When is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood released in cinemas? Who’s in the cast and what’s it about?

Everything you need to know about Quentin Tarantino's new movie starring Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (trailer screenshot)

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a new film from Quentin Tarantino boasting a stellar cast including Margot Robbie, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio.


The movie is set in 1969 at the height of hippy Hollywood and photos of the cast in their sixties glad rags have made a big splash online.

Here’s everything you need to know about one of 2019’s most anticipated movies…

When is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood released in cinemas?

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood will hit UK cinemas on 14th August 2019. It gets an American release a few weeks earlier on 26th July 2019.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2019 on Tuesday 21st May, and Tarantino has gone full Marvel with regards to spoilers.

“I love Cinema, you love Cinema,” he wrote in an open letter posted on Twitter and Instagram. “It’s the journey of discovering a story for the first time.”

He continued: “I only ask that everyone avoids revealing anything that would prevent later audiences from experiencing the film in the same way.”


Who is in the cast of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?

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Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt lead the cast as fictional characters Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth. Dalton is the former star of a Western TV series, and Booth is his longtime stunt double.

Despite the two leads being fictional, there actually are some real-life characters in the movie…

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie stars as Sharon Tate, an actress and model who was also the wife of director Roman Polanski. Tate was eight and a half months pregnant when she and her unborn son were killed at the hands of the Charles Manson family cult in August 1969.

Robbie has since revealed that she landed the role after sending a letter to Tarantino – she told Vogue how she had once made a pact with herself to get in touch with the director once she thought she was a good enough actress. That moment came after she watched the first cut of I, Tonya – a role which earned her an Oscar nomination.

“I wrote him and said, ‘I adore your films, and I would love to work with you in some capacity. Or any capacity,'” she recalled. Before long she was sat at the director’s kitchen table, reading the script with Tarantino offering her Victoria Bitter – an Australian beer!

Other actors playing real-life characters include Damon Herriman as Charles Manson, Dakota Fanning and Lena Dunham as his followers, Rafal Zawierucha as Roman Polanski, Bruce Dern as ranch owner George Spahn, Damian Lewis as iconic actor Steve McQueen, Mike Moh as martial arts legend Bruce Lee, Emile Hirsch as Hollywood hairstylist Jay Sebring, Luke Perry (in his final film role) as actor Wayne Maunder and Nicholas Hammond as actor/director Sam Wanamaker.

The star-studded cast also includes Al Pacino as Dalton’s fictional agent Marvin Schwarz, as well as Timothy Olyphant, Clifton Collins, Keith Jefferson, Kurt Russell, Michael Masden and Tim Roth.

What is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood about?

HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 5: The newly refurbished Hollywood Sign is seen atop of Mt. Lee after Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa added a finishing touch of paint to complete the project on December 5, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

Plot details have been kept largely under wraps for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but Tarantino has previously said that the film will be “a story that takes place in Los Angeles in 1969, at the height of hippy Hollywood.

The two lead characters are Rick Dalton (DiCaprio), former star of a Western TV series, and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Pitt). Both are struggling to make it in a Hollywood they don’t recognise anymore. But Rick has a very famous next-door neighbour… Sharon Tate.”

This latest trailer gives a better idea of the plot, with Dalton worried he’s become a has-been and Pitt’s Booth introduced to Manson and his “family”.

Is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood fact or fiction?

Despite the fact that it’s set in Hollywood in 1969 and features real-life characters from that time, the movie is, for the most part, fictional. Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth are Tarantino’s inventions, but they are said to be based on actor Burt Reynolds and stuntman Hal Needham, who were active in that era.

Are there any photos of the cast in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?

Yes! In this Twitter snap, Robbie is sporting a sixties look in character as Tate, complete with white leather boots.

And below DiCaprio can be seen in a yellow polo neck and orange suit jacket. To the left is Pitt in double denim and aviators.

Has Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had good reviews?

For the most part, reviews of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood have been extremely positive. Both The Guardian and The Telegraph awarded the film five stars, with the former’s critic Peter Dowling describing the movie as “shocking, gripping, dazzlingly shot” and “entirely outrageous, disorientating, irresponsible, and also brilliant”.

He added: “Opinions are going to divide about this film’s startling and spectacularly provocative ending, which Tarantino is concerned to keep secret and which I have no intention of revealing here.”

The Telegraph’s Robbie Collin, meanwhile, praised DiCaprio’s performance: “DiCaprio is a riot at making his character talented-ish, sweating, coughing and stammering off-camera, yet delivering the goods – sometimes brilliantly – when action’s called.”

Variety’s Own Gleiberman, meanwhile, said the movie is a “heady, engrossing, kaleidoscopic, spectacularly detailed nostalgic splatter collage of a film” but concluded that Tarantino has created something which “no longer feels even vaguely revolutionary”.

The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney noted that “the two ambling hours of detours, recaps and diversions that precede the standard climactic explosion of graphic violence are virtually plotless” but praised DiCaprio and Pitt’s performances which were “dripping with self-irony and pleasurable chemistry”.

Is there a trailer for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?

There is indeed. In addition to the trailer posted above, there’s a stylish teaser here…


Ahead of the Cannes Film Festival premiere, a range of fictional, old school posters designed for Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie star character were released. Check them out below.

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