Table of contents:
- Don't read reviews
- Waiting for happiness
- Approaching the end of the world
- Tragedy at Benedict Canyon
On August 8, 2019, the premiere of Quentin Tarantino's new film "Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood" took place in Russia. The picture caused very conflicting reviews from viewers: from complete disappointment to overwhelming delight. What is the reason for such polar opinions? In fact, before watching the film, you just need to get acquainted with some facts that will make it possible to understand: "Once upon a time … in Hollywood" is not only a tribute to Hollywood in the 1960s, but also an attempt by a famous director to rewrite history.
Don't read reviews
The director himself recommends that viewers in no case read reviews before watching his film. Quentin Tarantino believes that it is necessary to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the picture, feel it and realize it. He stands up for an objective perception of his creation, without looking back at someone else's opinion.
Fans of Hollywood films of the 1960s will certainly appreciate Tarantino's creation. Music, posters, shots of popular westerns and comedies do not let you forget for a minute about what time the events take place. But at the same time, if you do not know the true story that happened half a century ago, the film will seem boring and drawn-out.
In 1969, the news of the tragedy in Los Angeles rocked all of America. The name of Charles Manson, whose composition "Cease To Exist" was used in his film by Quentin Tarantino, has become the personification of evil. The author of music and words, even while in prison, kept the whole of Hollywood in fear until his death in 2017.
And after his death, it seems, the fear has not yet completely let go, because there are his followers and fans who demand the release of those who were directly related to the tragedy. With his film, Quentin Tarantino seems to use a well-known psychological technique, forcing the viewer to experience what happened half a century ago, but with a different ending.
Waiting for happiness
Sharon Tate, the eldest of three daughters of the military colonel Paul Tate and his wife Doris Willett, was a very attractive, but incredibly timid girl from childhood. She has taken part in beauty pageants since the age of six months. During her first extras, Sharon Tate met actor Richard Beymer, who advised her to think about a career in cinema.
After moving to the USA, the girl really started acting. She began with advertising and tiny roles in TV shows, and after filming in the film "The Devil's Eye" was invited to one of the main roles in "The Vampire's Ball" by Roman Polanski.
At first, the director simply helped the 24-year-old actress with her work, but the beauty and charm of Sharon Tate did not go unnoticed. Gradually, the relationship went beyond the set, and a passionate romance led to the wedding. They were called one of the most beautiful and vibrant couples in Hollywood, the young wife of Polanski was predicted a successful career, and critics believed that she had every chance of becoming the most sought-after actress in Hollywood.
True, in 1969, she was least of all interested in thoughts of future success or bright roles in films. She was waiting for the birth of her first child and worried about the absence of her husband, who was on a business trip in London. Her loneliness was brightened by friends and relatives, who did not leave the expectant mother unattended.
Then, in the summer of 1969, no one could have imagined that Sharon Tate, along with his friends, would be destined to die at the hands of sectarian killers.
Approaching the end of the world
Charles Manson's childhood could not be called cloudless and happy. His mother could hardly remember the name of his father, and her main joy was not a newborn baby at all, but men and abundant libations. Naturally, growing up, Charles followed the most understandable path: thefts, robberies, car thefts.
Already at the age of 13, he was sent to a special school for juvenile offenders, where he had a chance to experience bullying and even violence from older "colleagues". The only protection of the juvenile delinquent was the role of the insane, which protected him from attacks in difficult situations.
Already in 1956, he received his first "adult" sentence, and by 34 years Manson's prison service was exactly half of his life. In 1967, after serving the last time, he was not eager to return to prison, but decided to take up music, having mastered playing the guitar during his imprisonment. And he also imagines himself almost the savior of humanity.
It should be understood that the 1960s in America is the era of the heyday of the hippie, the era of free love and the desire to expand consciousness by any means. On this wave, Manson began to promote his own ideas. He called for all those who were rejected by society to unite in a "family". The "family" was supposed, according to Manson's doctrine, to become the basis for the rebirth of all mankind after the end of the world predicted by him.
The newly-minted "guru" gathered around him a number of more than three dozen followers. Each of them was devoted to his "teacher" not only in soul, but also in body. Members of his "family" eagerly listened to Manson's words and were ready to carry out any of his orders. They felt almost like supermen, sang songs, had group sex, traded drugs and used them themselves.
When Manson realized that he would not become a famous musician, he began to propagandize the ideas of the upcoming war between whites and blacks and the rich with the poor. This marked the beginning of the arming of the "family".
Tragedy at Benedict Canyon
The Manson family even had their own sponsors, including drummer Dennis Wilson and producer Terry Melcher. Terry Melcher, then living at 10050 in Benedict Canyon, reassured Manson with a promise to record his album, and then turned him down, not wanting to have anything to do with the religion of the head of the "family."
In the spring of 1969, Manson was already angry at the whole wide world: at Terry's house he was met by some beauty who did not want to disclose the whereabouts of the moved producer, and Dennis Wilson refused to provide shelter for the "guru" and his followers. They all had to settle on the Spahn Ranch, which then became famous for filming films on its territory.
The time has come, and the "guru" announced to the companions that they had a mission to start the end of the world themselves. The first to fall from the hands of the "saviors of mankind" were two drug dealers with whom Manson had a conflict. On the evening of August 8, 1969, he sent Charles Watson and three girls to 10050 Cielo Drive, ordering them to kill anyone they found there.
Sharon Tate, who was nine months pregnant, was spending time with three of her friends when a distraught four broke into her house around midnight. Watson, even before the gate, managed to shoot Stephen Parent, who accidentally stopped his car nearby. The guy was only 18 years old.
One of the attackers, Linda Kasabian, remained outside, while Charles Watson, Susan Atkins and Patricia Crenwinkel attacked those in the house. On the morning of August 9, the visiting housekeeper saw the bodies of Sharon Tate, Wojtek Frykowski, Abigail Folger and Jay Sebring. Everything around was flooded and splattered with blood. Sharon alone had 16 stab wounds.
The very next day, Hollywood spread the news of another similar murder. The victim this time was supermarket owner Leno La Bianca and his wife. Panic began, many feared for their own lives and the lives of their children.
They were caught only two months later, and in a completely different case. Susan Atkins in the cell began to brag that she had drunk the blood of a pregnant woman, which the police found out through informants. The juxtaposed facts left no doubt: it was about the murder of Sharon Tate.
Thanks to the cooperation of Linda Kasabian with the investigation, the picture of the crime was completely restored. Even the harsh investigators who had seen a lot in their lifetime could hardly hold back tears when the criminals talked about Sharon, who begged her killers not to take the life of an unborn baby.
Manson and six of his associates were sentenced to death, but in California it was abolished. Manson, now serving a life sentence, became a celebrity and clearly enjoyed his interviews. He managed to instill fear even while in a prison cell. There was a constant threat that he would flee, or that his followers would want to continue the "mission".
The murderers who have survived to this day do not give up their attempts to free themselves ahead of schedule. Manson died in 2017, Susan Atkins, who personally killed Sharon Tate, died of brain cancer in 2009. Patricia Crenwinkel has petitioned for release 14 times, and Charles Watson has filed 16 times. was refused.
Relatives of Sharon Tate, despite the threats they receive today from fans of the "family", continue to insist on life imprisonment for the murderers.
And Quentin Tarantino's film gives an opportunity to look at all these events from the perspective of time and his own ideas about justice. In fact, "Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood", like many of Tarantino's recent films, is a kind of gestalt for a wide audience. There is such a technique in practical psychology when a person is forced to once again experience a situation that traumatizes his psyche, but with a happy ending.
Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate were one of the brightest and most unusual couples in Hollywood. She is a beauty with an angelic face, he is a talented director who survived the horrors of war. They were full of hope and were waiting for the birth of their first child. But even in the worst nightmare, Roman and Sharon could not imagine what a cruel ending their story would have.