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‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood:’ What Real Movies Inspired Rick Dalton’s Fake Films?

Rick Dalton, the actor played by Leonardo DiCaprio in “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood,” does not exist. But he feels like he could, because director Quentin Tarantino has mapped out an entire filmography for Dalton that plausibly places him within a changing Hollywood in 1969.

The fake movie scenes and posters Tarantino has created for Dalton are a portrait of a certain type of actor in the ’60s: a handsome, ruggedly masculine type who would soon be replaced as the default Hollywood leading man by a more androgynous aesthetic inspired by the emerging counterculture. Tarantino has said on several occasions that Rick Dalton’s screen persona and his career trajectory are an amalgam of guys like Steve McQueen, George Maharis, Vince Edwards, Edd Byrnes, Ty Hardin and more. And if you have forgotten who some of those actors are, that’s essentially Tarantino’s point.

“What he’s dealing with

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