Rebuilding the Manson Cult’s Ranch for ‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Angered Locals

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The “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” Bruce Lee fight scene may be getting all of the attention in the wake of the film’s release, but another scene in Tarantino’s latest almost caused a similar level of controversy. One of Tarantino’s biggest set-pieces in “Hollywood” takes place at the Spahn ranch, a former production location for many Westerns that served as the home for the Manson Family cult in 1969. Brad Pitt’s stuntman Cliff Booth visits the ranch after driving the hitchhiker Pussycat (Margaret Qualley) home. Cliff intends to say hello to ranch owner George Spahn (Bruce Dern), an old friend from the movie business, but Pussycat and the Manson Family complicate what should be a simple reintroduction.

In an interview with HuffPo, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” production designer Barbara Ling reveals that rebuilding the Manson Family caused some panic among Los Angeles area locals. “They thought it was going to be a movie about the Manson Family,” Ling said. “There was pushback to the [Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks], and the park came back and said, ‘Stop. This is just one set of a Tarantino movie.’”

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