What happened to Sharon Tate? Once Upon A Time In Hollywood’s ending explained

*Spoilers for Tarantino's ninth film to follow* Once Upon A Time In Hollywood's ending broken down

Margot Robbie BTS in Columbia Pictures' "Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood"

*Spoilers for Once Upon A Time in Hollywood to follow*

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Quentin Tarantino’s latest film re-imagines the life of Sharon Tate, the young actor who was murdered at the age of 26 by members of Charles Manson’s cult.

Once Upon A time In Hollywood follows Tate on two days in 1969. On the first, in February, she goes to a local cinema to watch herself star alongside Dean Martin in The Wrecking Crew. The second is 8th August 1969, the night of her death in real life. However, Tarantino’s film takes a shock turn…

Here’s the ending of Once Upon A Time in Hollywood explained.

What happens at the end of Once Upon A Time In Hollywood?

The climax of Once Upon A Time in Hollywood takes place on the evening of 8th August 1969 – the night that Sharon Tate, celebrity stylist Jay Sebring, screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski and his girlfriend Abigail Folger were murdered by Charles Manson’s disciples.

However, as he did previously in Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained, Tarantino re-writes history with his film.

In his version of events, Tate and then-husband Roman Polanski live next door to Rick Dalton, Leonardo DiCaprio’s fictional protagonist, a washed-up TV actor who has just returned from six months in Italy filming Spaghetti Westerns. On the night in question, he and his former stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) are at home having just returned from a boozy dinner at a local Mexican restaurant.

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio star in ONCE UPON TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.
Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

When a noisy car pulls up outside of his house, filled with real-life Manson family murderers Tex Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian, Dalton runs outside, pitcher of frozen margaritas in hand, and screams at them. They move their car down the road and hop out, planning to kill the people in his house before entering the Polanski house under Manson’s instructions (though Kasabian gets cold feet and flees with their car).

Unfortunately for them, Booth, who is tripping off an acid-dipped cigarette, is in the house when they arrive, preparing to feed his dog, Brandy.

Brandy gruesomely dispatches of Watson, while he takes care of Krenwinkel himself by bashing her head against walls, telephones and framed movie posters. Severely injured, Atkins stumbles outside with her gun in hand and winds up in the pool. Dalton, who had been guzzling his freshly prepared cocktail while blasting tunes on his headphones on a lilo, jumps out of the pool and grabs a flamethrower (he had kept it after learning to use it for a film) and sets her alight.

After the mess is cleaned up, Booth is taken to the hospital for injuries, and Dalton ends up chatting to Sebring, who has come down the path to his gate after hearing the ruckus. Sebring recognises him, and Tate, over the intercom, invites him in for a drink. The camera then pans out above the driveway.

What happened to Sharon Tate in real life?

Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.
Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

The real story is much sadder than Tarantino’s version of events.

Up until Dalton and Booth’s involvement, the film gets most of the story down to a tee, including a choice quote. The carful of criminals arrived outside the Tate household on 8th August with the intention of killing everyone inside, under Manson’s direction.

They broke into the grounds of the Polanksi house, and killed 18-year-old Steven parent, who had arrived to visit the groundskeeper. They then entered the house, Watson allegedly telling Frykowski “I am the devil, and I’m here to do the devil’s business,” a line which Tarantino borrows for his film.

They killed everyone in side, leaving Tate – who was eight and a half months pregnant at the time – until last. Having been instructed to leave a message, they wrote “pig” on the door in Tate’s blood before leaving.

All four of the Manson family members involved in the murders were arrested on unrelated charges in September, which eventually led police to discover their involvement in the killing of Tate and her friends.

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Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is out NOW