Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is shaking up the movie industry with its star-studded cast and alternate ending that changes the facts to fiction.
Throughout this, I’ll be breaking down everything that you need to know about the end of the movie and discussing how it alters the actual events of the Manson Murders and death of Sharon Tate.
There will be heavy spoilers here so if you haven’t seen the film yet and don’t want to know what happens then I highly suggest that you turn off now. There are some typical Tarantino-esque twists here and the surprises are worth seeing unspoiled so this is your last chance to enjoy the film with fresh eyes.
With that out the way, I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this video now let’s get into my breakdown of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Plot Recap
Once Upon A Time is set to the backdrop of the infamous Manson Murders, particularly the death of Sharon Tate. However, the film is somewhat satirical and similar to Inglorious Basterds, the film gives the truth a rather more Hollywood ending.
The movie itself follows Rick Dalton and his friend Cliff Booth played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt respectively. Dalton was once at the top of his game, however, all good things must come to an end and his career seems like it’s going on a complete downward spiral. The film chronicles his journey to what he thinks is the bottom rung of the ladder and along the way he and Booth bump into the likes of many big real names in Hollywood including Bruce Lee.
They also meet Catherine Share played by Lena Dunham who just so happens to be the ringleader of the Manson girls which plays into the end.
The Manson Crimes
On the whole, though the tale is mostly fictional and after Dalton ends up getting married, he and Booth decide to part ways but they want just one more night of drinking to celebrate all they’ve been through together. This just so happens to be on August the 8th, which is my birthday by the way, and is, of course, the infamous night that four followers of Charles Manson decided to murder Sharon Tate who just so happens to be a neighbour of Dalton.
In real life, they then went on to kill Tate and her house guests. Manson did this to try and frame the Black Panthers in order to start a race war that would eventually lead to the apocalypse known as ‘Helter Skelter.’ Though the murders did happen, Manson and his followers were eventually jailed before the situation could escalate any more and he and his followers went down in history as some of the worst serial killers of all time. However, the film completely changes the events from about this point onwards and paints out history with rose-tinted glasses.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Ending
During the bender, Rick who is sick and tired of all the hippies goes face to face with the killers who have parked up outside the houses and he warns orders them to leave, which they do.
That doesn’t mean it’s over though and the group of murderers come up with a new plan on Manson’s orders to kill Rick instead. To them, it doesn’t really matter who the target is as long as their message is spread so they head back to his house.
The killers return to the house but what we get instead of some brutal murders is some over the top, highly graphic violence that has its tongue placed firmly in its cheek. It’s all-out war with Rick his wife, Cliff and the dog all getting into it with the acolytes.
Eventually, they manage to kill them and overcome the threat and Tate who lives just next door overhears the ruckus and goes out to find out what happened. Rick knows that she’s married to Roman Polanski but till now he hasn’t really had the opportunity to speak to her, however, this is the perfect introduction to finally get talking to her and to get his career back on track.
The film ends with the two talking like old friends and we get a happy ending that basically rewrites history and makes Rick the hero of his own movie.
It’s an awesome ending that in true Tarantino Fashion lets us look back on the past with wishful thinking and makes us wonder what we could have got had the events played out differently.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Fact VS Fiction
On the whole, the movie actually does stick to the facts in terms of the main players with all of the killers including Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian and Katie all having real-life counterparts. On the night that they were going to commit the murders though there was no Rick Dalton and thus the group was able to carry out their brutal killings.
Though Polanski was a target at the time he was actually away during the murders and the group killed Tate who was 8 months pregnant and all of her party guests. The killings were very brutal and I definitely recommend that you watch one of the many youtube documentaries on the matter if this movie has piqued your interest.
When exiting the house they wrote ‘pig’ on the front door in Tate’s blood and it really was a horrifying crime.
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Ending Explained
But what does it all mean, well to me the entire film is a quest for fame and how in order to get it and hold onto it we have to do terrible things. Dalton, Booth and even the Mansons are all focused solely on gaining recognition and trying to keep a hold of it as tightly as possible and to me this symbolises just how Hollywood subverts the innocent in exchange for status.
The movie business as a whole is all about the flavor of the month and in the film, even though Tate is currently popular, we get the feeling that deep down she knows that she won’t be forever.
Overall to me, the film is a comment on how Hollywood romanticizes these aspects and paints it all out as one big happy ending even though we know as an audience that this isn’t the case. Just as Tarantino changed history, Hollywood does too and the piece should be viewed as a parody of how the movie business as a whole is unwilling to show it’s dark underside even though we all know that it exists.
Obviously, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this take and if you agree with me. Comment below and let me know!