolds himself was supposed to star in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, and even started rehearsals before sadly dying of a heart attack on September 6, 2018. An extraordinary man who lived one hell of an incredible life, Reynolds served as the ultimate hero for Tarantino and I’m sure the director will pay tribute to him here in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood promises to be a phenomenal watch and audiences will be in for a fantastic sense of nostalgia, packed together with the director’s trademark directorial cool, when it arrives in cinemas on August 15.