What if …

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a “what if” movie written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Matt Damon plays Rick Dalton, a washed up cowboy star at a time when Roman Polanski is the hottest director in town (the late 1960s). Polanski is renting the house next door to Dalton but he and his friends live in the fame bubble, everything is wonderful and will be forever and ever. There’s even a scene of Sharon Tate going into a theater alone just to revel in the audience reaction to her movie while Dalton drowns in self pity, aided by his longtime stunt double, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt).

This movie could have had a predictable ending but it doesn’t. I won’t give away Tarantino’s secret sauce in case you haven’t seen it, but damn if Fractured Fairytales didn’t immediately leap to mind.

If you don’t have time to watch the clip, the story starts out familiar and then veers wildly astray, generally into areas of extreme political incorrectness! I’m sure if Fractured Fairytales were on air today, there would be howls from all sides. But, if I ever met Tarantino, I’d have to ask him what role the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons had in his vision for movie making. I think he’s old enough to have watched them. Maybe not. Sigh.


Just an aside: These delightfully warped tales were narrated by Edward Everett Horton who once famously said “Nobody’s older than me and, if they are, they’re not in circulation.”
I’m definitely feeling that today!

34 thoughts on “What if …

  1. Thanks for sharing your reflections on the Tarantino movie. I did watch it a little while ago but things were busy and it was a group of us. I do remember some zany parts and not sure I liked the character Brad Pit portrayed (from what I recall)
    And I like how you ponder Tarantino’s possible influence – it would be cool to find out if he watched certain cartoons!

    Tarantino was on the Joe Rogan podcast a while ago and i listened on for part while on a road trip! Did you know he only plans to make ten movies – and then says he wants to me done?

    1. I don’t think Tarantino can create a likable character but then I haven’t seen all his movies. It’s better to create 10 things that you can be proud of rather then 100 so-so films. So I can understand.

      1. Yeah – I sorta understand him saying that – and in the interview (the part I heard) he said he just set the goal for his own balance because he loves being a writer and might want to do more of that and then said something about how “I know it sounds like I am breaking up with you before you break up with me” and some say it was a little head game like.
        But I say hey- whatever works to keep some line sane in Hollywood (no intentional play on ideas there because he writes about crazy stuff and the zany theme of once upon a time in Hollywood) but it can be so difficult in our culture to stay healthy in the celeb mode or popular circle (sigh) and so I say if he sets a limit and that keeps him grounded – well then go for it!

  2. Jan, this definitely makes me want to watch Once Upon a Time… One night about a year (or two) ago, Mike and I started watching it, but I’d had a long day and fell asleep after about 15 minutes. No reflection on the film, however. Will give it another go and report back!

    1. Tarantino likes to take predictable stories and add elements of the bizarre. In this movie, he rewrites history … almost making it into a warped fairy tale.

  3. Jan, my husband is Quentin Tarantino’s biggest fan and loves this movie. I have lost track of the number of times he has watched it. It is worth the time once or twice, but a dozen plus, that’s a bit much.

      1. Yes, exactly. If he likes Tarantino, I’m sure your husband would love Fractured Fairytales – they’re equally twisted and bizarre. They were a segment of Rocky and Bullwinkle show along with Natasha and Boris and Dudley Doright.

  4. We used to watch Rocky and Bullwinkle with Dad. He loved all the nuances that we didn’t catch. It was during the Red Scare. It would be good to go back and watch them again as an adult. Thanks for including the clip. I am linking this post to your comment in Story Chat. Great to meet you. 🙂

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