In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, there is a segment where Cliff goes to the set, gets the job and eventually fights Bruce Lee, which makes him get fired.

After that, he is shown fixing the antenna, and says something like "Yeah, I deserved that". Did he actually went to the set, or was it simply a daydream?

  • 1
    As Lux answered, it was a flashback and it did happen. It was meant to give back story on Cliff. Commented Sep 5, 2019 at 14:21
  • The large crowd watching the fight magically disappear right in the middle. Who would leave that? It's a fantasy Commented Jun 14, 2020 at 23:24

1 Answer 1


This was a flashback scene. If you recall in a scene or two before Cliff starts repairing the antenna, Cliff was told that a specific stunt coordinator, played by Kurt Russell, was coordinating for the show Lancer that Rick was currently acting in so the likelihood of Cliff being allowed to be Rick's stunt double was practically impossible. The audience is left wondering why until Cliff ponders back and we find out that in a previous production with the stunt coordinator on The Green Hornet Cliff threw Bruce Lee into the coordinator's wife's car. Cliff was already on thin ice as the wife absolutely hated Cliff because he

allegedly murdered his wife and the coordinator's wife didn't trust him.

So when the car got damaged, Cliff was given the boot. Cliff then agrees that he deserved getting canned.

There has been some disagreement among fans regarding if this was a flashback or a daydream, to the point that the Wikipedia article for the movie got edited a couple of times stating it was one or the other. Some think that it is a daydream and that Cliff embellished his skills fighting Bruce Lee. However, in the end Cliff does get fired which, to me at least, reads as a flashback. If one daydreams, usually one imagines coming out on top and does not resign themselves with a "Yeah I deserved that..." sentiment.

  • Is it official? Because it can be a fantasy/parody scene
    – Ori Marko
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 9:16
  • 1
    @user7294900 I got a chance to dig a little deeper and couldn't find anything official. Hopefully the screenplay will be released soon and we'll find out. I added a note to my answer about the disagreement. Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 13:36
  • I think it's a flashback but seen through Cliff's memory, so it's from the point of view of an unreliable witness.
    – Mr_Thyroid
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 14:16
  • @LuxClaridge great answer! As soon as we have a screenplay or some official declaration, I will accept it
    – espindolaa
    Commented Sep 9, 2019 at 12:27

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