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It is known that Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez have a special relationship. As is evident by Tarantino's appearances in Rodriguez' movies and by Grindhouse - their co-directed double-feature.

Is the title of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood some kind of a reference or homage to Rodriguez' Once Upon a Time in Mexico? Or is it just a fun way to capture the time-capsule feel of the movie, sending us back to another point in time? Or is it something else completely?

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Both Tarantino and Rodriguez are paying homage to Sergio Leone, whose epics Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Once Upon a Time in America (1984) are classics of the Western and gangster movie genres, respectively.

Before Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, Tarantino had made nods towards Leone in several of his films, especially over the last 20 years. The most obvious of these was the beginning title card of Inglourious Basterds, which reads "Once upon a time...in Nazi-occupied France."

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  • Interesting! Do you have some citations or references about that connection?
    – Tomerikoo
    Commented Jul 18, 2021 at 13:56
  • This is well known. Citations are not needed. Commented Jul 19, 2021 at 11:05

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